About the label:
Hello America Stereo Cassette is a record label for writers established February 5th, 2021. We release cassettes of poetry, short fiction, and memoir. The releases are curated by Adam Gnade and the label is based out of the Ruby Teeth Homestead in rural Kansas. We are looking to build a scene of audio literary artists. If that's you and your work is good, we want to be friends.
We pay a 50/50 artist/label split of all downloads, paying out once it accrues $20. For physical releases, we pay the same rates after the release makes back its initial manufacturing cost (usually about $360. So, once we sell 36 of your records, we pay you $5 per album sold).
Important: What we're NOT looking for:
1) That awful, swingy-voiced spoken word poetry slam delivery with unnatural emphasis on random words and dramatic, gasping pauses. Fuck that shit. A little theatre is fine in your delivery but extra points for conversational tones and using your natural, nonaffected voice.
2) Just as bad as the slam-style delivery, we very much will not accept readings with that overly-urgent pushy, faux-confrontational style with the big gasps between each line. Those gasping pauses make us want to smash things in a bad way.
Other aesthetic deal-breakers: hippy shit, jam band shit as backing music, funky bass, funky guitar, funk played by white people, '90s sitcom bass, tracks with just voice and walking bass, jazzy shit, jazz, and fake-ass wannabe Beat Generation shit. Please no. If you're going through your Bukowski phase, get in touch when you're over it.
2) Racist, sexist, transphobic, ablest, fascist, homophobic, and/or right wing writers please go elsewhere aka go fuck yourselves. You are the enemy of all that is good and true.
3) Tracks with vocal mistakes. If you stumble over a word, if you slur a word, record the track again.
4) Overly abstract, obtuse, or surreal writing. Please make sense. Communicate to the reader.
5) We don't want fantasy, mystery, dystopia, horror, or sci-fi writing. We want writing about people, about your life, about the world as it is now. So, no magic, surreal garbage. Write about your life. Speak directly.
6) Generally if you're going for a "creepy," gross-out, gory, shock value vibe, we're not the place for you.
7) No academic bullshit either.
What we are looking for:
We're now looking for submissions for our Winter Collection 2023 compilation (deadline Jan 15th) and our ongoing Stories Mixtape and Hello Poetry Mixtape. We're also scouting out artists for full-length cassette releases but mostly just single tracks. If we like your submission well enough we might pitch a cassette idea. Showing up on one of our comps is a good way to get your foot in the door and allow us a chance to get to know you and see how you are to work with. We don't offer full-length releases often or lightly.
What we are looking for more specifically:
Whether you're writing fiction or nonfiction, we are looking for literary realism. We like short pieces of writing (fiction, memoir, poetry, scenes from your life, weird shit that's on your mind) as well as short pieces of writing backed by original music (no public domain or unlicensed backing tracks please). Submit in .wav file to email@example.com VERY IMPORTANT: We don't accept tracks that aren't recorded as .wavs. Even if you've recorded it as an mp3 then converted it to a .wav file afterward, we can't use it. Record it in .wav format to begin with.
We encourage young writers and writers of color, women, trans and nonbinary authors, and authors outside of the US to submit work. This place is for you.
Here are things we like that are at least tangentially in line with the sort of work we release:
Jesmyn Ward's audio books, some of Crass' spoken tracks, some of Patti Smith's more subdued shit, Ebony Tusks, Black Creatures, Ocean Vuong's readings and interviews, preambles to hardcore songs, film voiceovers, Moss Icon, "A Dream" by John Cale and Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground's track "The Gift" off White Light/White Heat, "Travelin' Blues" by Slim Gaillard, some of Tom Waits' talking tracks, "Mean Talking Blues" by Woody Guthrie, "When the President Talks to God" by Bright Eyes, "History Lesson Part 2" by the Minutemen, "Back and Forth" by the Dismemberment Plan, and "Where the Darkness Began" by EMA.
Things we like that don't have much to do with the label but are part of our DNA:
Jana Hunter's record Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom, X, Arthur Magazine's Golden Apples of the Sun CD, The Carter Family, Cathedral by Castanets, Roberto Bolaño, Sufjan Stevens' Illinois, Three One G, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Natalie Diaz, Bright Eyes, James Baldwin, Louise Erdrich, Harry Hosono, Sandra Cisneros, Cat Power's Moon Pix, Songs: Ohia, Silver Jews, '50s rock 'n' roll and doo wop, Jolie Holland, Waylon, Proust, Ana Castillo, Nate Perkins' Ultimate Gospel radio, Townes, Hank, Espers, Marty Robbins, Chaucer, Juan Rulfo, Dirty Projectors' New Attitude, Gravity Records, Tyrant Books, Joanna Newsom, Lou Reed's Transformer, Peter and the Wolf's Lightness, and "Carmelita"