What We Are
Big Beef is an independent production & distribution company featuring an array of diverse, but consistently good and interesting audio & video creations. We are not interested in cashing in on the latest fads or trying to cultivate a hip image, but rather are dedicated to taking on the challenge of exposing music and arts lovers to new and breaking acts which defy singular genres or classifications. Surf, rock, folk, over or underground video. It dosn't matter as long as it's good. Our involvement in the music business is first and foremost dictated by our love of music (working in the music business, as opposed to the "business of music"), and that attention to content shows in the quality of the material that we work with.
Started as a bit of an in-joke by owner Andy Valeri in 1978 as a "label" to produce various audio works by him and his friends, Big Beef quickly became the production moniker for the large volume of film and video works produced by himself and his close friends. These works included numerous film and video creations (some of which are still available today in various forms, including in the underground video television series "The Eat More Carp Show" -see our Video section-), books of poetry, an assortment of music and experimental audio recordings, cable TV programs, both live and pre-produced, and much more. This organic growth of Big Beef as a creative production house finally reached the level of "professional business" in 1995, when it became a full-fledged, record keeping, paperwork filing, tax paying business (an event marked by the company's first compact disc release "The Action Poets vs. George The King Of Swing" by the stellar Dayton all-acoustic "folk" rockers The Pure Plastic Tree.

People involved in these endeavors throughout the years include acclaimed filmmaker Steven Bognar (whose documentary "Personal Belongings" has gone on to garner tremendous accolades from around the world, including at it's premeire at the '96 Sundance Film Festival). Steve has gone on to produce a number of other quality films and videos, including the highly-acclaimed film "The Dream Catcher", as well as another Sundance featured work "Picture Day". Also involved was another close friend, David Hughes, whose business and creative involvement with Big Beef continues to this day. The label has also added to it's roster of participants such great talents as John Shough, producer/engineer at Dayton's famous Cro-Magnon Studios, and even Dayton TV legend and host of the cult movie series "Shock Theatre", Dr. Creep!

What We Do
The production label has gone on to involve a whole host of different people and projects, incorporating such media as film, audio, video (including live television), printed works and more. It also has been used as a vehicle for promotion and distribution, such as it's involvement with bands like California's The Electric Ferrets (see Dionysus Records) and The New Duncan Imperials (with some of our video works being featured on their Pravda Records audio/CD-Rom compilation "Greatest Bits". Big Beef has also done work in the booking and promotion department, having been involved in helping to promote and support the 2001 European tour of the top notch Chicago-based r&b outfit The Almighty Rogers, whom include a number of members of the Big Beef "experimental groove band" The Lawn Jockeys. We are also currently involved in helping with the mangement of another fine veteran pop rock outfit Morella's Forest, whose newest album is also being co-produced by Big Beef.

It's also involved in supporting and promoting different charity endeavors. These include The Tim Taylor Memorial Fund, the charity established in the name of fellow Daytonian Tim Taylor, the late great creative leader of the ultra-progressive band Brainiac, as well as The Gregg Spence Fund, another fund raising charity created to assist this multi-talented musician and member of the Big Beef family in his costly battle with cancer. More projects in support of these ongoing efforts are in the works, including CD releases by Brainiac, as well as recordings by the reclusive but talented Lawn Jockeys in support of the Gregg Spence Fund.

Big Beef has also branched out into publishing through Cowphonics Music (BMI), which has seen works by Real Lulu used for the Jennifer Lopez film "Angel Eyes", as well as works by Dayton rockers Let's Crash and the dance/trance beats of The Organic Groove Continuum included in a number of programs produced by MTV.

Big Beef has always operated under a somewhat similar philosophy as that of John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, where there is a consistent directing influence, but the actual creative process is open to any and all who are involved with whatever project is currently at hand. The atmosphere cultivated is one of a participatory and almost family-like structure, where the Big Beef production moniker is a consistently flexible title referring to whoever may be involved at the moment. We feel this is one of the advantages to working with Big Beef, as it provides for a level of direct creative influence on the part of all the participants involved, particularly the bands we work with, which makes for a much more fulfilling product in the end for everyone involved. Cultivating a rewarding process of creation for all the participants is in and of itself as important as the end result of producing a great work for the public to share in.

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