For 16 years now, DC by way of NYC Carpark Records has been one of the finer proponents of all things indie—in sound and spirit both. In addition to a special basketball-themed picture disc to commemorate the label’s anniversary, Carpark is hosting 3 shows to celebrate 16 years of slinging some fine records our way. We have a pair of tickets to 2 of those shows to put in the hands of 2 of you, the Friday (3/6) show at Baby’s All Right in NYC and the Saturday (3/7) show at Washington, DC’s DC9.
First up however, label founder Todd Hyman was kind enough to pull himself away from the turntable to offer us some insights into the label’s inception and continued success.
“Carpark began in New York City in the late ’90s. I was working at a friend’s record store in the East Village and we started hosting a weekly DJ/experimental electronic music night at indie rock institution Brownies on Avenue A. I think a lot of people into indie music at that time felt like indie rock had reached its end. DM/electronic type music seemed like a natural progression. Brownies still had bands playing every night but they ended them early then and began hosting DJ nights starting around 11 til closing (4am). We were on a Wednesday night.”
This kind of electronic music seemed like the future to me at the time. People making and performing music on their laptops! Seems rather mundane now, but it was brand new back then. Portable computers were finally getting powerful enough, and useful programs were finally available to the average consumer.
In addition to DJing at this night, called Invisible Cities, we hosted live music. Turned out there were quite a few folks making music on their computers with nowhere to play. We gave them a place to play. Some of the folks we hosted just to give you an idea: Marumari, Kid606, Cex, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Greg Davis, Lucky Kitchen, Kit Clayton, Safety Scissors, Jake Mandell, Zammuto, B. Fleischmann, and many others.
I thought there should be a professional label to represent this kind of music. Carpark was born!