About Us

Carrot Top Records, Inc.
3716 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 486-1400
(773) 486-1401 fax
patrick@carrottoprecords.com

Sporadically releasing music of baffling quality for over 20 years! We also run a record store and a record distributor.

Unsolicited Demo Submissions

Since Carrot Top Records is a very small label, the chances of getting signed as a new artist from an unsolicited demo submission are less than minuscule. This is not to say that your music isn’t good, or even great, or that we don’t or won’t like it. We like lots of music. We just don’t release most of it. The record collection is full of records loved but not released. Because of time and financial constraints, we are only able to release 2-3 records a year on average. While we don’t even have time to listen to all of the demo submissions or respond to all queries that we get, rumors of unearthing an unopened demo from an early version of Radiohead are greatly exaggerated.*

Barring a winning lottery ticket and a massive change in taste here, we are not interested in releasing rap, urban contemporary, lite jazz, teen pop, commercial alternative rock, metal, punk rock, eighth wave ska, and other currently profitable genres, but if you have unreleased Lee Perry tapes from the 60′s and 70′s, of course we’d love to hear those.

When you do not hear back from us, don’t take it personally. We don’t hate you or your music. We’re just very busy sweeping up the warehouse.

 

I’m a songwriter.  I want your band to cover my song.
I’m a musician. I want to collaborate with your bands.

We get a fair amount of these. We do not tell our bands what songs to cover or who to play with. One of the main advantages to being on a small label is that, within reason, our bands have creative control over their own projects. We are not producers. This isn’t Nashville. We don’t tell them what to record or who to work with.

I’m a musician just starting out. What should I do?

There’s no magic formula that we’ve ever found. The things that have always worked still work–there’s just less money. Just write write write and play play play.

  • Meet some other musicians and work to get on bills with them.
  • Contact some of the excellent small club bookers at places like Schuba’s, Hideout, Whistler, Burlington, Reggie’s, Fitzgerald’s, Space, or The Owl and get your name in the hopper to open up for larger bands who might be similar.
  • If you see somebody coming through town that you think you’d be a good fit with, ask the booker to get on that specific show.
  • When you do get on a show as an opening act, work your butt off promoting it.
  • Ask the booker if they do a poster delivery around town, and where, and then get them posters to distribute. Find out places they don’t hit (coffee shops, bars, clubs, stores, boutiques) and place posters there yourself. This will not only help your draw directly, but will impress the club booker and perhaps the headlining artist.
  • Work to create long weekend mini-tours with your pals and book shows in Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and college towns in Ill, IN, and WI.
  • Establish positive relationships and take advantage of your youthful energy to outwork lazy musicians.
  • But mostly, just keep playing.
  • Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Once you have a tight 25-30 minute set, are playing consistently good shows, and have built a following, then invite labels and booking agents to your shows.

It is important that you know that you can do all of these things perfectly,  but the world still may not beat a path to your door. It is almost a sure bet that if you do not do these things, nothing will drop in your lap. There are many good musicians and songwriters who are lawyers, architects, hairdressers, librarians, carpenters, nurses, stay at home moms, or bus drivers. If you feel compelled to get what’s inside you out into the world, I have yet to see anybody suggest a different reliable path.

 

The Last Word

Any unsolicited demo you send is of your own volition and will not be returned to you. Please do not expect a response for either your demo submission or your e-mail query about your demo. We are not able to respond to submissions. There are no plans to work with any new artists for the forseeable future or to increase our release schedule. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

Privacy Policy

Neither Carrot Top Records, Inc., nor CTD, Ltd. will ever share or otherwise disclose any personal information gathered from any customer or visitor to our web sites with any other party unless we sell the company.