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LAist Interview: Manimal Records Founder Paul Beahan

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LA-based Manimal Vinyl Records recently released Through the Wilderness, a tribute to Madonna benefiting her charity. We discussed the concept of Los Angeles' burgeoning lo-fi/whatcha-call-it music scene taking on Madonna classics with Manimal's founder, Paul Beahan.

LAist: Tell us about your label, Manimal.

Paul Beahan: I started it in Los Angeles a little over a year ago. Our first release was the split Chapin Sisters / Winter Flowers vinyl-only 12” picture disc. Then we put out an the British group Bat for Lashes album and they ended up on EMI about 3 weeks after I signed them.

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Manimal then expanded to all formats and I released the debut from Apollo Heights.

Then I started putting together the Madonna tribute, about a year ago. I called Devendra Banhart, The Chapin Sisters and asked if they wanted to be a part of it. Then I got involved with Madonna’s charity -- Raising Malawi. Next thing I kept getting so many calls that I actually had to say no to a few of the acts that wanted to work on the Madonna project.

Winter Flowers - "Live to Tell"LAist: Why Madonna?

PB: Honestly I’m not even a Madonna fan at all – I used to DJ and I think I had a few of her old 12-inches, but I’ve never been a Madonna fan. And now I really dig the new indie freak folk sort of thing. I just really feel like that’s the first musical collective scene where everybody seems to be involved with each other – that sort of do-it-yourself culture – everyone sort of helps each other instead of feeling insecure and competitive with each other.