Cassette Store Day 2014 Shopping Guide: 5 Worthy Tapes

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 09.26.14 in News

It’s that time of year again. OK, so Cassette Store Day unfortunately hasn’t yet displaced football as an American fall pastime. But the international celebration of tapes is in its second year, and it has a loaded lineup of special releases. Find participating North American stores here, and read on for a highly subjective selection of five tapes to seek out on September 27. Part of why cassettes have made inroads in recent years is that they’re an inexpensive, tactile release format for lesser-known bands, so don’t miss the full list of exclusives.

See also:
The 20 Best Tapes of 2014 So Far
Where Do You Even Get a Tape Made Anymore?

Cloud NothingsHere and Nowhere Else (Carpark / Mom + Pop): Cleveland singer/songwriter Dylan Baldi has benefited from cassettes from since Cloud Nothings’ start, releasing endearing fuzz-pop debut Turning On in 2009 via Bridgetown Records. Baldi lives in Paris now, per Wondering Sound contributor Andrew Parks’ profile, Cloud Nothings’ Long Road to Here and Everywhere, and the new album is bolder and darker, but just as surely as Cloud Nothings’ roots are in Ohio, they’re also on cassette.

J DillaDonuts (Stones Throw): James “Jay Dee” Yancey’s final opus has been available in various formats since its 2006 release, including as a box set of seven-inch singles, but if you don’t own it, Donuts is a must-have in any format. Still, there’s a reason they use the phrase “beat tape.”

NehruvianDOOM – NehruvianDOOM (Sound of the Son) (Lex Records): DOOM and Bishop Nehru‘s first full-length using only DOOM production since 2003′s Take Me to Your Leader isn’t due out until October 7, but whatever the (Sound of the Son) subtitle refers to here, based on recent track “Darkness” it ought to be worth a listen.

Karen O, Crush Songs (Cult Records): Cassette might be the ideal format for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader’s collection of lovelorn, bare-bones songs that bring to mind the ’90s lo-fi boom.

White LungDeep Fantasy (Domino): This forceful Canadian band has confined its physical releases to CD and vinyl, per Discogs, but their righteous barrage wouldn’t be out of place on a beat-up tape in the deck of an older, punk-er friend’s equally eat-up car.”“I wanted the music to have a cold, almost sick feeling,” guitarist Kenneth William told Wondering Sound contributor Kat Bee for our profile, White Lung’s Beautiful, Dark, Twisted ‘Fantasy.’

And while I’m at it, here are eight more that caught my eye:

Best Coast, Fade Away (New Wave Tapes)

Cymbals Eat Guitars,  LOSE (Barsuk Records) (see also Cymbals Eat Guitars: The Loss Behind ‘LOSE,’ by Michael Tedder)

Fear of Men, Loom (That Summer Feeling)

Foxygen, …And Star Power (Jagjaguwar)

Madvillain, Madvillainy (Stones Throw)

Townes Van Zandt, Townes Van Zandt (Burger/Fat Possum Records)

Various Artists, Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (Yep Roc Records)

Vivian Girls, Share The Joy (Polyvinyl Records)