Tomorrow (March 26) marks the 30th anniversary of the Hoboken-based independent label Bar/None, whose roster has, at various times, included artists such as Yo La Tengo, Of Montreal, The Feelies, They Might Be Giants, Richard Barone and Freedy Johnston — in some cases years before these artists’ music achieved widespread recognition.
To celebrate, I’ve put together this collection of 20 Bar/None songs, beginning with “Enough Is Never Enough,” by the first band on the label, Rage to Live (led by Bar/None co-founder Glenn Morrow).
It’s not meant as a definitive overview of all the music that has come out on the label — that would take much more than 20 videos — but is just a collection of some of my favorite songs from the label’s history. Among the many Bar/None artists not represented here — simply in order to keep the post at a manageable length — are Hem, Esquivel, DJ Spooky, Edwyn Collins, Alex Chilton, Luka Bloom, Juliana Hatfield, Epic Soundtracks, Tindersticks, Shirk Circus and 10,000 Maniacs. Well over 100 artist are listed on the label’s online artists’ page.
So anyway, here are the songs, arranged chronologically. Enjoy!
“Enough Is Never Enough,” Rage to Live,” from Rage to Live (1986)
“She’s an Angel,” from They Might Be Giants (1986)
“Not Gonna Be Alright,” The Original Sins, from Big Soul (1987)
“Kashmir,” The Ordinaires, from One (1989)
“Did I Tell You,” Yo La Tengo, from Fakebook (1990)
“Fun Ride,” Freedy Johnston, from The Trouble Tree (1990)
“Destiny’s Darling,” Kate Jacobs, from The Calm Comes After (1993)
“We Are Here,” The Health & Happiness Show, from Tonic (1993)
“Walking the Dog,” Kathy McCarty, from Dead Dog’s Eyeball: The Songs of Daniel Johnston (1994)
“Fun Lovin’ Nun,” Of Montreal, from The Gay Parade (1999)
“Space Oddity,” The Langley Schools Music Project, originally released in 1976, re-released on the 2001 Bar/None compilation, Innocence & Despair.
“Watch Your Step,” Brenda Kahn, from The Songs of Elvis Costello (2002)
“Sunshine Barato,” Mosquitos, from Sunshine Barato (2004)
“Brown Boxes,” The Spinto Band, from Nice and Nicely Done (2005)
“I Can See for Miles,” Petra Haden, from Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out (2005)
“Glow,” Richard Barone, from Glow (2010)
“Again Today,” The Feelies, from Here Before (2011).
“Twin Size Mattress,” The Front Bottoms, from Talon of the Hawk (2013)
“Aeroplane,” Speed the Plough, originally released in 1991 by East Side Digital on the album Wonder Wheeel, re-released on the 2013 Bar/None complilation, The Plough and the Stars.
“Hana,” Glenn Mercer, from Incidental Hum (2015)