LoFi Shit – A Label That Has Some Shit to Say

Caution: Explicit Record Label Name.

Brad Fielder is with LoFi Shit Records and Shive Records. It is a Norman, Oklahoma company that records local performers. Although it is tough to get the scope of just how many artists Fielder works with, the main page of LoFi Shit has links to 22 different acts, many of which have multiple recordings. Brad Fielder has 7 releases of his own on Bandcamp as well as credits on other artists albums. After some digging in the archives, I have found a few artists representing the eclectic radius that the LoFi/Shive label encompasses.

Brad Fielder is probably the best place to start . He is involved with so many different projects and has a unique contribution to each. Sacred And The Vulgar is the title of his latest full length solo record. The track begins with a thumping shallow beat that continues through the entire song. Layered next is the palely strummed banjo and a sliding minor melody unfolding to Brad’s dry baritone. The entrance bass almost positively solidifies the bluegrass train feel that is sure to follow, but this song has a different plan. The drums crash in with a heavy strutting back beat, only to be out-foxed by the riff trading by the harmonica and lead guitar. The track abruptly and suspensefully halts. I wish there was more, because the groove is undeniably solid. The album is humorous and dark, often juxtaposing stark differences in feel and mood. But this is just the start of Brad Fielder’s matchless signature. His brand new self-titled album was also released this week on Bandcamp. It features some brand new tracks as well as a few recordings of previous songs. The solo ballad “Drink The Last Beer” and the dreary full band dirge “I Can No Longer Bare This Cross For You” are two of my favorites.Keep tabs on him via his homepage.

Jim Gorton’s solo project Peninsula is one of the many treasures of LoFi Shit. Talking with Jim, you get the sense that Brad is the kind of singular person that never fails to inspire generosity and brotherhood in the music community. Gorton’s first release, Oklanois from Illahoma is an echoing folksy compilation of heartfelt ballads recorded in the likeness of the label. The opening track “Queer Theory” has an early era Rock’n'Roll style that forsakes the heavier instruments for a lighter and more playful feel. The was recorded by Jim Gorton with the exception of  the song “True Story.”  This track is about the day Jim was hit by a truck while riding his bike and was recorded the day after by Brad Fielder. Easily my favorite feature of “Oklanois” is Jim’s clear and vibrato laden whistle. Gorton has since left LoFi Shit and taken his inspiration from Brad Fielder’s generosity and community mindedness to start his own label called Shinola. Be sure to anticipate an as yet untitled split 7″ release with Champaign/Urbana solo act My Werewolf Diary. Keep up with Peninsula on Facebook and check out Oklanois from Illahoma in its entirety at the independent release site cllct.

When you probe intensely into the LoFi Shit catalog, you will find artists like Ryan Lawson. It can be easily gathered that his career has been helped by Brad Fielder’s influence. Each of his five releases exclusively available through LoFi Shit and Brad appears as producer and instrumentalist on Lawson’s latest record, Hack And Saw Nation. The record has a spirit  of warmth and integrity. It draws the ear in with gentle swarthy songs of loss, love, and the difficulty of improving life. “Broken Record” is charmingly textured with vocal harmony, slide guitar, and rhythm section. Lawson’s delivery is sweet as the song layers itself evenly and takes smooth pauses to breathe. The album is available on Bandcamp and Ryan Lawson can be followed on Facebook.

It is clear that LoFi Shit is a well that runs deep in Oklahoma. Brad Fielder is constantly releasing new music by numerous artists and projects. His connections are definitely a well valued treasure in his territory. The people I have encountered in his neck of the woods are truly appreciative of his perseverance to build an intense kinship within the music scene. To learn more about LoFi Shit, visit the homepage for links to artists not mentioned here and the Shive Records blog for free downloads of many past and present LoFi Shit releases.


Peninsula – Queer Theory

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