"When it came time to do my second compilation, I didn't have any start-up money," he recalls. "But I thought, well, I've proven to the community that I can make one of these compilations, so I went to local businesses and I said, 'Hey, I need your advertising dollars; I'll put your logos and stuff in the CD booklet, then the CDs you'll have to give away for free.' I figured I could sell more in advertising than the total production cost of making the CDs."
And so Seng launched a career, putting out free compilation discs funded by advertising dollars from various clubs and shops. In 1997, he released Music of Ohio Vol. 1, for which a club each from Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland chose three of its favorite local bands. Recently, Seng released Music of Ohio Vol. 2, on which the Grog Shop selected a trio of Cleveland's finest to kick a little mud in Columbus's eye: the DayGlo popsters Kiddo, the surly rockers Sounder, and the unrestrained post-punk bruisers Lives of the Saints. The latter two will perform at the Grog this Friday at a release party for the disc; the first 200 people through the door will get a free copy. Another album is due out later in the year.
"The goal is to build something consistent," Seng says. "It's an exciting, community sort of thing."
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.