recording company recs
Less than a month till baseball season opens. Yea! The guys are already busy at spring training although I am not sure how ‘spring-like’ it feels. You know, if Direct TV wanted to make extra money from me they would put together a package with one or possibly two Cards games a week and a short recap of the week’s highlights. This, I would buy,
I wanted to mention it is READ AN EBOOK WEEK before it isn’t anymore . I picked up some short stories from the Suvudu free library but looking around there are so many more ebooks available this year than last. A quick search on Google turns up thousands of free ebooks, just waiting to be read.
Found this in my email:
“Your friends at Suburban Home Records want to help you design your next album, website, shirt, ad, or whatever you need help with”.
They offer services such as Album Design, Web Design, Building Vinyl art from CD art elements, T-shirt/merch design, Bio writing, Distribution/marketing advice and/or getting your album registered with Soundscan.
(parts of the Suburban Home Records rec were paraphrased because the original announcement was so massively big)
Okay, I think Virgil and the others over at Suburban Home Records are a little confused. Maybe they had a few too many late nights out listening to the awesome bands in their line-up perform. See, when it is my birthday I usually get presents but Suburban Home is giving cool stuff away to celebrate theirs.
CD’s for five bucks…14% off any order…14 bucks off any order of 50 bucks or more…and my favorite, any CD on the list for free. Yes, ’free’ is not a typo. From the website:
“And by “IT”, we mean a FREE ALBUM. With Suburban Home’s 14th Anniversary, we have made the decision that we would like to give everyone in the world one free album. We are a bit biased, but we think that Suburban Home is one of greatest record labels in the world while also being one of the smallest, least known record labels around. We hope that our offer to give you a free album will entice you to pick a release from one of our artists and hope that it will encourage you to tell others to grab an album, too.”
Now go, shoo. Grab a free album!
Hey, while you’re there don’t forget to snag the special 14th Anniversary Sampler.
Seriously, the coolest label ever.
I have been doing this for several weeks so I thought a refresher would be useful for anyone that missed the original post. These reviews of indie music labels are specifically geared to people looking for new music or people who don’t presently listen to music from independent labels. The most important criteria is ease of finding and previewing the music.
This week the spotlight shines on Matador Records. Based in New York City and London, Matador is big for an indie label. The artists they represent cover a wide variety of music styles from blues to hip hop to rock.
Strengths: The site is clean and fairly easy to navigate. The blog and discussion forums give Matador a laid back feeling. The artist bio pages are extensive, with video and news updates. The tour schedule is nice and even has links to some of the venues.
Weaknesses: Once again, no streaming audio. I get that bandwidth can be expensive but since Matador doesn’t provide links to the artists websites or myspace pages the only way to preview the music without downloading is to hope the artist has some video up on their bio page.
Overall this a pretty good site. The eclectic mix of music styles is a bonus to anyone just starting their music search.
This week the indie music label spotlight shines on Ruf Records -
“So management had a baby and it was named Ruf Records. Born of the need and love to promote what we believe in… the communicating power of music…/…We are able to help our artists expand their careers beyond their extensive tour schedules by providing them with worldwide distribution and one-on-one relationships with each and every one of us here at Ruf.”
Strengths: The site is clean and easy to navigate. The layout is professional while still maintaining a nice blues feel. I like the bio pages with info on the artists and links to their websites and music releases. They have a video clip spotlight as well as a front page spotlight on new releases. They provide a tour date schedule for Europe as well as an email newsletter.
Weaknesses: No free music or clips for download and no streaming audio so you can listen to the artists. Also there are no US or South America tour dates listed. Yes, you can get that info from the individual websites but it would be more convenient to have it all at one site.
Overall Ruf Records is a great site. Artists like Walter Trout, Bernard Allison and the late Jeff Healey are a good introduction if you are new to indie or the blues.
For my indie music label highlight this week I choose one of my favorites. Blind Pig Records -
From our humble beginnings in the basement of an Ann Arbor, Michigan blues club in 1977, Blind Pig Records has grown into one of the premier blues labels in the world…/…From the very beginning, our belief in the creative abilities of the artists and their need to expand the limits of their art form took precedence over a strict adherence to any narrowly defined musical idiom.
Strengths: Blind Pig is not only a great label, they are a great internet-friendly site. A very identifiable logo and an easy to navigate site make it simple to find the info you need. Blind Pig has a rotation of free mp3′s for download, usually from the new releases of their artists. They also have video clips in the site if you want to see your favorite performer in action. They provide a tour schedule and also an option to search for shows by state, as well as an email newsletter. Blind Pig also has extensive bio pages for all the artists they represent.
Weaknesses: There is no direct link provided to the artist website or myspace pages.
Overall this is fantastic site for the blues, world and roots music consumer. Oh, and they put out some pretty awesome music as well.
For my music label highlight this week I went a little further from home. Located in Italy Mellow Records -
“Since its inception in 1991, MELLOW has quickly grown to be recognized as one of the world leaders in bringing progressive rock music and more to the marketplace in the form of LPs, CDs and concerts.”
Strengths: Well, first off I don’t speak or read Italian. This isn’t a problem as the site is very well organized and most information is in English as well as Italian. There are direct links to the artist myspace pages so trying out the music and researching the bands is easy as well. The site is also clean, without ads and popups to clutter the page.
Weaknessess: Once again, I would love to see a few free tracks for download. A gig/date schedule would be nice. They do have a live show box that may announce performances, but it was empty the day I was on the website.
My overall inpression was positive. This is a well organized and easy to navigate site. If you are a fan of progressive check them out.
So lately I have been stumbling across forum discussions on how hard it is to find good music. In an effort to make it easier I decided to highlight one Indie music label a week with emphasis on customer usability. Since I like Sharon Lewis, I picked her label to start.
Located just outside Chicago, Illinois, Sleeping Dog Records -
“Provides the best in new recorded music from the hottest of today’s artists, covering musical styles from blues and rock to R&B and country. Sleeping Dog, an equal opportunity innovator, uses the power of the Internet to bring more music … better music … directly to you.”
The logo is clean and very distinctive. Once you leave the title page navigation is also clean and easy to use. The website pages are not cluttered with ads and focus on the music and artsts. Sleeping Dog is a small label, but they have a good mix of styles with an emphasis on the blues. They provide a great bio page on each artist as well as samples you can download and links to purchase the music.
There is no gig/concert schedule up on the website. This wouldn’t be a problem if there was a link to the individual artist website but since there isn’t you have to go hunting to to find play dates. I would very much prefer streaming audio for the song samples since I think d/ling something I will just have to delete later is a huge pain. I would also have liked to see a few free tracks for download.
Overall I thought it was a good website with some talented artists.