“Playing little records all by myself /
Pick up the needle and put it down any place /
It’s gonna take a crow bar to pry this grin off my face”
—Half Japanese, “Little Records” (1989)
Little Records is a streaming podcast, available on Mixcloud, dedicated to the underground rock we love from the late ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s. You may have tossed your fanzines and mixtapes a long time ago, but no regrets — Little Records has your back. Take comfort in the past, my indie rock friends, and lend me your ears. Together, we’ll keep the ’80s weird.
Little Records, based in Baltimore, MD, was established in 2014 as a streaming radio station,1 then transitioned to a podcast in early 2015. Little Records2 approaches its curation through the retelling of Modern Rock’s great narrative — its ascent from obscurity to popularity — that began with punk rock in 1976 and grew, unhinged and without pause, until grunge died on April 5, 1994. We pick up where many fabulous college rock radio stations left off, by plucking the best tunes heralded by CMJ playlists and hand-stapled fanzines alike. Little Records caters to those wishing to wade in deeper waters. Our focus often turns to the more forgotten bands who were further removed from the national radar, and, in some cases, barely even a blip on their regional radar. The common denominator of our podcasts is that each song contained within, in some small way, adds something of interest to the greater conversation on indie music’s coming-of-age3 during its pimply, pre-Pitchfork days.
Thanks for listening!
1 Before Little Records could launch, we had to spend more than two years digitizing a vinyl record collection. So really, this project began in early 2012. And yes, an overwhelming majority of what you hear was ripped from glorious analog vinyl on an old Technics table run through an older Marantz amp.
2 Our cool turntable logo was illustrated by Richmond-based artist John K. Harrison.
3 An important note about the songs we spin: Without doubt, Little Records will, at some point, spin a song that offends you. There are many songs from this era of music that include cursing, derogatory remarks, offensive language, sexist comments, and just plain old stupid, idiotic crap. But we do not censor our podcasts. We feel it’s important to steer clear of revising history. The 1980s were a time of political incorrectness; look no further than the band names themselves — Dead Kennedys, Butthole Surfers, Revolting Cocks, and Crucifucks all reside at just the tip of the iceberg — let alone the content of the songs. Tough skin and/or consideration of context may, from time to time, be necessary.
WHAT THE PRESS IS SAYING ABOUT LITTLE RECORDS
“Highly recommended!” — Slicing Up Eyeballs
“Seriously fun stuff, both from a flashback perspective and as a deejay-engaging-the-listener angle.” — Blurt
“It’s like the radio station I always wished existed back then.” — Dad Rock
“It’s all great—especially if you became familiar with this music back in the day—but the programming is also heavy with obscure tracks from artists that you’ll want to further investigate.” — Magnet
“The Little Records podcast is unmatched for the depth of the genres and time covered.” — Indie Pop Saved My Life
“We love the [podcast] — always left of the dial.” — Review Stalker
“We’ve been listening daily for a few weeks now and we could go on and on forever about all the favorites we’ve heard and all the hidden gems we’ve discovered.” — Baltimore Chop
WHAT OUR LISTENERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LITTLE RECORDS
“Did you steal my mixtape cassettes from the 80s? … So glad I found your channel!! Like finding them all over again!”
“Aces, aces, aces. Your mixes are always so great!”
“Your [podcasts] keep me sane at work. Thanks and keep ‘em coming!”
“Without fail, these podcasts remind me of great songs that I’d forgotten, and often introduce me to things that I should have heard 20 years ago.”
“Holy shite. I mean, really!”
“Little Records has become a constant companion around our house. There’s a level of attention and care to your curation that even the best algorithm will never be able to replicate.”
“I love the mix of the familiar and the obscure. Always something to discover and enjoy.”
“You play the music I did not know I liked.”
“Blimey! Another great show that takes me back to my long-fringed indie days.”
“Like the best mixtape you could ever get.”
“Little Records is basically all I listen to anymore.”
“OMFG I keep saying ‘MY FUCKING TUNE!’ Great job mate!”