Friday, January 13, 2006

It's A Blackbean & Placenta Christmas

When "Christmas In July" took place over at, someone posted this rather obscure album. I quickly downloaded it onto the pile and didn't pay it too much attention.

I didn't know much about Blackbean & Placenta when I downloaded it nor did i know much about Ned Norland, the person who uploaded the album.

From the limited information I was able to gather from Google, Blackbean & Placenta was an indie label created by Mike Landucci out of his home. He created his own compliations, welcomed contributions from bands, started a Blackbean & Placenta Tape Club (closed now) and over time amassed a nice-sized catalogue of indie bands.

Mike, if you're out there... if I've left something out, please add a comment. I would love to know more of the whens, whys, hows, and history of your label. And if any of the bands on the album want to share their comments on this album, on the whole Blackbean & Placenta experience, I would love to know more!

As for Ned Norland, this one-man gang has been involved in free form radio for many years. He was with the Rutgers University station WRSU from 1999 to 2001 (archived shows from WRSU can be heard here) as well as having his own online radio show No Love For Ned since 2002 (archived shows can be heard here). Ned also has his own blog at MySpace where you can hear his catchy theme song!

Ned, if I've left out any vital info, please feel free to comment!

Ned was gracious to send me a pix of the album cover - ordinary Christmas wrapping paper and a handwritten label by Mike Landucci. As far as I know, this might be the only place online where you can get a good resolution pix of the cover.

As for the music, it's a grand mix of alternative rock, electronica, pop, ambient, and experimental sounds. Here's the playlist (click on the band name for more info):

1.) Flowchart - Lettin' It Snow
2.) The Cannanes - Six White Boomers
3.) Watoo Watoo - Les Visiteurs de Noel
4.) Celesteville - Away In A Manger
5.) Mandorris - Christmas Time Is Here
6.) Beanpole - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (no info out there that I can find)
7.) The Shermans - Last Christmas
8.) Steward - Do They Know It's Christmas Time?
9.) Holiday Flyer - Christmas Song
10.) Wio - Once Upon A Long Ago (no info out there that I can find)
11.) Metronome - Greensleeves

I'm very grateful to Ned for posting this album. I knew indie labels were out there plugging away, trying to bring new music to the public eye, and helping bands get valuable exposure. However, I had no idea Christmas music could be found there as well. It's a search I hope to continue to earth as the years go by.

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...



Watoo Watoo said...

Hi, Michaël from Watoo Watoo speaking. We released 2 records on bbptc & we had some songs on comps.
Mike was a nice guy (i even met him once i was in san francisco), who had lots of children (4 or 5). He wanted to release a lot of records, very quickly, to sell them cheap & he didn't care much about design or whatever (lots of ugly handmade covers, etc.).
he had good ethics also what he did wasn't always clever to the bands. in in 2000 or so, he decided to stop the label & he bought a vinyle pressing plant. then he disappeared.
he was very active on the indiepop mailing-list (see I guess there are still lots of his messages in the archives.

don't hesitate t oask if you need to know more!


CaptainOT said...

Michael - The world can use a lot more people like Mike Landucci. I thank you for your insight!

BTW, just relistened to "Les Visiteurs de Noel" - wonderful sound!


Watoo Watoo said...

Thanks for your nice comment, Capt. It was fun covering "les visiteurs de Noel", which was a tv show broadcated on Xmas in the late 70s/early 80s, because I had not listened to the main track for 20 years, so i basically rewrote the music & lyrics :)

Mike was cool but sometimes he forgot to give royalties to the bands (eventually i guess he always did) & sometimes changed things without telling them. But he was no evil, though ;)

Anonymous said...

hi yeah im the mike landucci in question. the label was fun while it lasted although a little exhausting. we released about 200 records i think, most of them vinyl, plenty of cds too. most of them were very limited pressings. the art was all handmade, oftentimes sloppy, brilliant once in awhile; i guess you could say the exact same about the music i was releasing.

im still active in music, still doing my band gang wizard.

the christmas album was a lot of fun, it happened very quickly and off the cuff. each cover is different we used wrapping paper we bought at the 99 cents only store. the handwriting on the front is my wife mary's.

mp3s and cdrs pretty much killed the little label, once music became free online and bands could release their own cdrs so easily from home a label like blackbean (bbptc for short) had little reason left to exist. but it was an interesting part of my life and im grateful to all the friends i made back then. cheers, mike

Watoo Watoo said...

Nice to have news from you, Mike!
Sorry if my comments sound a bit rude - blame it on my bad english!
I think that you released so many records that it's why some things sometimes didn't work. However, bbptc was a great souvenir!