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Soundtrack Week

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Soundtrack Week: a mix from Permanent Records

Posted By on 06.07.12 at 06:11 AM

Though Lance Barresi and Liz Tooley jetted for Los Angeles a little over a year ago to open up a second Permanent Records location in Eagle Rock, they've nowhere near abandoned the Chicago scene that embraced them back in 2006 when the pair opened up their original brick-and-mortar store at 1914 W. Chicago. I still run into Lance out and about more than I'd expect, seeing that he's quick to fly in for events like this past March's Sausage Fest at the Bottle, which Permanent, Captcha, Trouble in Mind, and others help put together as a SXSW sendoff. The success of Permanent is a testament to the founders' dedication and impeccable tastes—visible in each store's eclectic stock of vinyl and the output of their namesake record label.

Lance explains the record label as more a passion than anything, telling me that it all began when he and Liz wanted to release an LP of Warhammer 48K's much-beloved last album. They barely broke even on the release, but it gave them impetus to focus on working with Cave—an offshoot of Warhammer 48K—on their debut LP, Hunt Like Devil/Jamz. The rest is a history of wax, some if it clean and chugging Krautrock, some of it skronky and blaring noise rock.

"[The label is] profitable sometimes and at least breaks even most times," Lance tells me. "That said, the labor put into releasing, promoting, and distributing each release isn't calculated very specifically. After it's all said and done, our label is mostly a labor of love. We absolutely care about the label's success as it's tied into our tastes and livelihood pretty directly."

Check out Permanent's contribution to Soundtrack Week after the jump.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soundtrack Week: a mix from BLVD Records

Posted By on 06.06.12 at 06:19 AM

Melissa Geils's incentive to begin BLVD Records arrived when her friend and coworker at Laurie's Planet of Sound, Nick Myers, had an album with his band Vee Dee that couldn't find a proper label. "I was just kinda like, 'Fuck it. I'll put your record out somehow,'" she told Miles Raymer in a Sharp Darts column that profiles the label's start-up.

The small Chicago label run by Geils, Eric Marsh, and Alex Foucre-Stimes has released a handful of locals of the shoegaze, garage, psych, and noise-rock variety—including Astrobrite, Population, Fake Limbs, and Vee Dee. Named in honor of the Logan Square boulevard system, Geils explains that though the label may not fit into a specific "niche scene," her draw to start the label was that she wanted to get "cool bands and artists out unto the world, and work with a broad range of sounds and aesthetics."

Check out the BLVD Records mix for Soundtrack Week after the jump.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Soundtrack Week: A mix from Whistler Records

Posted By on 06.05.12 at 06:17 AM

Whistler co-owner Billy Helmkamp understood that when the Whistler opened, it was all about keeping the business steady and establishing the space as a reputable music venue—the work with his fledgling record label would have to wait, for the most part. "We managed to produce a couple seven-inch records here and there, but it's only in the past year that we've been able to focus more of our energy on records and artist development," he explains.

When your business is a nationally renowned hot spot for craft cocktails and a small indie record label dealing mostly in locals, chances are that the label is going to be overshadowed by the Old Fashioneds. But Whistler Records has managed a solid output of indie rock, jazz, and garage from the likes of This Is Cinema, White Mystery, Matt Ulery's Loom, Cains & Abels, Hood Internet & Kid Static, and In Tall Buildings—the band that helped Helmkamp realize the Whistler's potential to act as a conduit for the label after he saw them perform at the bar.

You can check out a few of the aforementioned names in today's label soundtrack, submitted by Billy Helmkamp and Whistler Records.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Soundtrack Week: Tic Tac Totally

Posted By on 06.04.12 at 07:50 AM

Matt Clark would probably be the first to tell you it takes more than a little bit of crazy to run an indie record label all by your lonesome—no doubt his eccentricity contributed to the incredibly entertaining answers in our latest issue's B Side feature. Clark started the garage/punk label Tic Tac Totally Records in 2006 because after following a bender with another bender with another bender, he decided, "I didn't really want to die without accomplishing SOMETHING I actually cared about." Makes sense. And so he began repurposing many of his self-destructive tendencies for the greater good by running himself marginally insane curating and handling every aspect of Tic Tac Totally.

In its six-year history the label has dropped more than 50 releases, including vinyl by Bare Wires, Digital Leather, Lover!, Moonhearts, So Cow, Useless Eaters, Wax Museums, and OBN III's (who open up for Royal Headache Thursday at the Burlington). Check out a small playlist of songs Clark sent over to soundtrack your Monday morning.

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All this week on the Bleader, I'll make you a mix

Posted By on 06.04.12 at 06:20 AM

This tape contains an incredible mix
While I was piecing together label profiles of HoZac, Not Normal, Chocolate Industries, and Peira for my B Side cover feature in the Reader's current issue, I got the bright idea to ask each label's founder for a five-song soundtrack to post online. So when I was asked to curate the Bleader's Variations on a Theme for this week, it seemed like an even brighter idea to get back in touch with the dozen-plus other label founders who were kind enough to answer my questions (about their labels' origins, about their motivations, about their favorite releases) and ask them to submit five-song soundtracks. Thus, Soundtrack Week was conceived.

Each morning this week we'll feature a different label mix for you to enjoy right when you sit down in front of your computer and open the Bleader (because we all know that's exactly what you do as soon as you get up). Put some headphones on and check out for 20 minutes or so. You deserve it.

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