There’s something about extreme and underground music that leads people to start labels. Much of this is the DIY ethic that’s been a part of metal, punk, and hardcore since the early days. Another part of it is that every fan feels a sense of ownership. The music isn’t a backing track to life as much as it is interwoven into identity. The urge to participate and give back is strong.
Some people release a few albums and move on. Others make it a successful side hustle. A handful turn it into their lives. Carey “KK” Hodges was an outlier: well into adulthood, she launched a label with her husband that has flourished for more than a decade now. San Diego-based Last Hurrah Records has released albums by bands including 16 (Lost Tracts Of Time) and Mike IX/The Guilt Of (Isolation Room) as well as bands from other genres. Sadly, Hodges died recently at just 54 from complications of an autoimmune disorder.
“She decided we were going to do a record label while driving back to NOLA
from SXSW,” Hodges’ husband and label partner Chad Hensley says. “She did everything – designing and updating the website, order fulfillment, looking for new bands, maintaining strong friendships with old bands. She liked to exercise to High on Fire. Pete Stahl dedicated some Goatsnake songs to her when the band played at Brick by Brick in San Diego. She often surprised me with tickets for shows as gifts.”
“I am so shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden loss of Carey Hodges,” says 16 guitarist Bobby Ferry. “In addition to being the sweetest person ever, she was instrumental in creating some of the most beautifully packaged vinyl ever made in my opinion. We are honored to have worked with her. This is a massive loss.”
In addition to her label work, Hodges was a web designer and a graduate of the University of New Orleans. Decibel sends sincere condolences to her family and friends. Safe travels.