As of Aug. 2, Polish Hill’s Mind Cure records becomes Cruel Noise Records | Local Beat | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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As of Aug. 2, Polish Hill’s Mind Cure records becomes Cruel Noise Records

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There’s a changing of the guard in the Pittsburgh punk scene.

As of August, Mind Cure Records in Polish Hill will become Cruel Noise Records. John Villegas, who has operated various other projects under the name Cruel Noise, will relieve owner Michael Seamans of his day-to-day retail responsibilities, giving him a chance to focus on the label side of Mind Cure (which has put out records by bands like the Bats, the S/CKS and the Gotobeds) and finish his Pittsburgh punk documentary Give Us A Chance.

Seamans, who opened Mind Cure in 2010, has done much to both build up and document Pittsburgh’s punk scene, and Villegas is a fitting replacement, having long been a fixture in and advocate for the Pittsburgh punk and hardcore community. “Mikey could have sold the store to some clown from Brooklyn for twice the price, but he wanted to know it was going to be in good hands,” says Villegas, who lives in the neighborhood. “With Lili [Café, downstairs] and [Copacetic Comics, upstairs], the building’s a natural landmark for weirdos visiting the city.”

And, like Seamans, Villegas believes that it’s up to passionate people like himself to keep the scene he loves active and supported.

“If we don’t do it, no one will,” he says.

Up to this point, the Cruel Noise banner has encompassed everything from blogging and promoting records to a Cruel Noise podcast where Villegas shares his seemingly infinite arsenal of punk-rock and hardcore knowledge. And having an official office-like space will open more opportunities for Villegas, who plans to release a 12-inch compilation of Pittsburgh artists.

Villegas also hopes to use the shop as a gathering spot for those trying to find a place in the community, as well as for people who are already heavily involved. In his eyes, it’s all about building on the existing foundation.

“As this grows, I want to bring the people I’ve supported and worked with up with me,” he says.
Mind Cure regulars shouldn’t expect a jarring inventory change: While Villegas has been building his own collection of records to sell, he’ll also start out with a portion of the store’s existing inventory.
Mind Cure will close on July 18 and reopen as Cruel Noise Records on Aug. 2.


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