Music Dorkery

CASSETTE MARATHON

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photo by Jeremiah Cooper

For those of you too young to remember ’em, cassette tapes were a total pain in the ass. If you wanted to listen to a specific song on a specific album, you either had to know the exact time it appeared on said album, or otherwise you had to engage in a process that went something like this:

  • Fast forward
  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Nope, that’s not the right song.
  • Fast forward some more
  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Nope, still not there
  • Keep fast forwarding
  • Stop
  • Listen
  • FUCK, overshot it!
  • Rewind
  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Okay, right song, but somewhere in the middle
  • Rewind a little more
  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Still not right
  • Rewind a little bit more
  • MOTHERFUCKER, too far back now
  • Fast forward again
  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Fuck it, this is close enough

And it sucked. It really, really fucking sucked.

The flip side of this nonsense was that we all engaged in a lot of illegality without feeling guilty about it (I remember Vince making me cassette copies and even being so kind as to put little stars next to the songs from the “featuring the hits…” sticker on the cover, so that I would know which tracks were singles or potential singles), and that you really, really got to know full albums. Because that whole rewind-fast-forward-in-an-effort-to-find-the-right-song thing could be such a fucking debacle, if an album only had a few good songs on, well, you pretty much stopped listening after awhile, ’cause trying to find those songs just wasn’t worth it.

But remember last week, when Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson was telling me about his love of side As and side Bs, a love which most modern listeners will never know? Well, some of my own knowledge about this subject comes from having a record player, but a lot of it also comes from cassettes; to this day, I can tell you the side A and side B of every pre-Spaghetti Incident? Guns N’ Roses record, and that’s all because I didn’t even own any of ’em on CD until about 1996 or so. Cassettes were cheaper, which meant you could get more metal for your money, so, yeah. We all had a lot of cassettes.

Why the fuck am I going on and on about this? Because according to Lambgoat, Landmine Marathon are about to release a cassette box set, which makes me incredibly nostalgic for my youth:

“The box set contains all three Landmine Marathon albums (Wounded, Rusted Eyes Awake, and Sovereign Descent, each pressed on different color cassettes) in a hand-screened box that also contains a screened mini poster and patch. The box is sealed with a LM sticker and hand numbered.”

There’s only gonna be a 100 of these bad boys made, so if you want ’em, you should get on that right quick. The band will have some at their merch table when they hit the road with Skeletonwitch and Withered next week (get dates here), or you can order one directly from Selfish Satan Recordings, the label releasing the set, here.

And then, once you have yours, you can experience or re-live the joys of fast forwarding, stopping, hitting “play,” rewinding, stopping, hitting “play”…

-AR

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