First Annual Austin Record Label Flea Market

10479400_783936648390606_8423787667357574879_oThis Saturday is the First Annual Austin Record Label Flea Market; it’s at Mohawk, starting at 5 PM.  Entry is free, all ages welcome, and there will be 28 local Austin labels selling their wares, including some rare out-of-print pieces from a few of them.  There will be a great show following at 9 PM, which is also free. I’m one of the people responsible for this event, along with my friend Marcus at Transmission and Dan at Punctum Records.  So, with that in mind…here’s a few ideas on why I wanted to put this together…including a playlist with a sample from all the labels that are on Soundcloud. 

First, and I’ve been taken to task for this idea before, is that the idea of community is extremely important to me.  I know it’s not the easiest thing to accomplish, but the goal to create a little awareness of the music community in Austin, and a touch of camaraderie has the potential to carry the Austin music scene beyond some of the trials currently facing our scene.  At the heart of that, aside from the bands and venues, are the people participating this Saturday.  These are the folks putting out your friends records, often losing money just for the love of supporting the local music community.  Now, we may not all get along, or even be aware of one another, but for me, I wanted to try and bridge that gap. If anything that comes out of it, I’d love of the artists and the labels to all at least acknowledge one another, realize we’re all working towards a common goal of making a living via music, or helping others achieve that. I know, I’ve got big dreams.

Second, and this has been important this summer with the Austin Music Census coming to light, is that we’ve got to create a larger awareness for the masses in regards to what goes on behind the scenes in our city.  The ridiculous thing is that we’re still all living by the “Live Music Capital of the World,” yet many participants in Austin check off going to a show by hitting up ACL or Fun Fun Fun Fest.  Those are all great events, and I gladly go to both, but people don’t seem to realize that the local music community is only a small percentage of the performers at those events.  If, and this is a big if, we can get more people to come out to local shows, especially younger audiences, then perhaps we can continue the music scene here, and fight back against some of the problems the artists face in Austin by supporting them.  The labels in Austin, of which there are many, are doing their best to make it feasible, spending their hard earned dollars to put out music in Austin, simply because they believe in the cause. Simply because they love music and they want you to love it to.

And ultimately, this is a celebration.  I run ATH Records with my friend Mike, but also run this site, so I get to hear a lot of the releases from all these labels each and every day.  I’m amazed at the diversity and the hard work that goes by unnoticed, and I can only hope that people come out and see a little slice of what has kept the Austin music scene running. An event such as this is for these people and all that they do to give something meaningful back to Austin.

So enough of that rant. Come and join us, celebrate with us, pick up a few records.  Here’s a little playlist I tossed together for you to listen so you know what you want to pick up when you walk in.

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