The Best Of Drag City


Hopefully, you’ve come to look forward to this feature every month. You know, the feature where we ask one of the many fine labels we work with to compile a sort of “best of” playlist to showcase their fine wares. Well, wares don’t get much finer than the Drag City catalog. For nearly 30 years, the Chicago-based label has been blowing minds with the variety of their releases. Frankly, if you don’t have more Drag City records on your shelf than even you realize, then you don’t have a record collection (and shame on you for that!) But you’re not here to read me writing about them, at least… not when you can read about them from themselves! Take it away Rian!



Perhaps it would be more accurate to call this set Drag City’s “Tip O’ the Iceberg”, as it attempts to define the bloody-minded aesthetic of the label by AVOIDING greatest hits, suggesting instead that among the 5000-plus other numbers, the rest are as best as best.

We know…what th‘?!

The songs were selected more for their evocative individual qualities as well as an ability to flow, and rather diversely at that, as a whole, most for thy listening pleasure. Additionally, a few axes are ground on behalf of our in-house playlist editors, who feel that the deeper we go into the catalog, the greater the qualities of the songs are, in terms of accessing intimate (and therefore universal) places within listeners virtually EVERYWHERE.

It is a testament to the depth of said catalog (if we do say so ourselves – blush!) that 20 songs can be chosen without even touching Joanna Newsom or Jim O’Rourke (cos neither of ’em are on Spotify, ha!) or other equally trail-blazing DC-ites as folky chanteuse Meg Baird, mystic metalloids OM, fusion-rocker Papa M, the old-world troubadours Faun Fables, new guardists Wand or any of all the rest! But you DO get Ty Segall, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Smog, Silver Jews and sixteen other stars and stalwarts of both current and vintage….uhhh, vintage, all from the label that doesn’t know how to not keep giving!

Have a Drag – pure gold and solid-rock platitudes.

Rian Murphy, Drag City Records


Thanks again to Rian and the rest of our pals at Drag City for putting all the work into this. Enjoy the hell out of the playlist everybody! Rock it like your life depends on it. It, of course, doesn’t. But also, it does!