Bootstrap Example


Where the recording method - usually primitive - deliberately results in a lo-fidelity, hissy or otherwise sketchy sound, so much so that it becomes the main focus beyond conventional genre.

The Jukebox Pick (of 595):

 The Window Song

 (John Darnielle)

 The Mountain Goats

 10 out of 10 “Utterly perfect” Lo-Fi

 First released on “Pawnshop Reverb” (Shrimper SHR-28) in 1992, a sampler cassette for friend-of-the-group Dennis Callaci's label. At 24, John Darnielle was a late starter as a recording artist, but the über-prolific Californian wasted no time when he got going, releasing an incredible amount of songs on a bewildering array of albums, singles and compilations, notably on cassette and 7" vinyl formats. The Mountain Goats name was 1-year-old when “The Window Song” was released, and it must have shone like a star for the very small number who heard it originally. Fearlessly embracing the home-recording aesthetic, the quality of the songwriting positively demands that you turn the volume up, turn the bass up, and get the treble just so. Mix your own album - does the artist have to do everything for you? Ha! And therein lies the thrill of discovery when sifting for the lo-fi gem, unheard by the masses and their preference for the fully-polished stones. “The Window Song” is a simple affair - an unrealised love is about to be fulfilled; “I moved toward your voice, and my body got so light, I could've walked on eggs right then and not broken a one of them”. Beautiful. Accompanying our plaintive cassonova-in-denial on his acoustic guitar are 2 (or 3?) voices from his “Bright Mountain Choir” (a rotating cast of Rachel Ware, Amy Piatt, Sarah Arslanian, Roseanne Lindley), who often appeared in the early 90s work. They give the romance a two-way feel: “I know you, You're the one, I spent three seasons trying, To pretend that I never knew”. Three seasons have been wasted, but in the immortal words of The Shirelles, “Tonight's The Night”. I can only hope she's not a ghost...

Some favourite artists:

The Mountain Goats, Times New Viking, Simon Joyner, Spare Snare

The Jukebox pick:


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