At 10 years old, Captured Tracks founder and owner Mike Sniper was already doing business at the lunch table. "There was this kid who was really into heavy metal, and my sister gave me all her heavy metal tapes because she was getting into other stuff," he says. "I didn't like heavy metal, and she had gotten me into Depeche Mode, the Cure, the Ramones, Buzzcocks--so I started to trade with him for that stuff. Just like any kid, you're into whatever anyone's telling you to be into. "
Captured Tracks' Mike Sniper
That last off-the-cuff comment belies Sniper's astute ear, which has shaped his Brooklyn-based label since he packaged and distributed its first releases in 2008 from the basement of Academy Records in Flatiron. This weekend, Captured Tracks celebrates its fifth-year anniversary and the opening of its first brick-and-mortar store with a two-day festival, abbreviated as CT5. The lineup, including freak-rock auteur Mac DeMarco, the hazy dream-pop of Soft Metals, and Blouse's chilly darkwave, indicates just how far the label has come. At the first Captured Tracks Festival in 2009, this year's headliners and flagship artists Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils had yet to release albums that would take off--Gemini and Beach Fossils, respectively--going on to sell thousands of copies and establishing the label's tastemaking reputation.More »