So Burger Records and Light In the Attic Records have collaborated to release an impressive collection of limited-release cassettes. Yes, cassettes. Some of these were released when Jimmy Carter was president and people used rotary phones.
But don’t hold that against them.
From May 13 through July 22, one cassette a week will be released. Each tape is hand-numbered and neatly contained in DIY tip-on jackets. You might ask — what is a tip-on jacket? They date to the early days of vinyl’s popularity in the ’50s and ’60s. It’s like a nice hardbound book cover. Pirates Press has a nice explanation.
A few of the offerings:
PiL: First Issue, Limited to 500
The post-punk band PiL had its heyday in the late 70s and early 80s. “First Issue” debuted in 1978. The cover features a rather blank-looking John Lydon in a suit– save for that wild left eye. “First Issue” is a precursor to the classic “Metal Box,” known for its experimental style and post-punk apathy.
The album includes the pivotal song “Public Image” written by John Lydon when he was with the Sex Pistols. According to Wikipedia, First Issue was not released in the U.S., so here’s your chance.
Big Boys: Lullabies Help the Brain Grow, Limited to 500
The Big Boys, originally from Austin, Texas, were a hardcore punk band at the forefront of its style as it evolved during the Me-time of the 80s.. Their album “Lullabies Help the Brain Grow” was released in 1983.
The Big Boys are also credited with helping create the funkcore style, throwing some funk rhythms into their mix. The band had five drummers during its existence, one of whom played regularly with Scratch Acid and Ministry. For indie-film lovers, the Big Boys grabbed a spot in the 2006 Sundance film “American Hardcore.”
Skipping ahead to the 90s, indie-rock artists Built to Spill released “Ultimate Alternative Wavers” in 1993. The band comes straight from the heart of the country (Boise, Idaho) while the cover is taken straight from “Awkward Family Photos.”
Betty Davis: Betty Davis, Limited to 500.
Betty Davis is a funk singer, also known for being Miles Davis’ second wife. Betty Davis also introduced the jazz legend to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone and laid the foundation for Davis’ “Bitches Brew,” and allegedly convinced Miles to not title it “Witches Brew.” Their marriage didn’t last, but Betty Davis appears on the cover of Miles Davis’ “Filles de Kilimanjaro.”
Her self-titled debut album was released in 1973. Her work never received much commercial success, but the fact that she shaped so much of Miles Davis and jazz fusion it must be mentioned here. Her last album, “Nasty Gal,” was released in 1975 but “Is it Love or Desire?” was recorded in 1976 but released in 2009.
The cassettes can also be available as a subscription series.
Visit blog.lightintheattic.net. Here’s the full list:
Rodriguez – Cold Fact – Limited to 1,000
Rodriguez – Coming From Reality – Limited to 1,000
Big Boys – Lullabies Help The Brain Grow – Limited to 500
Big Boys – No Matter How Long The Line At The Cafeteria, There’s Always A Seat – Limited to 500
PiL – First Issue– Limited to 500
Betty Davis – Betty Davis – Limited to 500
The Black Angels – Passover – Limited to 1,500
The Black Angels – Directions To See A Ghost – Limited to 1,500
Jim Sullivan – UFO – Limited to 500
Honey Ltd – The Complete LHI Years – Limited to 500
Karen Dalton – In My Own Time – Limited to 500
Roky Erickson – Evil One – Limited to 500
The Free Design – Kites Are Fun– Limited to 500
Built To Spill – Ultimate Alternative Wavers– Limited to 500