Monday, December 26, 2005

list season: the top five record labels of 2005.

due to the intense rise of mp3 blogs, mixtapes, limewire, etc., record labels are becoming less and less important as we go further into the 21st century. i remember the days when i exclusively listened to rap and labels like ruff ryders and [especially] roc-a-fella were putting out consistently great records every few months. there are labels still putting out really good music, and this list is dedicated to those people who work on getting amazing artists into our record stores and shit:

5. def jam:
okay, so i only put def jam on this list because of their president, shawn carter. i don't care who you are, you know that jay-z is the benchmark of cool. the four coolest people to ever live are as follows: jesus christ, james dean, the fonz, and jay-z. president carter transends cool, regardless of race, just like henry winkler did for his legendary character in the 70's. says rza: "the fonz is the coolest motherfucker of anybody, white or black." and that goes the same for the president of def jam records. now, let's hope that they put out a decent album in 2006.

4. young god:
devendra banhart and akron/family put out two of the year's best albums this year, making micheal gira's folk-ish label a benchmark for creative music.

3. domino:
not only are they the uk label-of-choice for geniuses such as steven malkmus, but they have a roster that includes two of the most exciting uk acts today [franz ferdinand, arctic monkeys], and one very promising noise-art-punk band with a terrible name [test icicles]. expect another big year for this label, as they put out the arctic monkeys' debut, and yet another franz ferdinand album.

2. sub pop:
one breakout band [wolf parade], one genius a&r/producer [issac brock], and an overwhelming roster of talent, sub pop continues to be indie rock's new york yankees. and with new aquisition the brunettes, and albums from bands that change your life [the shins, iron & wine], 2006 is going to be yet another championship year.

1. barsuk:
i know what you're doing. this should be considered biased, since barsuk is a semi-obscure hometown label. however, the barsuk name is rising in stock as of late. the label has the most consistent roster in music today, put a whole bunch of great releases out [ultimatum, the weight is a gift, pixel revolt], and welcomed some extremely talented and established artists [mates of state, rocky votolato]. although they lost their breadwinner, death cab for cutie, they're starting ot prove that one band isn't going to make or break this label.


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