Not sure what it is. I can't put my finger on it yet.
I wouldn't rule out music based on the label. However, I am cautious when I see the ever present Warner Brothers label on indie music, but I love Built to Spill and The Shins. So I should I continue to purchase albums by them even if it means supporting Warner Brothers?
Big presses do publish some amazing work. Kenneth Koch, John Yau, Alice Notley for example. So maybe I am just off the mark and really pumped up by The Geographics and want to project my amazement onto all small small presses. However, in my mind, Built to Spill lost a lot of edge as they moved into a big label. Some of the songs were overproduced etc.
Does the same thing tend to happen in the poetry world?
The raw gets over-cooked.
I really don't see the point (other than tenure and professionalism) of publishing in various "well-respected" university journals or the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review etc.
Duration Press is host to a lot of risk taking presses.
The names of a lot of the small small presses say, most of the time, this will not give you tenure. This is not official sounding etc.
O, and just to clarify my last post, I love Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School. Opened up a lot possibilities for me.
So, onto Lyn Hejinian's My Life and Howe's Singularities.