Tag Archives: record labels

Downtime…. June 21, 2010

Downtime. Hopefully we all get at least a few minutes of this everyday. We here at Little Umbrellas are taking it upon ourselves to make sure you have something to do with your downtime by starting a new weekly feature that we hope you’ll enjoy. Downtime will highlight a few things we’ve discovered or found entertaining in the last week. So, to kick things off, here are two things we’ve been really into this week….

TAPES

That’s right, the primary medium of our youth is making a quiet but forceful comeback. Remember the 80’s and early 90’s when the cassette was the people’s medium? You made mix tapes, demo tapes, dub tapes…. whatever. They were cheaper than the CD, more portable, and seemed both modern and retro. The best thing about cassettes was the tiny cassette labels that were a dime-a-dozen back in the day. Everybody had a tape label; literally thousands of bands had a cheap outlet for their music and these fantastic little labels fostered and fueled an entire facet of the indie-rock scene. Well, thankfully it’s happening again. Afer being all but squashed by the once mighty CD, tapes and the labels that love them are slowly working their way back into the scene. This time, I think cassette labels will not just be an easy outlet for every local Joe with a band, this time I predict tape labels will be the new taste-makers. Really interesting experimental music is finding its way to cassette and happily thriving in the medium. A lot of other sounds are  popping up on tape labels, but more importantly, new sounds are being born here. If you feel like music is a bit stagnant these days, take a chance on some hot new cassettes. This is the place to experiment. For the price of one CD or LP you can pick up two or three cassettes and here two or three bands doing some really imaginative stuff. Our two favorite tape labels as of today are Plustapes and  Sweat Lodge Guru. Plustapes is a pretty fantastic label that’s been at this for some time now. Everything we’ve heard from these guys has been quality. Sweat Lodge Guru is a brand new label from the folks who run the amazing OMG Vinyl blog. The first four releases are available now. While we have yet to hear these releases we hope to very soon. Considering one of the tapes is from These Wonderful Evils, we’re pretty convinced this label will be a winner. Please check these two labels out and send them a few of your hard-earned $$$. We’re betting you’ll be more than satisfied.

LEMONADE

It’s summer as of today and what goes better with the hot weather than Lemonade. The drink is nice and all, but we’re even more in love with the CocoRosie single of the same name. The track is from their new Sub Pop album Grey Oceans and it’s nothing short of genius. Please see the video documentation provided.

Hope this keeps you busy for the week. Thanks for sticking around and it’s good to be back.

2009’s Finer Moments… Part 1

As I mentioned in my first post, year-end lists are inevitable. This is the first installment of Little Umbrellas’ year in review, with at least one, maybe two more parts to come. There will be a list of my favorite records of the year, at some point, but first I’d like to give some attention to a few other catagories:

Favorite Music Blog of 2009

This one was kind of easy. While there are many blogs I read on a fairly regular basis, there are few I anticipate reading as much as Captain’s Dead. There’s a lot of variety on this site. News items, tips on new (or new to me) bands, and plenty of live recordings. What I really enjoy is the constant inclusion of song downloads. If someone tells me about how great a band is, I want to hear for myself. Captain’s Dead always includes a song or two from the band. There are tons a great live recordings posted here which always makes this site worth a visit. Do yourself a favor and visit now.

Favorite Record Label of 2009

There were a lot of contenders in this category, but ultimately I chose a label that left me eagerly anticipating their records, and based on the records I bought, was never disappointed. While others were great, for my money, nobody was as intriguing as New York’s Woodsist Records. The label’s Kurt Vile record alone would have put them pretty high on my list, but throw in Real Estate, Wavves, Woods and Ganglians and suddenly these guys are heavyweights. Please, pretty please, buy their records!