2006 - We are happy to report that we have received a judgment in this matter. If you are one of the bands involved, will you please drop us an email with your contact information? Click here. Thanks again for all your support.
2007 - After withdrawing his petition for bankruptcy protection in Kansas, Stan Hartman has relocated to Lethbridge, Canada.
* * *
you for visiting this website and taking the time to learn
more about our situation.
(Ryan Lewis and Daniel Geller) founded
Kindercore records in 1996 to document the emerging music
scene that we saw in our community of Athens, Georgia.
One night at a Butterglory show, we decided to start our own
first release was a cassette compilation called "The
Treble Revolution" that sold out in a week. This release
was followed by our first vinyl 7", this time by our own
the success of that record, we knew we were on to something
and started to put out a string of great 7" singles by
our friends in The Mendoza Line, Masters of the
Hemisphere, and others.
our label was often called "indiepop"
by many, we knew that we had many tastes that existed
outside of that narrow genre. We soon added the hip-hop
influenced Kitty Craft to our roster (our first Top 10
record at college radio), along with the alt-country tinged
instrumental group, Japancakes (eventually our biggest
selling act). Also coming on board at that time was the
restrained and acoustic based band, Vermont, a side
project of The Promise Ring.
these new bands, Kindercore began to gain national attention.
Emperor Norton Records approached us about financially backing
our label. With this new support, we were able to sign
and release records by one of the premier Elephant 6
offshoot bands, The Essex Green; the first domestically
available album by French genius Etienne Charry; the
sophisticated pop songs of Britain's Birdie; and the
first release by Kings of Convenience, who later signed
to Astralwerks. Most importantly, we were able to build a
studio with our friend Bill Doss of the Olivia Tremor
Control, which we christened with the recording of one
of Kindercore's most popular
albums to date, the debut by San Francisco's Call and
our arrangement with Emperor Norton came to an end, we decided
that we wanted to continue to broaden the scope of
Kindercore's sound by signing new artists that reflected our
ever-changing tastes. These
included Maserati, Jet By Day, and Paper
Lions. Around this time, we were approached by a new
distribution company called Telegraph that wanted to go into
business with us.
to the fact that we no longer had the generous support of
Emperor Norton and were hoping to partner with another company
who could provide administrative support, we were open to the
idea of this new scenario with Telegraph.
you can gather from the above narrative, Ryan and I were very
good at spotting talent and building an image for our label
around which that talent could align itself. Our catalog
is impressive by any standard. Spin Magazine
named Kindercore the "indie label to watch" in 2000.
We were very, very proud of the artists we signed to
Kindercore and extremely proud of the good will and loyalty we
built among the fans and community of the label. This loyalty
was no more evident than in 2000, when we hosted the Athens
Expo 2000, a showcase for our friends and bands that
lasted for three days and drew visitors from all over the
world to our small town.
never claimed to be the best businessmen in the world, but
we've always been smart enough to recognize that, and as such,
struck the previous deal with Emperor Norton and the latter
with Telegraph, so that we could have the support we needed to
do what we do best: honing the aesthetic of Kindercore. The
one thing we were not able to recognize in this situation
however, is how easily we could have our world turned
upside-down by the people we went into business with.
is what happened after we signed our partnership agreement
with The Telegraph Company. Among other things, about 10 days after Ryan
signed on the dotted line, he received an e-mail from Stanley
Hartman, a defendant named in our lawsuit, stating:
"Kindercore no longer wants, desires, or welcomes any
contribution or services from you now or in the future..."
Hartman then invited Ryan to take legal action if he didn't
like it. This is one of the more tame e-mails that we received
from the Telegraph people during the period between signing
the agreement and the commencement of the current lawsuit
we've filed against them.
you don't understand what we are fighting for, then please
imagine starting your own company, with all of the best
intentions to document the music scene in your town, a scene
that you're a part of and hold dear, only to receive an e-mail
like this after working to build the company into a viable
business for the previous six years.
18 months after we first met Jerod Gunsberg and Stan Hartman,
we were told that the company that we had developed and
nurtured for six years was going to be bought by a "group
of investors," which included Jerod Gunsberg. Shortly
thereafter, we were informed that our company was no more. We had no hand in
any of these decisions - they were as much a shock to us as
they were to any
you feel that helping us will in turn help other small
businesses that may find themselves in a situation like this
in the future, please make a donation to our legal fund - any donations, no matter how small, are extremely appreciated.
Anyone interested in helping with a
benefit in their town or bands that would like to help out by
playing a benefit can contact us at email@example.com. We
will do our best to recognize everyone that helps out in any
way as soon as this situation is resolved.
Geller and Ryan Lewis
Please click here to
contribute by paypal:
you'd like to send a check, please make it payable to "The
Kindercore Legal Fund" and send it to:
The Kindercore Legal Fund
c/o Heraty Law
RECORDS FOUNDERS FILE SUIT AGAINST THE TELEGRAPH COMPANY,
Kindercore Records founders Daniel Geller and Ryan Lewis today
filed a lawsuit against I.D.E.A. (International Development of
Entertainment Alliances), also known as The Telegraph Company,
Kindercore General Manager Jerod Gunsberg and I.D.E.A. CEO
Stanley Hartman for breach of contract, slander, libel, and a
host of other infractions.
partnership formed in 2001 between the Kindercore label and
Telegraph was intended to strengthen the label’s
administration and further the aesthetic and ideals that Geller
and Lewis had established. The partnership quickly devolved over
the 18 months that the relationship existed, culminating in the
recent announcement that Kindercore was folding.
states, “We were as surprised as anyone on November 12th
to learn that Kindercore would be closing.
We were also surprised on November 14th to
find out the label was not closed and would now be run by Stan
Hartman who had previously stated to us that he wanted nothing to
do with the creative side of running a record label”.
beginning, Geller and Lewis expected that their partnership with
Telegraph would allow them to continue guiding the artistic
direction of Kindercore while also allowing more time for them
to work on their own music.
Geller and Lewis perform in bands on the Kindercore label
- I Am The World Trade Center and The Agenda respectively.
“We’re artists at heart and have always been about the
music. We saw this
partnership as a chance to keep the label going in the same
artistic direction that we had established and to also uphold
our commitments to our artists.”
after the agreements were signed, Geller and Lewis began to see
their roles at the label rapidly diminish, a situation that came
to a head when Kindercore signed two bands that Geller and Lewis
had passed on (in one case) and had never even heard (in the
this lack of control over their own company, Geller and Lewis’
own bands were then dropped from the label, a curious move
considering that I Am The World Trade Center is the second
biggest selling act on Kindercore.
being in bands on the roster was essentially the last real connection we had with
the label we started, we had no other choice but to await
further news on the future of Kindercore”, Geller says. “At this point, we’re very concerned for the bands that
are still associated with Kindercore.”
elaborates, stating that he and Geller are doing “everything
we can to bring a quick resolution to this situation.
Bringing this legal action was the last thing we wanted
to do, but we felt it was the only thing we could do to help the
friends and artists who had faith in us when we entered into
this arrangement with Telegraph.”
of the law firm Heraty Hall, is representing the plaintiffs. A
legal fund has been established to help offset the tremendous
costs associated with furthering this action. Please click here to contribute:
inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone to 212-473-1390.
inquiries can be directed to Joshua Bloom at Fanatic Promotion,