Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Cassette Review: Matthew Conrad Gray "Wooden Rollercoasters" (your warmth LBL)
I'm fairly certain that this cassette isn't available for purchase anymore but if you ask Matthew Conrad Gray himself he might be able to hook you up. This "review" is mostly to serve as a reminder to me years from now that I do in fact have this cassette and don't need to pay $25 for it on Discogs. While you can download these songs from the above Bandcamp site for free, I enjoy the way this cassette is made. There is just that home made feel to it that a lot of cassettes seem to lack these days. At one point in time, cassettes seemingly became less d.i.y. and now people talk about how they send their j-cards out to the printers and what not. If you have an edition of 25 and you're not printing the j-cards at home then you're doing it wrong. (Cassette editions of 100 or more are another story for another time)
This cassette includes a lyric sheet (Again, use your home printer or somehow try and steal office supplies if it comes to that. I recently read our new company handbook about how we shouldn't use the computer for our own gain but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to thinking about using it to print a 'zine) and a sticker which looks like the cover. I also like that the label name is a sticker and is on that actual cassette case rather than the j-card. Everything about this has that home-dubbing, d.i.y. feel that are one of the large reasons why I love cassettes.
What I find most interesting about this perhaps is that Matthew Conrad Gray now records music under the name Shivering Window and I don't know why but I always thought it was weird when people made music under their own names. I know it can be said that everyone from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash has done this and it seems fine to have a t-shirt with their names on it, but it still seems weird to me on some other level and is a lot of the reason why I've always felt like Dashboard Confessional was a thing. It's not that MCG looks like a bad name on a sticker or t-shirt but Shivering Window does look better, right? Maybe it's just something that's always been kind of weird to me- and I have friends who make music under their real names and would gladly wear their t-shirts, but it's still one of those musical oddities that's always bothered me and probably always will.
If you want to somehow download these three songs for free and put them onto a cassette yourself you totally should, but you still won't be able to create the overall experience that is provided here with the sticker and lyric sheet. This is one of those prime examples as to why the physical will always outweigh the digital for me and it should for everyone else as well, even if your physical love is for vinyl and not cassettes.