New  »   Gator Country  ·  Pony  ·  Sunshine Jen  ·  Post-Modern Drunkard  ·  Robot Journal
«« past   |   future »»

robot journal
Robot Journal

all comments

post #529
bio: rich

first post
that week

Previous Posts
What the world needs now is a think piece about the pandemic
Music of Teens: K Tel's The Beat
#CocktailRobot: The Per Sempre
#CocktailRobot: The Fitzgerald
#CocktailRobot: The Aviation
#CocktailRobot: The Copper Cocktail

Category List
Apartment Buying in NYC
Bob Swanson
Election 2004
February Smackdown
Food and Drink!
Group Topics
I heart Brooklyn
Lists of things
Out of Context SMS
Rejected Love Stinks stories
Site News
Snap Wrap
Things I've Owned
This I believe

My ode to the cassette

My ode to the cassette
For almost twenty years, I lived and died by the cassette.
The blog over at WFMU had a link to the C90 site where they have collected tons of images of cassettes for your viewing pleasure.
It was a like a crazy teen time warp.
(They also did a really great write-up about their personal favorites)

Here are some my favorites...

These early Maxell's were the standard ones that my mother would buy for me. I used them to make compilations of my 45s and albums - although my stereo had one of those loose pause buttons that would always cause that annoying "pause button sound" no matter how hard you tried. Drove me crazy.
These tapes were full of 45's. Big Country. Duran Duran. Heaven 17.

In the mid-80's, my friend George and I found boxes of these cassettes on sale at the "weird mall" in our town. They were supposedly designed to resist the hot temperatures of car stereos - which was perfect because we needed them for our hot hits.
I believe we both bought two 10-pack cases and then when back to his house we raided his college-age's siblings' music collections and made copies of most everything.

It's one of my favorite teen memories. I think we stayed up all night listening to music and making copies of cool "college" music.

These were tough little tapes.
Screaming Blue Messiahs. Virgin Prunes. Ministry.

When I bought something super-special, like a crazy new-wave import record from the UK, these were the cassettes I bought to record them on.
Holy space-age Batman!

Those clear Teac tapes were the friggin' bomb.
*cough* Alphaville (but let state for the record, "forever young" was the worst track they ever recorded).

At one point, I decided to do some actual research on what the best cassettes were and the TDK SA-90's seemed to always rank high. These quickly became my de facto cassette choice for the last of the 80's and the beginning of the 90's.

I could probably build a house with the SA-90's that are still stored at my parent's house.
They were good cassettes. Not very flashy, but respectfully cool enough.
Oh, and the music sounded good on them.
Everything... Camper Van Beethoven. The Smiths. The Cure. Polvo.

No, I didn't buy these. But it seemed that about every damn girl who ever made me a tape of something did. These were such "girl tapes".
They also sound crappy.

For someone whose mother raised him to buy good cassettes, these were pretty atrocious.
My favorite? Mix tape from girl I took to senior prom. It was full of Skinny Puppy. She wrote me a vaguely suicidal notes days before prom attached to a cassette.

Then there was college where I just collected noise and audio junk. These were cheap and sold at the school bookstore which meant I could buy them and say I was buying books when my credit card bill arrived at my parent's house.

I have about 20 or 30 of these still that were part of my "Hell Samples" tapes. They were just tape after tape of bible preaching, supreme court hearings, lo-fi four track wannabe collages and whatever else I came across to use on my radio show.
Oh, the memories.

» ||  11/18/2005 ||  12:09:22 AM
That's awesome.
»stu ||  11/18/2005 ||  12:23:54 AM
I have a whole bunch of tapes from the early 90's I bought especially to record CDs on. Tell me why I did that again?

»binx ||  11/18/2005 ||  9:28:24 AM
SA-90s rock.
»hairpants ||  11/18/2005 ||  11:07:47 AM
I have most of those--mainly the C90s from when I was dubbing albums like mad in high school. And a heap of SA 90s. Yet I still listen to tapes.

Great use of the Internet Rich!
»jb ||  11/18/2005 ||  12:21:03 PM
I'm guitly of having the girlie tapes.
»katie ||  11/18/2005 ||  12:48:54 PM
yeah, i had some girlie tapes. but also some of all those other ones, minus the fuji.

how about brilliant mix-tape art? i've got some great examples that of course i saved, pack-rat that i am. brian huskey made great ones.
»reba ||  11/20/2005 ||  8:19:12 AM

«« past   |   future »»