Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Low-Fi

Ah, low-fi music. I just have a soft spot in my heart for those songs...often homemade, DIY artists of varying talent, but always very interesting results.

Of course, since most of it was released on cassette tape back in "the day," a lot of it is hard to come by these days. But some has not only survived the passing of time, there are still artists and people who have taken the home recording cassette scene to a new level and are recording through email and file downloads.

But, first, I am going to revisit some of the greats from the cassette culture era.

Don Campau
is one of the main artists of this genre, with a recording career that spans back to 1970. He is the founder of Lonely Whistle Records and also hosts a radio show called No Pigeonholes. While he did contribute a new track to the Wayside Waifs Charity CD, he is certainly no stranger to Christmas music (though he has told me in the past he hates Christmas music!) and produced a compilation of Christmas music for Lonely Whistle back in 1986. While I don't have a direct link for that compilation, there is a comp from Norway that features many of the same tracks.

Don was kind enough to share with me a CD copy of his compilation, and I do know that there are a few of the artists on there who may not want their music shared online. But I am sure Don is fine with it...he's been a friend of this blog and a supporter of the Wayside CD since I told him about it... so I am going to share with you some of the early Christmas tunes from that compilation.

Don Campau-Drummer Boy/Do You Hear?

Ken Clinger is also another one who's influence on the home recording scene dates back more than a quarter century and aside from his vast body of work he's personally put out he's contributed to many projects and collaborated with various artists in his career. It was sure an honor when he decided to contribute (and collaborate) to the Wayside Waifs CD! But I found that these were not the first Christmas songs he collaborated on. Back in 1986 he had two songs on the Lonely Whistle compilation, one solo and one he did as a collaboration. I would like to share those with you today.

Ken Clinger-Astounded by Snow

Ellen Miz Elle & Ken Clinger-Jingle Bells

While we are honoring those who have been mainstays in the home recording scene, I have to give a nod to Ray Carmen, who also contributed to the Wayside Waifs CD with "Jingle Bell Rock." But Ray recently released a Christmas cover on his My Space page that just blew my socks off. I wrote to him and said I wish he had included that song for the Wayside CD, not that I had any problems with "Jingle Bell Rock," but I simply just love what he did with this song. Yoko Ono would be proud...

Ray Carmen-Listen the Snow is Falling

In my quest for some goodies online by artists from the cassette culture era, I did find a few goodies I would also like to share with you, goodies that I believe capture the spirit of the cassette culture in a modern setting.

Tapehiss Recordings is the first I found. Started as a means for Scott Carr to release his solo work, it has gone on include a few more acts. Hot Buttered Elves is one of the acts included on the label and I am astounded by what I have heard so far and will certainly seek out more of their work.

This comes from Tapehiss Recording's My Space page so I credited the song to Tapehiss Recordings but it appears that this song is actually by Hot Buttered Elves.

Tapehiss Recordings-That Winter Mood

Hot Buttered Elves is a collaboration between artists from both sides of America, collaborating over the Internet. The results are perhaps some of the best Christmas music being released today. They have a number of recordings available on CD Baby, and I have to say this is perhaps some of the best work I've found on CD Baby.

Here is their single they released on My Space...

Hot Buttered Elves-A Winter Perfect Moon

Last, but not least, is an oddity that I just randomly found while not deliberately looking for it. In fact, I can't even recall how I found it, but it was at bomb-MP3. It had that home made feel to it that I felt was fitting for this post.

Colleen Af Venable And Annie Sanders-A Very Fluffy Christmas

And I would be remiss if I didn't remind you to BUY a copy of my Wayside Waifs CD! It's available as a CD or a download! Please click on the links to the right of the screen for more details. ALL the money made off the CD goes to benefit Wayside Waifs. I am not profiting at all from this, folks, and nobody involved is even getting a free copy of the CD! Heck, I even bought my own copy, so be sure to get yours TODAY!

Thank you ever so kindly, I appreciate you reading and listening.

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