Sheiks of Industry

Austin record labels, part 1

Record labels are misunderstood creatures. More than a cute logo, a successful label shuttles music out of musicians' garages and bedrooms and into other people's lives. Running such an enterprise is about getting product into stores, but just as important is building momentum and an identity for acts through press, booking, and packaging, both locally and nationally. Austin is blessed with a growing number of unique individuals who truly believe in the visions of their record labels. These grassroots-level entrepreneurs are in the clubs by night, and doing the grunt work by day, barely breaking even (if that) in the process. Among the dozens of labels in town, we've spotlighted for this two-part series the ones whose recent releases have impressed us most. Since the Chronicle's last overview of local labels appeared more than five years ago, the sonic playing field has changed remarkably -- and for the better.
Coming next week: Emperor Jones, Post-Parlo, Peek-A-Boo, and many more.

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