Run For Cover Records just released their 50th album which ended up being a compilation of label artists and non-label friends. Mixed Signals has the ability to go down as a compilation to look back on ten to twenty years down the line. I asked label founder/owner Jeff Casazza to give me five of his favorite compilations. Below are some great choices worth checking out.
1. Dischord 1981: The Year in Seven Inches
This is a compilation that includes the first four 7"s from unarguably one of the coolest indie labels ever, Dischord Records. Teen Idles, State of Alert, Government Issue, and Youth Brigade (the one from DC obviously) were all featured on the original LP released in 1984, and I believe the Minor Threat EPs on the release later on. I got this in high school simply because I knew Ian Mackaye from Minor Threat was in the Teen Idols, and that Henry Rollins had sang in SOA. I thought it was awesome then and I still think it's awesome now.
2. Equal Vision Records Label Sampler
Back in the day when people liked music more, labels released samplers, charged $5 for them, and it was an easy way for someone to check out all the bands on a single label. Equal Vision released a compilation 11 years ago which (I believe) was exclusively distributed through Hot Topic featuring songs from their ridiculous lineup at the time; Saves the Day, Converge, The Stryder, One King Down, Snapcase, Bane, Ten Yard Fight, Hands Tied, Floorpunch, Refused, H20, 108, and more. Sure there's a few weird tracks on it, but when you're 14, that list of bands cannot be beat. Even my Phish-bootleg-collection obsessed friend Pete absolutely loved "Can We Start Again" [by Bane].
3. Punk-o-Rama III
You'd think a punk compilation with 25 relatively similar bands would get old quickly, but for some reason it never did. It didn't even matter what bands were on the Punk O Rama CDs because you knew exactly what to expect going into it. I chose number three of the series because of the exclusive NOFX song which is pretty incredible by NOFX standards. Other awesome tracks: Rancid, Osker, and my favorite Bad Religion song.
4. Saddle Creek 50
Saddle Creek was so cool. It still might be, I am not really sure, but this was a really great time for this label. Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Cursive and the Faint were all staples of my youth. I even liked the more obscure Saddle Creek stuff. It's crazy that this was only their 50th release. This CD features some of the best songs by the best bands this label had to offer.
5. Short Music For Short People
This record is nearly impossible to listen to, and I wouldn't even say I like it, but it's pretty awesome in its own right and the tracklist is pretty impressive: Green Day, Blink 182, Misfits, Anti Flag, Avail, Black Flag, NOFX, Screeching Weasel, The Offspring, Descendents, Samiam, Dillinger Four, Bad Religion, Strung Out, etc. The AFI song is incredible.