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Aux for the love of music

Aux Records throws a birthday party

Five years ago, Ulf Oesterle took out a $6,000 student loan. But he wasn’t buying a meal plan or textbooks. He was starting a record label.

Today, Aux Records (pronounced like the first letter of Oesterle’s last name) is five years old and still going strong. Aux’s first band, Merit, still holds the label’s best-selling album and has toured the country with its three albums. Aux now boasts nearly a dozen artists.

And on April 18, Aux Records celebrated its fifth anniversary with a free, day-long show at Funk ‘N Waffles on the SU Hill. It was the first time the entire Aux lineup had taken the stage in the same show, and they were joined by other local acts, bringing the total marquee to include 13 bands and a DJ over 10 hours.

“I hope that we’re packed all the way through,” Oesterle said in an interview before the show. “But if it’s just me and the bands, I’m going to have as much fun.” Luckily, the turnout was strong, and Oesterle seemed pleased. The overall attendance kept the tables occupied in the restaurant and during each set filled with fans standing against the stage.

Oesterle wants to keep working to get the Syracuse music scene the credit he believes it deserves.  “I would not be surprised if I end up becoming a lifer in town,” Oesterle said. He cites his teaching position in SU’s Bandier Program within the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the ability to teach and run the label. Ideally, he sees the label releasing two albums per year, likely in the summer or fall.

But Oesterle is still open to new growth opportunities for Aux. “We’ve never dropped a band, and I don’t intend to,” he said. “Whether these bands tour or not doesn’t matter. I want their music out there. I believe in them as artists.”

"We've never dropped a band, and I don't intend to."

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