Best Labels

This is the place where you can vent whatever's on your mind. Feel free to go off on extended rants or brief blurbs about whatever's rocking your world.

Moderators: D. Phillips, Jake

GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 1289
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2002 11:47 pm
Location: New Jerz

Best Labels

Post by Tom4 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:58 pm

OK, some of your favorite labels?

I'm not typically a label completist who will get most of what a given imprint puts out, and I'm not good with the historical, obscure labels. But I've noticed a few that have a high percentage of quality output, and, since I'm a young'n, they're all pretty modern.

Arts & Crafts - For my money, the best label out in the planet today. Started solely to release Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People, now boasts BSS, Stars, Feist, Apostle of Hustle, Jason Collett, The Dears, American Analog Set.

Sub Pop - Big-time longevity here. Made the adjustment from grunge and branched out successfully. Tons of quality stuff over the years.

Stones Throw - Lost in the wake of other hip hop labels like Def Jux and Rawkus, but puts out consistently great, classic music. Madlib, MF Doom, Aloe Blacc, Peanut Butter Wolf, Koushik, etc.


GLONO Board Bolshevik
Posts: 1156
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:47 pm
Location: GloNorth

Post by Dreamin » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:13 pm

I'll always have a soft spot for local indie, Mint Records.

cub, Maow, & Tankhog (back in the day)
The Smugglers
Neko Case
New Pornographers
Carolyn Mark
Young and Sexy
The Evaporators

And I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I really love their logo.

hebrew hammer
Captain Obvious
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: East side

Post by hebrew hammer » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:50 pm

Great calls on all three of those T4, especially Stones Throw which is probably the best hip-hop oriented label out there, but continually gets the Rodney Dangerfield.

Here are three of my favorites:

Matador: Yo La Tango,A.C. Newman, Matmos, Belle & Sebastian, Mission Of Burma, Brightblack Morning Light, Mogwai, The New Pornographers, Cat Power, Pavement, Malkmus, Ponys (And that's just active bands)
Merge: Aracde Fire, ...Trail of Dead, NMH, Spoon, M. Ward, Superchunk, Portastatic, Lou Barlow, Camera Obscura, Lambchop
K: Old Time Religion, Calvin Johnson, Microphones/Mt. Eerie, Little Wings, Blow, All Girl Summer Fun Band, Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic Soundsystem

DFA's very good as well.

miss carol
GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 4113
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:39 am
Location: Toronto

Post by miss carol » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Off the top of my head:

Rough Trade

GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 1805
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: (((IOWA)))

Post by worpswede » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:56 am

Sub-Pop-As Tom states, just an incredible rebound from a genre they were synonymous with. It blows my mind whenever I hear a release like Pernice Brothers, Iron & Wine, or The Shins on Sub-Pop that it was the same label home to a band like Tad.
Matador-Gerard Cosloy's a douchebag, but he's good at what he does. He's been involved with so many great signings that I can forgive his completely retarded G.G. Allin's "savior of rock 'n roll" diatribes. Which forces me to mention...
Homestead-For a brief period in the 80's, this record company was putting out some challenging stuff. Sonic Youth, Squirrel Bait, Big Black, Green River, Nick Cave, Dinosaur Jr., Naked Raygun, and a host of others once called this label home.
SST-From '82 until '87, this label had an incredible run. Minutemen, Black Flag, Meat Puppets, Husker Du and then some later day signings like Dinosaur Jr., Soundgarden, made SST's consistency rate fairly admirable. So what the fuck happened?
Merge-These guys have gotten so diverse and pretty consistenly good over the last few years it's admirable.
Rough Trade-I even had a compilation of the bands on their boutique labels at one time that was remarkably good.
Factory-Get well Tony Wilson, you magnificent bastard!
Sire-The Seymour Stein years were pretty fruitful; in the late 70's/early 80's this major label had a incredibly cool roster.
Touch & Go-50/50 deals, oral contracts (now abridged, thanks to the douchebags formerly known as the Butthole Surfers), one of the few "good guys" left in record labels.

GLONO Board Mack Daddy
Posts: 370
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:04 pm
Location: Turlock, CA

Post by thinsafetypin » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:13 pm

i very much agree with the laud heaped on sub pop, matador and merge (internal politics on the first two at least notwithstanding) and would like to add 4ad to the list. a lot of labels flourish for a time (epitaph and jade tree pop to mind) by focusing on a genre they specialize in, but the ones that grow beyond that and still find a way to be consistently good are the ones that impress me. epitaph has actually made some baby steps in the right direction, mostly with sister label anti- because the "punks" who underwrite their bottom line have fits when they put things like youth group out on the main imprint. (youth group's new one got moved to anti- if i remember correctly).

GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: texas

Post by creepy » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:25 pm

thrill jockey
kill rock stars
flying nun (i'm a big fan o' the kiwirock)

and i'll 3rd or 4th stones throw... check out their site regularly. there's a non-stop stream of free stuff to be had there...

miss carol
GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 4113
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:39 am
Location: Toronto

Post by miss carol » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:32 pm

Stiffif only for Elvis Costello
Sun Records
Red Bird
Last edited by miss carol on Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

miss carol
GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 4113
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:39 am
Location: Toronto

Post by miss carol » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:33 pm

Stiffif only for Elvis Costello

GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 1990
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 12:21 am
Location: close enough to say Chicago

Post by DJMurphy » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:29 am

I'm gonna second Miss Carol on some of her selections, but my fave list of record labels past and present would probably read as follows:

Stax, Stiff, Sun, Creation, Minty Fresh, GloNo (honest; that's not meant as a suckup), Limited Potential, Happy Tails, Bloodshot, Private Stock, Asylum*, Atlantic*, King, Shelter, Ardent, Alias, Twin\Tone, SST*, Factory, WaxTrax!, Rhino*, K, Sire, Ode, Shit Sandwich, Hi, Radar, F-Beat, 4AD, 2-Tone, Amphetamine Reptile, Tim/Kerr, Beserkeley, Flying Nun, I.R.S., and Virgin*.

*the labels currently bearing these names do not factor into my respect; they are (almost to a label) embarrassments to the original labels which they used to be

Post Reply