Entries tagged with “music”.

I don’t really consider this to have happened that long ago, nor was it one of my first shows, nor was it one of the best shows I’ve been to. In fact I hadn’t really considered it anything special at all, however one human year is equal to about 17 music years, which makes this Bauhaus reunion show I went to in 1998 ancient history, and considering the last person I debated the merits of various musical acts with WASN’T EVEN BORN when I went to this show I found it difficult to even find a basis of comparison on which to form my arguments.

It’s not that I think all new music is crap, I definitely don’t. I listen to (and buy) lots of new music. It’s also not the case that the person I was arguing with hadn’t been exposed to music of the 90s and before, he most certainly had. What it came down to was that what I considered the classic musicians of my day, musicians who continue to have profound influence on new artists I listen to now, to him were simply “oldies“. They were the albums in his parents’ collection. To him they sounded dated and unappealing, and to the degree that I lamented the fact that he would never have the opportunity to see a band like Bauhaus live, he equally couldn’t care. He was much more interested in explaining to me why 50 Cent was a master of rap and how much of a lasting impact he is already having on the genre.

Once the reality of this contextual divide became apparent, I switched the gears of my debate and struggled to find the common ground wherein both of our interests met. The argument eventually ended on amicable terms when we both conceded that “Ice Cube was ok.”

Thai Mysterious

I don’t remember exactly how I acquired this tape, so instead I’ll tell you about another tape I found once while walking down the street in Burlington, Vermont. It had just rained, the ground was wet. I was walking down the sidewalk when there next to me, under a luscious, green hedge, beckoning me from the soft bed of damp mulch, was a cassette of Sade’s “Diamond Life”, sans case. I looked around, possibly to ensure someone hadn’t recently dropped it, or possible so as not to be seen, and then quickly snatched it up. There were droplets of water that had condensed within the tiny enclosed space between the two reels and the area of tape that had been exposed to the elements was warped. I doubted whether it would actually play, but I took it home and set it on the table to try for three full days. On the third day, with my gut twinging with anticipation, I once again picked up the tape and without hesitation inserted it into my boom box and hit play. The first second passed, the tape became taut and started to turn. The second second passed, I adjusted the volume. Third second, and suddenly there was sound… I hated it.

Thankfully this post is not about Sade’s “Diamond Life”, it’s about the mysterious cassette in the picture above. I know nothing at all about this tape other than it was made in Thailand. I listened to part of it once. It sounded like any of a thousand unsigned pop bands of the 80s, singing in a language I don’t understand. Nevertheless, it has remained a part of my music collection for at least the last ten years, if not more, as if to say “I need this, I just don’t know why yet”. I don’t know what happened to that Sade tape.


We have here a candid audio snapshot of FM radio circa 1984, informatively title “Rock”. One of my oldest mix tapes, it predates Grunge, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and apparently even glue (notice how the tape is held together using five small metal screws). It was recorded directly from radio, one song at a time, and contains all the personality you might expect of such a tape: songs missing the first few seconds, songs interrupted by DJs, commercials and station IDs, and songs hastily recorded over other songs in the naive hope that they might magically line up at the other end.

I would have loved to post a complete playlist of this 60 minute archeological artifact, but I no longer own a cassette player. I haven’t for several years.