X-Cetra – Stardust

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Title: Stardust
Artist: X-Cetra
Year: 2000
Genre: Pop
Type: Girls only

Produced by Robin O’Brien and with minimal electric backing music by Achim Treu, this middle school girl pop project is endearing as it straddles the line between sincere and cringe-inducing.  With topics like boys and how much fun they’re gonna have during summer, the lyrics add a lot to the charm.  My favorite song is probably “Another Girl,” with its infectiously silly chorus.

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Swarnim School students – Children’s Songs Vol. 1

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Title: Children’s Songs Vol. 1
Artist: Swarnim School students
Year: Unknown (1980s)
Genre: Folk
Type: Mixed gender

A treat from a former student of Kathmandu’s Swarnim School.  This collection of English and Nepali songs is performed by a class of students, with the music done by the music teacher Raamesh Shrestha.  The children’s smiles on the cassette’s cover translates quite well over into their voices.

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Skullbusters – Our Blow Out! compilation tracks

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Title: Our Blow Out!
Artist: Skulbusters
Year: 1983
Genre: Punk
Type: Boys only

Been awhile since I posted any boy punk, so here are the two tracks that Skullbusters contributed to the Our Blow Out! compilation from Slow Death Cassettes.

Skullbusters was a San Diego band, headed by Paul Lima when he was about 9 years old.  Other than these two songs, they don’t seem to have recorded anything else to vinyl or cassette.  “Rat Race” is the fast-paced, high energy track, while “No Comment” is content to plod along at its own pace before hitting a climax.  Of the two, I’d say my favorite is “Rat Race” since it shows off Paul’s vocals a bit more.

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St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church – The Children’s Choir

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Title: The Children’s Choir
Artist: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Year: Unknown
Genre: Choral
Type: Mixed gender

A little album from Houma, Louisiana, whose church still exists but unfortunately it looks like the choir itself doesn’t.  The choir started in 1975 and seemed to do pretty well, winning the 1978 New Orleans Philharmonic Auditions.  The back of the album also does well to mention that these kiddos earned all of their travel money themselves by selling Episcopal Kalendars, recycling aluminum cans, and holding garage sales.  The album itself delivers ten tracks of good ol’-fashioned hymns sung by the choir’s 24 members.

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Baggyy Boys – I Want You To Know…

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Title: I Want You To Know
Artist: Baggyy Boys
Year: 1998
Genre: Pop
Type: Boys only

I’ve been on a disco kick lately, so I was delighted when I found this cheesy single from three young German boys.  I know next to nothing about them except that their names are Vladi, André, and Alexander and that apparently they once played at some Men In Black party and dance contest in Munich.  Despite how pop and produced it is, I admit to enjoying this music a lot.

The first track is the titular “I Want You To Know” and is a typical teenage first love song that reminds me of stuff put out by Aaron Carter and similar artists.  There’s also a karaoke version of this, but I didn’t include it because what’s the point if you aren’t hearing these prepubescent stars?
The real star of the show is the other track, “Ninja.”  I know you’re already expecting something great from the name alone, and you’re not wrong.  The song starts with a narration describing a ninja (“In a dark land lived a dark man in his dark clothes…”) before the beat kicks in and the singer says the only other words spoken throughout the song – “ninja, go!”  The music itself is pretty excellent itself, but my favorite part is the faux-Asian synth riff that appears halfway through the song.

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Choir Of Men And Boys Of St. Thomas Episcopal Church – My Favorite Hymns

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Title: My Favorite Hymns
Artist: Choir Of Men And Boys Of St. Thomas Episcopal Church w/Leontyne Price
Year: 1966
Genre: Choral
Type: Mixed aged, mixed gender

Though Leontyne Price is technically the “star” of this album, we’re not hear for the soulful voice of a grown women, and the boys of the choir provide a gorgeous backdrop to both the leading lady as well as the men.

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V/A – 24 Top Pop Anak-Anak

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Title: 24 Top Pop Anak-Anak
Artist: Various artists
Year: 1992
Genre: Pop
Type: Mixed gender

This cassette chronicles some of the more popular Indonesian children’s songs, most of them coming from cartoons.  My favorite is probably “Kura2 Ninja,” a high-energy theme for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.

This particular tape comes from Brave New World, who specialize in Asian and European hardcore and punk, as well as whatever other interesting things the author runs across.  If their link dies, then please comment and I will re-upload it for you.

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