Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cassette Store Day Review ::: Beat Happening / The Halo Benders (Part 1 of 4)

                One thing about the first International Cassette Store Day that bothered me was all of the releases that were being put out on cassette but had been released earlier this year only digitally, on CD and on record even.  

                For me, a lot of the music I like already comes out on cassette and if it doesn’t then I don’t necessarily want to hear it on cassette anyway.   Bands like Flaming Lips for example, who are Record Store Day darlings, seem to have their album “The Terror” released on cassette just for those enthusiasts who are attempting to collect every piece of music from the band.

                I wasn’t really that excited to see At-The-Drive-In released on cassette either, but in the end it didn’t matter because neither of these releases were at the shop I visited.  (I’m not complaining either, because if they were there I wouldn’t have bought them anyway so I’m glad that they weren’t)

                Just before noon, I arrived at Red Scroll Records in Wallingford, CT and was the first one in line.  (Okay, maybe I was there closer to twenty minutes early, but let’s pretend otherwise)   The tapes available were limited to about ten different titles and of them the Suicidal Tendencies tape put out by Burger Records seemed to have the most available copies.

                No, I did not pick up the Suicidal Tendencies tape for the same reasons described above with bands re-releasing music of sorts.   I did notice one thing that caught me off guard however, and I knew that I had to act.

                There were two tapes that immediately caught my eye, both of which were the only copies available, so sorry to everyone else who couldn’t  get one that day but you just weren’t as fast as me or something. 

                The first tape that jumped out at me was The Halo Benders’ “God Don’t Make No Junk” (K Records).    Back when I first started writing about music, I contacted K Records and somehow managed to get a copy of “The Rebels Not In” on CD to review.    So finding this tape was like running into an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while except, you know, without all of the social awkwardness. 

                In the spirit of International Cassette Day continuing, I would really like to see albums that came after “God Don’t Make No Junk” released by K Records on cassette, as I would be more than willing to buy them all.  Even though I have the CD, I’d even buy “The Rebels Not In” on cassette (It’s actually something I’ve been contemplating wanting since I picked up this tape)

                Now, The Halo Benders are the side project of Calvin Johnson (of Beat Happening fame) and Doug Martsch (of Built to Spill fame).   Though I did not find a Built to Spill cassette, sitting nicely next to the Halo Benders tape though I did find a copy of Beat Happening’s “Black Candy” (Which was originally released through K Records as well, but the tape says Sub Pop, so go figure)

                While this pairing of single tapes was quite a find for me (I’m still giddy from it, a week later) it makes me hopeful for the future of Cassette Store Day as well.   Perhaps next year I shall find another Halo Benders album on cassette as well as a Built to Spill tape instead of Beat Happening.   The future is just so wide open.

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