100% endorsed by everyone who has heard it, yo. XTC, ‘mats, Ride, Nikki Sudden, Tall Dwarfs, New Model Army, the Embarrassment and more. Accept no substitutes.
By Fred Mills
One of the great pleasures of the Internet is being able to correspond with exiled Nigerian princes and to purchase my erectile dysfunction meds anonymously, and when I am online I need some soothing music to help keep me focused. So when I discovered Little Records Radio this morning I had to slap myself silly at my good fortune. (Special thanks to Mighty Morphin’ Matt Hickey for turning me on to it.)
LRR bills itself thusly:
This is our idea of what internet radio should be: all the underground rock we love from the late ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s, every song handpicked by fanatics and legally streaming for free 24/7. 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 us your ears. Together, we’ll keep the ’80s weird.
Little Records approaches its curation of ’80s music through the retelling of rock’s Great Narrative that began with punk rock in 1976 and grew, unhinged and without pause, until grunge died on April 5, 1994. At the core of our playlist is what many recall fondly as “college rock,” aka indie and punk rock: groups, like the Pixies, Meat Puppets, The Chills, Yo La Tengo, Camper Van Beethoven, Black Flag, The Stone Roses, and Sonic Youth, who released albums on record labels like SST, Rough Trade, Flying Nun, Homestead, Sub Pop, Dischord, and Factory. We examine the neglected portion of catalogs by established, yet-not-quite-mainstream rock acts like the Jesus & Mary Chain, the Minutemen, Dinosaur Jr., Public Image Ltd., The Replacements, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Smiths. We heart b-sides, live performances, demos, and deep cuts.
Boy howdy to all that. LRR founder The Noiseboy additionally notes that the idea for his online station had been gestating for about 18 months and that the idea is to go well beyond nostalgia and “start a new conversation about old music.” Which of course is never unwelcome. In the space of the last 20 minutes I’ve heard The Embarrassment’s “Hip and Well Read,” XTC’s “Runaways” + “Ball & Chain,” the Volcano Suns’ “Jak,” Poster Children’s “Space Gun” and the Cure’s “Icing Sugar.” Faves of mine, all.
This is seriously fun stuff, both from a flashback perspective and as a deejay-engaging-the-listener angle. There are also a lot of interesting archival images posted. And there’s plenty more to explore once you visit the Little Records Radio website and click on the player. But don’t take my word for it—hop over there yourself at the above link and check ‘em out via the links below as well.