Cassette Store Day is the Dumbest Thing Ever
|The Cassingle - the somehow even stupider version of the CD single.|
Cassettes were also a great way to share music. Mixtapes, right? Not anymore. Now you can make a public Spotify playlist for your friends to listen to. Don't have Spotify? There's YouTube. Don't have a Google account? Do you live in the Stone Age? Okay, well, then you can burn a CD.
Same goes for bands. Almost every modern computer has a CD burner built in now. In "ye olde" days, bands had to record their demos to a cassette so they could share it with people because making a CD was too expensive. Not anymore. Now you can record directly to a computer and burn as many CDs as you want. It's actually easier and less time consuming to do than making tapes.
Cassettes also sucked because they had a tendency to be fragile. You think vinyl is easy to mess up? Don't even get me started on cassettes. There's a reason Nas famously rapped, "don't put me in your box if your shit eats tapes," in "NY State of Mind."
Even if you did everything properly with your tapes and took good care of them, your player might just randomly eat the thing and refuse to ever come out. Now you've got a ruined tape and a ruined player. Either that or you'd pry it out forcefully and the tape would be forever strung out of its casing.
You'd have to get a pencil and manually turn the gears on it, trying to run the tape back into the case where it would sit properly, but it hardly ever really worked. You might be able to save one in ten tapes from this horrible fate. With all those problems, what's the point in even owning cassettes?
Cassettes are a glorified novelty item in 2013. I still own the first album I ever bought by myself on cassette. That picture to the side is my own cassette of Black Sabbath's Paranoid. I bought it from Walgreen's and it was where everything musical started for me. I keep it for nostalgia, for the novelty, and for the fact that it held such significance to me.
But I don't play it. With so many other options, why would I ever reduce myself to listening to a cassette tape, an inherently inferior format to just about anything else? Yes, I keep the tape, but that doesn't mean I want to go back to the days when tapes were something we really had to live with.
Cassette Store Day implies that cassettes are a thing people really want to come back. It makes absolutely no sense. It's the ultimate in hipster kitsch appeal, and that's just stupid. There's nothing particularly cool about cassettes. They were something that sucked and were improved upon. End of story.
Nevertheless, the phony nostalgia bait crowd is going to put this thing on regardless, and I have to admit, a lot of my favorite bands are in on it. I'll even cop to it: I'm probably going to go to the store on September 7th and buy some fucking At the Drive-In cassettes. And the whole time I'm going to be thinking about how stupid I am for doing it, though, because this is truly the dumbest holiday ever.
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