Bella Union
March 18, 2009 3:54 PM   Subscribe

The real Abe Vigoda was cooler than that stuff.
posted by jonmc at 3:58 PM on March 18, 2009

Fan-made discographies found here and here. Neither appear to be complete at this time.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:05 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Still is cooler, jonmc. Some day Abe Vigoda will be king of our post-apocalyptic future.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:05 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

What? They weren't really twins??
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:22 PM on March 18, 2009

Totally honest question that might sound jerky:
Why should I care about record labels? I love music for sure, and would be lost without my favorite bands and the prospect of there being wonderful bands i haven't yet heard. I've just never understood the relationship between a fan and a record label. It's always struck me as rather esoteric, but then I really don't know anything about the recording industry.
Also, Midlake+++
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 4:24 PM on March 18, 2009

oh, jonmc... sigh. yeah and the real Bikini Atoll was much more nuclear than that stuff. and a real acorn is much seedier... and the real vetiver is much greener... blah blah blah...
posted by lapolla at 4:32 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wait a second. Isn't Fleet Foxes (a personal favorite) signed to Sub Pop? (
posted by LSK at 4:44 PM on March 18, 2009

I used to be a record label whore when I was shopping for vinyl as a DJ

Hooj Choons/Lost Language

and so on.

I think a good label boss is as important as a good critic or DJ in terms of bringing quality music to people. It's an art and a talent that I respect a lot.

Red Jerry isn't particularly well known as a producer or DJ, but damned if he isn't responsible for bringing a lot of 'OMG I'M IN HEAVEN' moments to a lot of clubbers during the 90s and 2000s.
posted by empath at 4:49 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Stonestock Relentless, what a great question. I'll field this one, Jon, if that's OK.

Most record labels sign acts based on their commercial potential. Bella Union seems, by all accounts to sign acts that Simon Raymonde PERSONALLY ENJOYS LISTENING TO. Therefore, all the acts have a similar aesthetic je ne sais quoi, even if the styles vary a lot.

It also means that most all of the acts on BU are fucking excellent.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:49 PM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]

LSK, I think they have been signed to both labels at different times. Dirty Three, as noted by my (?), are even more complex.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:51 PM on March 18, 2009

lapolla, comments like the one you responded to are part of the reason I've thrown anything up on the blue since February.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:54 PM on March 18, 2009

Labels were/are especially important for dance music because there are so many one hit wonders and producers releasing stuff under one-off aliases. Most labels have a recognizable sound because they have a stable of engineers and producers and remixers that tend to mold everything release into a particular recognizable sound. No matter who did the track originally, there'd be some remix on there you could play. You knew if you played a particular style of dance music that you'd pretty much play everything they released. Some of them even offered subscriptions to get all their records as soon as they were released for a small discount.
posted by empath at 4:56 PM on March 18, 2009

Some bands stick with certain labels depending on continent / market, because some labels can only successfully cover one area and would be spread too thin (and have issues with time zones) if they tried to expand to the whole world. Other bands don't have limited contracts. Check the Dirty Three discography - there are 11 different labels supporting the band-specific releases, and that's from 1995 until present.

Most "indie" labels focus on certain styles, which helps them get more good (and similar) groups. Mega-Labels can cover all territory at once, physically and genre-wise, and mean nothing to the general listener (some people who pride themselves in supporting the indie bands might consider that their favorite band has sold out once they sign to something Major, when the band might just be looking for more exposure. Because of label-followers, major labels might purchase well-to-do indie labels and keep the name intact, to reap the rewards of rabid fans. Other times Majors will create sub-labels, with the guise of a genre-specific indie label, crafting a complete identity for the sub label.

In short, following labels is just another way to find new music you might like. Or if you don't like any of it, ignore the label and move on with life.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:03 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Seconding chuckdarwin: The catalogs on smaller labels tend to be representative of the tastes of one or two people. Some labels are strongly identified with specific genres or sub-genres, others are eclectic but the music tends to share a common vibe across genres, and some are all over the musical map but high quality regardless. In any event, if you find a couple different bands you like a lot are on the same small, obscure label, the odds are better that somebody you've never heard of on that label will also be to your taste.

This post is a good example of that: The only acts on this list I've heard of are Dirty Three and Andrew Bird, but that's good company to keep so I'll be checking some of the other bands now.
posted by ardgedee at 5:04 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Still waiting on that new Midlake album.
posted by chococat at 5:19 PM on March 18, 2009

My favorite Record Label is Record Label Records.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 5:29 PM on March 18, 2009

chococat, I am STILL waiting for a new Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings record.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:31 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yes. I liked the Robyn Hitchcock one from a few years back with Welch/Rawlings.
My kids still sing "Television, say you love me..."
posted by chococat at 5:39 PM on March 18, 2009

What the fuck is this post about?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:55 PM on March 18, 2009

Revenant Records. Goodbye Babylon, Holy Ghost, that Charley Patton box--it's some great stuff.
posted by box at 7:10 PM on March 18, 2009

What the fuck is this post about?

Obviously not a Cocteau Twins fan.

The answer is, of course, it's meaningless. It's not about anything.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:13 PM on March 18, 2009

I have always been partial to Constellation Records.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 7:13 PM on March 18, 2009

Abe Vigoda is still alive?
posted by mike3k at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2009

I haven't checked in with 'em in since the end of '07, but the Numero Group is fucking fantastic.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:46 PM on March 18, 2009

Aum Fidelity is pretty great too.
posted by box at 7:51 PM on March 18, 2009

I actually really like the Cocteau Twins, I just dislike having to do a goddamn puzzle to understand what I'm supposed to be getting out of a post.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:05 PM on March 18, 2009

Agreed with Pope Guilty - I was a huge fan 20 years ago. But without chuckdarwin's clarification above, I would be lost.

Now I'm going to work really hard to get the Elizabeth Fraser vocals back into the song in the House opening credits. 'Cause really, what the fuck?
posted by fungible at 8:17 PM on March 18, 2009

I just dislike having to do a goddamn puzzle to understand what I'm supposed to be getting out of a post

I think the complicated solution might have emerged after a click on a few of the 3 or 4 main links at the top, underneath the title of the post (which is also the name of the record lable the whole post is about.)
posted by chococat at 8:39 PM on March 18, 2009

There's Record Label Records, and then there's RCRD LBL (a network of online record labels and blogs). Lots of free MP3s. OK, so not a label, but I like the "network" name.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM on March 18, 2009

*sighs* I thought it was about music. Silly me.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:48 AM on March 19, 2009

well, chuckdarwin. the real plate of beans was much cooler than that stuff. don'tcha know.
posted by lapolla at 3:12 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Apparently. If I had put fucking Journey and goddamned REO Speedwagon in there somewhere, it would've been hunky-dory. Jesus.


FFS, I don't know why I fucking bother.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:43 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've never heard of any of these people, with the exception of the Cocteau Twins and Abe Vigoda (Fish, not these people)...

...wait for it... get off my lawn!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:48 AM on March 19, 2009

Oddly enough, CT's "Summerblink" just came on shuffle right as I saw this post. Synchronicitastical!
posted by FatherDagon at 7:42 AM on March 19, 2009

« Older Dolphins caught on film making art and doing...   |   A decent list from Cracked? Wow. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments