As a consumer, I do not like tapes much and certainly would never choose them over vinyl. I hardly ever listen to the tapes I have. I guess portability is a plus, but not so much I’ve bothered to buy a walkman. And yet, this part is super important to independent musicians…
As tempting as it may be to dismiss cassettes as another display of analog hipsterism, the mini-trend has very real, practical benefits for budding artists like Molholt, who releases music on a tape-only label called Endless Daze. For one thing, they scratch a simple economic itch. For about $2 apiece, tapes can be produced in small quantities much more quickly than vinyl records, whose own resurgence has slammed pressing plants with so much demand that a new record can take up to six months to turn around. And unlike with vinyl, musicians can produce new copies of cassettes in their apartment in a pinch.
Honestly, when deciding what kind of merch to produce to sell at shows, cds are pointless, and vinyl is often too expensive to take a risk on. Even if the cassettes we sell end up just a carrying case for an mp3 download code, the price point, easy transport and markup, and the allure of buying a physical item (even if you don’t use it) all make those ridiculous, chintzy-feeling, rumbly jerks a feasible thing for a band to sell on the road.
Lisa took this sweet picture of me up on the rail trail embankment this New Year’s Day, investigating some big, loud train noises down below, out of sight.
Which reminded me of this photo I love, that I took of her almost four years ago on the Ninth Ward levee.
Every year on December 6, we think about the 14 young, bright, motivated women who were murdered in their classrooms for pursuing their academic and professional passions. My old friend Anna Humphrey wrote these poems forever ago, and every year, even though we’ve all aged and grown and had related hopes either bolstered or broken, these poems just get right to the heart of everything.
The whole suite of poems is amazing and heart-wrenching and insightful, but I’ve chosen one of my favourites to reproduce here.
For Nathalie Croteau, 23
When he spat:
like a dirty taste
from his mouth
you were the only one who said ‘no’
You said, “We aren’t.
Not the kind who protest
in the streets.”
Probably your last words
Probably not quite true
Not the kind who protest in the streets
But in the classroom.
The kind who would challenge,
the kind who would speak up;
try to save thirteen women
when everyone else
had lost their words.
in coffin #8.
Music news! I am so pleased to have music news to share this early in my Hamilton time. I was super fortunate to get hooked up with Secretary City, an ex-Toronto band that was in the process of coming back together after a distance-spanning and child-rearing hiatus of a few years. Our first show was a very exclusive backyard birthday party, our second is next Saturday, October 15th with Rae Spoon at Oswalds Gallery in Hamilton. (FB event)