Internet Tunes

Household Ink Records

By Brett Leigh Dicks

Two things strike you when you first explore Household Ink Records’ recent venture into the world of streaming Internet-based radio. The first is the eclectic nature of this dynamic homegrown label, and the second is the sheer depth of its remarkable catalogue. For nearly 20 years, Household Ink has been a musical haven for some of Santa Barbara’s most free-feeling and imaginative musicians, recording and releasing everything from the plaintive elegance of Nate Birkey to the bristling avant-pop of Flapping, Flapping. Oblivious to trends, the label’s course has been charted by substance. To celebrate Household Ink’s 20th anniversary, Household head (and master critic) Joe Woodard has taken its impressive catalogue to the digital airwaves.

“I’ve been trying to think of ways to expand the label’s admittedly humble reach,” explained Woodard. “And the idea of streaming was one that has been nagging at me for a while. Actually, the label-specific streaming radio station was a no-brainer, especially once I realized that we have a pretty sizable catalogue now of about 25 titles — plus some CDs that are loosely connected to us, like honorary kinfolk. To my ears, it all hangs together. It’s hard to say what other ears will hear, but the mix seems to me to be reminiscent of old school, freeform FM radio, when there was a whole lot more blurring of lines between genres.”

Household Ink draws from a diverse musical armory that doesn’t just explore musical borders — it crashes through them. First Shelly Rudolph makes a refined offering of rhythm and blues, and then Ellen Turner and Dudley give us tumultuous art folk until the sublime pop sensibility of Glen Phillips finally rains down upon us. The label might paint from a colorful musical palette, but its impasto approach provides an enchanting alternative to formulaic mainstream radio music programming. In an age where demographics and marketing strategies all too often determine content, it’s refreshing to hear something that is fueled by a real sense of community. And that is certainly something worth celebrating. See

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Folding Bikes Added to ‘Last Mile’ Transport for New Train Service

Pilot program to get commuters from station to work.

Gaviota Coast Matriarch Passes Away

Singer Elizabeth Hvolboll held a trove of Refugio region memories.

Both Sides Draw Blood in Dario Pini Trial

The courtroom drama opened with questions about who should have control over how many properties.

Pair of F-22s Buzz Santa Barbara City College

Turbulence rattles windows and nerves on Monday morning.

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.