Thursday 24 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Label love

Label love

While the major record labels drop like flies, local indie ones are on the rise.

Stephen Carradini June 15th, 2011

Major labels may be going the way of the buffalo, but independent record labels still have ardent supporters in Oklahoma City.

Travis Searle runs Guestroom Records Records
Credits: Mark Hancock

“Record labels are the best way for an unknown artist to have their music distributed for sale,” said Travis Searle, co-owner of both Guestroom Records and its label, Guestroom Records Records. “We didn’t even think about it being a digital age. It doesn’t matter to us. We like listening to music on vinyl, so that’s the format we prefer to release music on.”

Chris Harris, owner/operator of Nice People Records, however, sees MP3s as important.

“My idea was to be an MP3 label, so that bands can have some immediate gratification,” Harris said, although Nice People still puts out records, and even vinyl. “We’re more of a shortterm goal. Building a buzz is just as important as putting out a record and putting a few songs out there builds that buzz.”

Chemical Wire Records started in 1995, before iTunes was even a beta. It was called FSU Records then, but changed names in 2003.

It’s embraced the digital age as well. The first 100 people to sign up for its email list at after reading this will receive free records. No, really! The label wants to help its acts out in any way possible; sending the music through the Internet is one more way to do it.

“We try to hook them up as much as we can on the work end. We can’t throw a lot of money at it, but if they’re doing the work, we try to help them get where they want to go,” said J. Maxey, Chemical Wire co-owner.

That’s the goal of all three record labels: Get the music more exposure, no matter the genre.

“We work with bands we really like and think other people might, too,” said Searle, whose label has releases by Starlight Mints, Rainbows Are Free and Shitty/Awesome under its belt.

“I can’t think of anything we turned down ’cause it wasn’t in our genre,” Maxey said. His label focuses on indie folk (like Rainy Day) and indie rock, but has released rockabilly and psychedelic (Tony Brown’s Happy Hour) as well.

Although only around for a year, Nice People encompasses sounds as disparate as The Boom Bang’s manic surf-rock and Depth & Current’s heavy psych to Skating Polly’s two-girl indie-rock sound.

“Thus far, it has been ‘local bands only,’ but it’s not a rule,” Searle said of Guestroom’s lineup. “In fact, we’re going to look into spreading out nationally a bit in the future.”

Chemical Wire already works with bands outside of Oklahoma, from farflung places such as Ohio (Swearing at Motorists), San Diego (The Battle of Land and Sea) and Austin (Will Cope). Nice People wants to put its bands on the road all over the nation, but has a local, family oriented approach to its artists.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5