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David Ayers

Survey says one in 10 young people buy cassette tapes

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And when they grow up they'll probably buy a derelict property to do up in Victorian style.

(actually, that's over-harsh. They'll never afford a property unless they have reasonably well-off parents to start them off).

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Don't believe it, really? Cassettes?

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Well, we had the 8-track renaissance, the rebirth of the LP...fixed-gear bikes, plaid shirts, beards, over-ear headphones, artisan whatever (buggy whips included, I imagine)...

There seems to be no end to what hipsters can do. ;-)

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This sounds like a survey with a completely unreliable sampling strategy. Maybe just asking people that participated in Record Store Day perhaps. Anyway, the fact that over half the people buying an LP and 23% buying a cassette have no intention of listening to the darn thing makes this pretty suspect. These are not music fans in any meaningful sense. This behavior (and Record Store Day more generally) truly is a silly fad, propping up a moribund industry.

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I know of at least a couple of local punk/crust/doom/whatever bands that only release their music (physically, at least) on cassette in limited runs... haven't read the article but i'm guessing it's a wider thing.

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I know of at least a couple of local punk/crust/doom/whatever bands that only release their music (physically, at least) on cassette in limited runs... haven't read the article but i'm guessing it's a wider thing.

Certainly is. My friend runs one of the top tape labels going now (Night People), and there are many others, mostly in the psych/noise/improv/whathaveyou world. Seems like he does pretty well, saleswise.

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Not just punkropockov:

http://www.parlourtapes.com/

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/parlour-tapes-contemporary-classical-cassette-spektral/Content?oid=12264058

I have heard some of this music and find it attractive. The cassette thing seems kind of gimmicky, but they also do downloads, so yes, go for that hipster-hook if it gets them fish to bites it.

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We learned in another thread that cassettes are very cheap to manufacture. That's one thing. It surprises me that many people have a cassette player though. that seems odd. If you have an older car then you will. If there is an old stereo system in the house then you will. A few boomboxes are still sold with cassette. Probably these cassettes are listened to in car or on boomboxes by people who otherwise would listen to mp3 on computer or ipod. There won't be many who are buying hi-fi separates, although the vinyl enthusiasts will be. My guess is that people like the organic access of buying cassettes at gigs. The sound is probably often perfectly good for the equipment and contexts it is played in. There's a feeling of reality too, I should think, in the whole transaction which is unlike the experience of (basically) illegally d/ling oceans of mp3s. It isn't about collecting music but about real-time access to things that are happening. S'cool.

Edited by David Ayers

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There's a feeling of reality too, I should think, in the whole transaction which is unlike the experience of (basically) illegally d/ling oceans of mp3s. It isn't about collecting music but about real-time access to things that are happening.

You are romanticising there. Collecting is often about acquiring things that are not easily available or in limited editions. Buying on a niche medium (in this case cassette) can be just as much about collecting outside the mainstream as buying a limited edition boxed set or a Japanese limited edition high spec CD.

I imagine the motivations of those who exclusively or mainly d/l illegally are as varied as those who buy CDs, vinyl or legally download.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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8-Track cartridges next ? :rolleyes:

Edited by sidewinder

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I have a hunch - like others said above - that this cassette thing may indeed be going on as an individualist way of marketing the music in some strata of undergrund/subculture bands. I've heard such statements in passing here and there without paying much attention to the details (cassettes are of - now limited - relevance to me only as blanks to record), but I'd believe right away that there IS such a thing. As to how far widespread, well ... ;)

Anyway, the fact that over half the people buying an LP and 23% buying a cassette have no intention of listening to the darn thing makes this pretty suspect. These are not music fans in any meaningful sense.

Agreed that the sampling methods may have been odd and that having no intention of listening to the items makes these cassette buyers less than credible, but these problems of being "show-off" characters only exist elsewhere too.

You know, ever since a secondhand record shop owner told me of one of those well-off yuppie apartment owners who, as part of furnishing his designer-furniture equipped apartment, asked this very record dealer to compile him a set of "must have" hard bop Blue Notes (Japanese pressings on upwards, but leaving him largely free rein as to which actual records to include as "must haves"!), I am a bit wary of some of the hype surrounding Blue Notes and their objective desirability too. Because ... how many like that who view BN's above all as a means of DISPLAYING their "sophisticated finer tastes" potentially ARE out there? ;)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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. Because ... how many like that who view BN's above all as a means of DISPLAYING their "sophisticated finer tastes" potentially ARE out there? ;)

Depends on the period. Jazz became chic in the 80s. Those people the dealer was talking about probably hail from thereabouts.

MG

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8-Track cartridges next ? :rolleyes:

Sounds like you missed the first rebirth, 1990. But the second began around 2011. Link I can't say I've seen brick and mortar stores focused on 8-tracks in the past decade or so, but they're often displayed prominently in the hipster botiques. (I use the term "hipster" pretty loosely. Beyond Brooklyn and Portland, I'm not sure what to call the people in Salt Lake City and Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Seattle...)

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I find the idea that one in ten young people buy cassette tapes to be highly unlikely, if the entire U.S. is considered. Many young people buy no music, for one thing. I imagine that it is possible that fewer than one in ten young people buy music in any physical format, if the entire U.S. is considered.

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8-Track cartridges next ? :rolleyes:

Sounds like you missed the first rebirth, 1990. But the second began around 2011. Link I can't say I've seen brick and mortar stores focused on 8-tracks in the past decade or so, but they're often displayed prominently in the hipster botiques. (I use the term "hipster" pretty loosely. Beyond Brooklyn and Portland, I'm not sure what to call the people in Salt Lake City and Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Seattle...)

In that case then it's time to re-launch 'Sabamobil'. The in thing for cool hipsters everywhere. Just the thing to play your Black Forest MPS/Saba jazz tapes on..

Saba%20Mobil.jpg

Edited by sidewinder

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The best thing about cassettes was the ability to easily produce mix tapes. I never found CDRs to be as easy. In part, that's because you end up dealing with the CD-RW versions (read-write) which are more expensive and more persnickety in computers. Or you've got to use some sort of software to compile and burn. Give me Maxell 90-minute cassette anyday.

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The best thing about cassettes was the ability to easily produce mix tapes. I never found CDRs to be as easy. In part, that's because you end up dealing with the CD-RW versions (read-write) which are more expensive and more persnickety in computers. Or you've got to use some sort of software to compile and burn. Give me Maxell 90-minute cassette anyday.

I am willing to tackle CD-Rs and accept the "learning curve" for "mix CDs" but basically I agree with you, and those mix tapes are about the main reason I still use those cassette decks every now and then. (I've never liked buying albums on cassette or copying entire albums to cassette to "archive" them, though. Winding made listening all too uncomfortable for me)

. Because ... how many like that who view BN's above all as a means of DISPLAYING their "sophisticated finer tastes" potentially ARE out there? ;)

Depends on the period. Jazz became chic in the 80s. Those people the dealer was talking about probably hail from thereabouts.

MG

Well, that discussion took place in 2002/2003, and the moment when this dealer was called upon to "compile" that oh so sophisticated set of BNs happened a couple of months before that. So pretty late AFTER the 80s. ;)

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I much prefer the 'Smart Playlist' on an iTunes related product to the old C-90 cassette. Comes up different every time.

The mix-tape thing was beautifully mocked in Nick Hornby's 'Hi-Fidelity'. How many of us tried to impose our vision of musical perfection on friends and acquaintances that way?And I wonder how many got listened to. The way the hero of the novel studiously tries to improve his girlfriend's 'taste' is both hilarious and a little uncomfortable!

Like the cassette itself, the C-90 mix tape was a thing of its time and deserving of a bit of nostalgia. But I'd say it has been well superseded by what contemporary technology can do.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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The mix-tape thing was beautifully mocked in Nick Hornby's 'Hi-Fidelity'. How many of us tried to impose our vision of musical perfection on friends and acquaintances that way?And I wonder how many got listened to. The way the hero of the novel studiously tries to improve his girlfriend's 'taste' is both hilarious and a little uncomfortable!

Like the cassette itself, the C-90 mix tape was a thing of its time and deserving of a bit of nostalgia. But I'd say it has been well superseded by what contemporary technology can do.

But everybody who was around in the 70s and 80s and was actively listening to music then could/can relate to those scenes of "Hi Fidelity". I could, anyway ... - I made quite a few mix tapes for others - and received some -, not so much for proselytizing but just for exchanging tunes - in the form of personalized playlists - that others did not have among their vinyls. I remember, for example, the time I made a "mix tape" for a buddy who was mainly into r'n'r/r&B/country from the early postwar period and then out of curiosity one day asked me to tape him a C-90 selection of bebop just to expand his musical horizon a bit. I think he was pleased because I mixed in liberal doses of bebop/R&B "crossover" tunes (Jug, Leo Parker, Frank Motley et al.) to "ease" him into the idiom. It was fun ...

And of course it was a thing of its time and has been superseded. But should that keep ANYBODY from keeping on indulging in it just for personal entertainment as long as the "raw material" is still available? ;)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I think making mix tapes can be fun. I had the experience, that virtually no one would listen to the tapes that I so lovingly and painstakingly compiled.

I find making mix discs by burning CD-Rs to be infinitely easier, less frustrating and a whole lot more fun, than making the old mix tapes on cassettes.

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Oh, I'm not doubting that they were fun in their time. Or that reliving that fun can be fun itself.

I'm just thinking of this as part of a general fogey-ishness that decries modern media on the grounds that it doesn't have the power/warmth/quality/whatever of vinyl/78s/cassettes/cylinder discs or whatever.

Nothing wrong with nostalgia - I love a wallow in various mythical constructions of the past (some made by others, many self-assembled) - but it helps to recognise it as nostalgia rather than a reconnection with some lost truth (in this case the 'honest' C-90 over the 'crappy' mp3 [and other such formats]).

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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The best thing about cassettes was the ability to easily produce mix tapes. I never found CDRs to be as easy. In part, that's because you end up dealing with the CD-RW versions (read-write) which are more expensive and more persnickety in computers. Or you've got to use some sort of software to compile and burn. Give me Maxell 90-minute cassette anyday.

I am willing to tackle CD-Rs and accept the "learning curve" for "mix CDs" but basically I agree with you, and those mix tapes are about the main reason I still use those cassette decks every now and then. (I've never liked buying albums on cassette or copying entire albums to cassette to "archive" them, though. Winding made listening all too uncomfortable for me)

. Because ... how many like that who view BN's above all as a means of DISPLAYING their "sophisticated finer tastes" potentially ARE out there? ;)

Depends on the period. Jazz became chic in the 80s. Those people the dealer was talking about probably hail from thereabouts.

MG

Well, that discussion took place in 2002/2003, and the moment when this dealer was called upon to "compile" that oh so sophisticated set of BNs happened a couple of months before that. So pretty late AFTER the 80s. ;)

Sure, that's what I guessed, but those 80s people and their attitudes are still about; they didn't all die yet :)

MG

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The two local record stores in my area sell lots of used equipment. I bought a cassette deck a few years ago to make tapes for my 90s Toyota. It works! Cheap, too. Nice Denon component for 29.00 bucks... would've been 250.00 back in the early 90s.

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