In honor of Independence Day, KEXP is saluting some of our favorite indie record labels who’s DIY-spirit helped revolutionize the music industry. As an independent radio station ourselves, KEXP is thrilled to give a 13-gun salute to these pioneers with a series of label spotlights through the Fourth of July.
Since its founding, ANTI- Records has stayed true to its mission statement of “real artists creating great recordings on their own terms”. Founded by Andy Kaulkin in 1999 as a sister label of legendary punk label Epitaph Records, ANTI- has become the home to artists both young and old seeking to make records on their own terms without any label pressure. First making a splash with Tom Waits’ 1999 late-period renaissance album Mule Variations, ANTI- has since made a name for itself for breathing new life into the careers of classic artists such as Mavis Staples, Merle Haggard, Bettye LaVette, Bob Mould, Kate Bush, and Solomon Burke. Alongside these stalwarts, ANTI- has signed a number of modern pioneers including DeVotchKa, The Antlers, Glen Hansard, Neko Case, and Wilco and handled posthumous releases from punk legend Joe Strummer and Portland icon Elliott Smith. With a catalog containing Top 10 Billboard and Grammy-winning albums, ANTI-‘s artist-centric model has proven that you don’t have to have a massive promotional campaign or a top 40 hit to sell records, just good music.
- Tom Waits – Mule Variations (1999)
- Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Streetcore (2002)
- Elliott Smith – From A Basement on a Hill (2004)
- Bettye LaVette – I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise (2005)
- Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2006)
- Bob Mould – District Line (2008)
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (2008)
- Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow (2011)
- Wilco – The Whole Love (2011)
- The Antlers – Undersea (2012)