Here you can find links to an array of excellent music (re)sources scattered throughout the internet. I have tried my best to be as inclusive of the sites I visit regularly and/or respect.
Music Periodicals“Sounds, smash, hits, N-M-E, all sounds like a dream to me.” – Destroyer
- All Songs Considered — Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, and crew are excellent curators and truly passionate about the music and songs they share with the listening world.
- First Listen — Every Monday, NPR streams new records for the listening public. If I were you, I’d bookmark this site.
- Tiny Desk Concerts – If you want to hear what great artists sound like without the studio production, then you’ve got to visit and revisit here. (You can stream videos and/or download the audio for free to iTunes.)
- Consequences of Sound
- 10,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die
4AD Records — This independent label out of the UK has been around forever and contains one of the most diverse set of artists of any label. From the goth-new wave of the Cocteau Twin and Dead Can Dance to contemporary indie-stars Bon Iver, the National, Gang Gan Dance, St. Vincent, 4AD have always had a knack for finding the creme de la creme of musicians.
Barsuk Records — I first discovered this label through Death Cab For Cutie. Until they jumped to Atlantic records, this was home. Over the years, some great bands like Mates of State, Rilo Kiley, Ra Ra Riot, and Nada Surf have also called this home.
Bloodshoot Records — Based in Chicago, Illinois, Bloodshot has been the home to bands resonating in the spaces between rock, punk, country, bluegrass, Americana and folk. Over the years, it has released records by Ryan Adams, Neko Case, Whiskeytown, the Old 97s, and Alejandro Escovedo, to name just a few.
Dischord Records — Unquestionably the most important and commendable independent label out there. Formed by members of the Teen Idles, who later transformed into Minor Threat and then Fugazi, to release their first recordings, Dischord has been putting out and championing an eclectic collection of punk and post-punk rock music for nearly three decades. Click here for the full story.
Domino Records — Another indie-label out the U.K. with lots of genre-defying artists including Four Tet, King Creosote, Animal Collective, and the Dirty Projectors to name a few.
Honest Jon’s Records — My knowledge of Honest Jon’s Records owes primarily to their exquisite archival compilations of music from across the globe including Afro-Beat recording from the Congo, 70s Cuban Salsa from NYC, and mid 20th Century popular songs from the mid-East. They are great curators.
Matador Records — A stalwart of the American Indie labels, Matador has been and/or is currently home to such great bands as Pavement, Belle and Sebastian, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Liz Phair, Yo La Tengo, and Fucked Up to name a few.
Merge Records — Hailing from North Carolina, Merge might be the only label on this list that can claim a Grammy for releasing an Album of the Year — the Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. But the real reason their great is their list of amazing artists including Superchunk, The Magnetic Fields, She and Him, Spoon, the Shout Out Louds, and Wild Flag.
Numero Group — If there is only label that you should definitely check out, it is Numero Group based out of the South Side of Chicago. This is one of my favorite labels because they unearth and release some beautiful gems that would otherwise have been lost to the dustbin of time and obscurity. From their Eccentric Soul to Cult Cargo to Local Customs, these guys scour the country and the Americas to find some of the finest in old-school soul, rhythm and blues, salsa, bossa nova, folk and, even, pop-rock.
Saddle Creek Records
Sub Pop Records — Originally and (probably forever) inextricably linked with the Seattle Sound of the early 90s (aka “Grunge Rock”), Sub Pop has been the home to countless artists from the Northwest region and across the country and Atlantic Sea, including Nirvana, Mudhoney, Band of Horses, Mogwai, the Head the Heart, and Low.
Vagrant Records — One of the major players in promoting and spreading the rise of Emo and indie-punk in the late 90s.
Below is a list of some of my favorite record stores across the country and online. Please remember to support your local and independent record stores! (Also tell me yours and I’ll add them to the list!)
|Chicago Area||Across the Country (and Online)|
|Permanent Records||Mobile Fidelity|
|Laurie’s Planet of Sound||Newbury Comics|
|Dusty Grove America||Princeton Record Exchange|
Podcasts and Miscellany
- All Songs Considered (the Podcast)
- Low Times
- KEXP: Music That Matters
- Chicago Mixtape
- Professor Blastoff
- Sklarbro Country
- Comedy Bang Bang