In 1985, Mark Robinson sent a letter to Ian MacKaye asking about how to press vinyl records. The year earlier, he founded Teen-Beat Records in Arlington, Virginia. Initially, only one copy of each release existed. Now, the label has over 200 releases under its belt and has shaped the D.C. independent music scene alongside MacKaye’s punk label Dischord. Both Mark and Ian join us on this episode to talk Teen-Beat, D.C., and more.
What does it mean when an artist or label calls itself independent? Instead of defining independence as “not major,” this episode discusses what independence in music really means. Portia travels to Australia for an Indie-Con panel with Matthew Rogers (UNFD/WIN Council Member), Sebastian Chase (MGM), Chris Maund (Mushroom Group of Labels), Merida Sussex (Stolen Recordings), and Guy Blackman (Chapter Music). Then, she speaks with A2IM CEO Richard Burgess about his recent Billboard article responding to their definition of “Indie Power Players.”
In anticipation of Vortex Magazine’s upcoming issue regarding the role of record labels in today’s music economy, we sat down with three label heads from Portland to talk about what labels do for artists in 2016. Despite the label’s varying ages, reach, and aesthetic, everyone in attendance could agree on the fact that there are too many business related tasks associated with releasing a record for one person, or a band, to handle.