Words and Mix by Ryan Patterson of Coliseum
When self-titled asked me to put together a follow-up to my DC/Dischord mix from a few years ago, I struggled for a moment trying to think of another local scene that had as much of an impact on me as the DC one. (Outside of my hometown of Louisville of course, but I’d already created a Louisville mix for Land Animal a while back.) Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, sure…All of these cities spawned countless incredible bands but few had the same kind of tight-knit community that the DC scene seemed to have in its history.
So I thought about record labels and a few popped into my mind: SST, Touch and Go, Merge, Sub Pop, Matador, Homestead, Rough Trade, Stiff, Dangerhouse, Factory. Touch and Go (and their sister imprint Quarterstick) was the obvious choice for me. I could probably remain happy the rest of my life with only music released by Dischord, SST, and Touch and Go. SST’s great bands are untouchable but the label is notorious for not paying their bands (hence why most of them have taken their back catalogs to other labels) and all the current Black Flag reunion nonsense just adds a further sour slant to the SST story. Touch and Go did it all the right way—they treated their bands wonderfully, they fostered a community that extended through most of the artists on the label, they helped countless other labels grow and thrive via their distribution arm, and they released a huge variety of great music.