Olde English Spelling Bee – My favorite label of the year
Each year there happens to be a great record label. A record label that confirms good music continues to be made. Whether they are trail blazers or not is almost irrelevant. They’ve found a niche that completely works for them and stay steadfast in that dedication, until they finally give up and open their doors for all (remember Warp’s signing of !!!, Grizzly Bear, etc.).
Olde English Spelling Bee supplied me with the hits I needed this year. Having such a low output anyway makes this all the more remarkable. Most of their stuff tended to veer towards the chillwave/hypnagogic pop area, which is what I’m a sucker for anyway. But their quality control for such a burgeoning scene is admirable, as is their evolution from like the guy who practically invented the genre (James Ferraro/Skaters) to newer acts like Big Trouble, Rangers, and Outer Limits Recordings.
It is doubly nice to have a record label so close to me that I get to see all their Greatest Hits perform. Not only do I have the expected joy of shows, but they even get to curate various magazines mixes for thanksgiving. That’s right, I’m talking about the below:http://www.viceland.com/music/2010/11/greatest-hits-lsd-karaoke-mix/
Vice Magazine hosted these guys, with all their wonderful taste in pop music trash. Ducktails have a great twitter and probably are the most famous band off the label. Sam Mehran started about a billion different projects, so it seems like the label is even more prolific. And the kicker, all of the people performing on this label looked like cloned versions of themselves. It reminds me of Dr. Venture’s lab, but instead of cloned Hanks and Deans, they have cloned hipsters and allow them to float in tubes filled with liquid irony and borrowed nostalgia.
The music videos show this off, with weird blurry images of people hanging around, not doing much. Most the videos are fun, quirky, and so cheaply made that my cheapo camera has better resolution. Taking this approach towards the visuals only compliments the tact taken by the artists themselves, of hiding honest-to-goodness pop under layers of fuzz and static.
Please keep up the winning streak OESB. I believe in you. Your label has convinced me to have a “best of” EP edition for this year. Each release gets sweeter and sweeter. More of your artists need to put out albums. If I need to almost beg you to do this, that’s a positive thing.
Labels like Thrill Jockey, Warp, Tigerbeat6, get your head in the game. These guys clearly do, and rather than having a slick website, they have a myspace and a blogspot. And that blogspot looks like it got set up in 3 seconds by some dude before he went to bed.
Thank you my favorite label of the year for making me so very, very happy.