Kasio Kristmas from Jim McKenzie on Vimeo.

Feeling a warm, holiday glow – or is that just nostalgia for simpler times, times when less digital information was needed to capture sound? Bits were real bits; sampling rates were low enough you could count to the top of them. Kids walked uphill through the snow both ways to buy a new Casio keyboard, and they didn’t yet believe Nintendo’s R.O.B. was a gimmick. They had none of your Grand Theft Audio nonsense: they hummed along to annoying tunes and watched sprites dance across the screen like a derezzed Sugar Plum Fairy.

These should put you even more in the mood, then.

8-bit Jesus is a work-in-progress by Doctor Octoroc, applying the style of an NES game to each Christmas favorite – think “Super Jingle Bros.” Unfortunately, the good Doctor’s server has been overwhelmed by holiday cheer, or his server admin has been drinking too much Egg Nog. Anyone got an alternative link? Found at:

8-bit Jesus, the NES themed chiptune holiday album [boing boing Offworld]

8-bit collective, the all-powerful assemblage of chip artists, has their own holiday creation: a virtual musical advent calendar, in which each day is a new tune. Best title yet: “Joy is all up in this B*****.”

8-bit Advent Calendar [8bitcollective]

Fans of 8-bit or newcomers wondering what the fuss is about, Weekend America did a story on the Blip Festival that just concluded here in New York:

Blip Festival Radio Story

Lastly, Bohus Blahut at Retro Thing points to the album Kasio Kristmas, as seen in the video at top. It’s not free, but it does feature freaky-looking fellows dressed as coneheaded aliens. Bohus’ copy is ready for them to add to their press clippings:

With more than a touch of Devo (and that’s a good thing), vintage electronics, and oodles of out and out weirdness, these AA battery powered tunes re-electrify the holiday classics.


And just to round this out, I’m running this photo by Scott Beale of laughingsquid, because I didn’t photograph my bottle, and because it seems somehow appropriate, and will likely inspire someone’s own 8-bit (or 64-bit) album.