♫♪  Various Artists: Third Kind Records - THIRD27 [Christmas tape / charity fundraiser for Shelter UK]

Man, I hope you guys did as well as I did on Black Friday — I’m a camper-outer, then a serial elbower when it comes to navigating the crowds on the way to all those fantastic deals. My apartment is filled to overflowing with brand new stuff. I was back at it on Small Business Saturday, and I’m just warming up for madness that Cyber Monday brings. What do you think I’m doing as I’m barely writing this? (It’s the crack of dawn on Monday, FYI. I’m sweating too.)

So yeah, I kicked off the holiday season the right way, but there may be an even better way to get into the Christmas spirit than canned carols forced into your ear canals and an endless array of red and green outfits signaling your seasonal seriousness. I’m talking about actually giving something away than receiving or, in my case — with so few (read zero) people willing to acknowledge my existence — purchasing things. And it all comes with some newfangled Christmas tunes that’ll surely go down easier than the 800th rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” playing over the loudspeaker at Walmart. Or maybe that’s in my head now for good, I’m not sure anymore.

Yeah, Third Kind Records, the Brighton, UK, purveyors of lovely cassette tapes, have just released THIRD27, a collection of label stalwarts and their friends to benefit Shelter UK, an organization that “helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services.” Which, actually, is a much better thing to spend my money on than a smartwatch or an Echo Dot or something. I don’t need that stuff.

I get it: other people beyond myself need some real cheer, so THIRD27 is what I’m going to scoop up today. It’s got that Sufjan Songs for Christmas vibe in that it’s eclectic and fresh and interesting all the way through, everything you don’t expect from a holiday release. And if it can untwist my capitalist heart enough to see the real need out there, it might do the same for you. Maybe I wasn’t doing this whole holiday warmup “the right way” after all.


1. Dakota Blue - Cashmere
2. Embla Quickbeam - Boreal Sonne
3. Hattie Cooke - Christmas Eve
4. Fisty Kendal - Driving Home For Christmas
5. Mudd Corp - Een Beetje Moe
6. Peter Hoggarth - Christmas On The Moon
7. Crater93 - Pole Star
8. Reflex Condition - Spheres Of Influence
9. Lisa Sonoda - Do You Want To Find Out (No Voltage Mix)
10. Elizabeth Veldon - A Ghost Story For Christmas
11. Philinois - Return Of The Magi
12. Philinois - Winter
13. Peter Hoggarth - Christmas In Hawaii
14. Linden Pomeroy - Falling Snow
15. Erm - I Am Satan Claws
16. Mock Church - Meanwhile, Back At Bible Camp
17. Erm & Nickname - What Do You Want For Christmas?
18. Pete’s Christmas Greeting

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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