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IE Gets Labelled

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on May 2, 2005 5:23PM

Do you feel intimidated walking into Reckless Records? Did you cry soft tears of recognition during the “I Just Called To Say I Love You” scene in High Fidelity? Well sob no more, friend. This month’s Illinois Entertainer features an indie record label fakebook so you’ll never confuse Polyvinyl Records with Black Vinyl Records ever again (there’s a version of it posted online as well). We know there are a few labels around town they missed but perhaps these are the only ones who bothered to fill out the questionnaire. The guide tells you which labels accept unsolicited demos (almost all of them do) and what type of music they feature.

We’d like to take this opportunity to give out a few awards for the most entertaining answers under “type of music.” The We Are More Indie Than You award goes to Rock Office Records and their description of their music as the “best in unpopular music.” Best Boast goes to Touch and Go for the answer “good.” And the award for Most Esotheric goes to Checkered Past Records for their response: “art-damaged Americana.”

Also in this month’s issue are profiles of Drag City 2005_05_02_dragcity.jpg
and Victory Records, both of which turn 16 years old this year. Drag City co-founders Dan Osborn and Dan Koretzky met while working at (and learning from the mistakes of) Kaleidoscope in Des Plaines. Though their tendency to be too “artist-friendly” would get them fired from the distributor, they—along with Rian Murphy—found it served them well as they started the label whose credo is “even an inner child has an inner child.”

Contrasting with Drag City’s low-key style is Tony Brummel, owner of 2005_05_02_victory.jpgVictory Records, who describes their ethos as “kill or be killed.” With his Matt Pinfield-like looks, it’s easy to imagine Brummel getting in the ring with major labels like Sony and MCA in an effort to get better distribution for his artists without losing the “punk and underground morals and ethics” of the business.