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10 Releases To Look For on Cassette Store Day 2016

Posted by Amoebite, October 3, 2016 05:44pm | Post a Comment

Cassette Store Day 2016On Saturday, October 8th, fans of magnetic tape, great tunes, and all things cassette will celebrate the fourth annual Cassette Store Day. Founded in 2013 by a group of UK record labels, Cassette Store Day gives props to the humble cassette tape in the same way Record Store Day pays homage to indie record shop culture. The celebration has since expanded to the US, Japan, Germany, and France, and naturally we're excited for an influx of new tapes here at Amoeba Hollywood, too.

Here are the top ten special Cassette Store Day releases we're pumped to slip into our Walkman.

Death Cab

Death Cab for Cutie
The Photo Album

In celebration of The Photo Album's 15th anniversary, Barsuk is reissuing this 2001 release on cassette for the first time. The tape includes "Gridlock Caravans," a rarity which has only been available on vinyl and some international releases.

Welcome to Detroit/The Shining

J Dilla
Welcome 2 Detroit/The Shining

Cassette Store Day at Amoeba on Saturday, Oct. 17

Posted by Amoebite, October 14, 2015 04:51pm | Post a Comment

Cassette Store Day

Satuday, Oct. 17, is the day to be at Amoeba. First off, it’s our Super Saturday Sale at all three stores, where we’ll have 20% off all turntables, posters, T-shirts, books, headphones and mugs. And it’s also Cassette Store Day, where we’ll have a number of albums reissued to cassette.

Cassette Store Day is an internationally observed record store holiday much like Record Store Day. It started in the United Kingdom in 2013 to acknowledge the importance of the medium and has seen exclusive releases in the past from Deerhunter, The Flaming Lips and many others.

Below are this year’s cassettes that we’ll have in stock at Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday. Amoeba SF and Berkeley will also carry CSD tapes as well. And if you can’t make it out on Saturday, the leftovers will be made available on Amoeba.com the next day!

Alex G - Beach Music Keep Shelly In Athens - Now I'm Ready
Beach Slang - Here, I Made This For You Method Man - The Meth Lab 
Berlin Brats - Zeitgeis Motorhead - Bad Magic
Bratmobile - Pottymouth Muse - Drones
Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Style Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Broom
Down - Down III: Over The Under STRFKR - Reptilians
Down - Down IV Part I Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Down - Down IV Part II T.S.O.L. - Beneath The Shadows
Expert Alterations - You Can't Always Be Liked Twin Compulsions - Twin Compulsions
Foals - What Went Down Robert Tomaro - Slime City [OST]
Free Kitten - Sentimental Education Various Artists - BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-85
Girl Band - Holding Hands With Jamie Chris Walla - Tape Loops
Green Day - Dookie The Wonderland Philharmonic - Shogun Assassin
   
Here's what we'll have at Amoeba SF:  
Jaylib - Champion Sound
Peanut Butter Wolf & Dam-Funk 45 Minutes Of Funk
 
Jaylib - Champion Sound Remixes Sebadoh - KCRTroubleyou
Quasimoto - Further Various Artists - Counterfeit Blanks: 25 Years of Shrimper

Cassette Store Day

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25 Cassette Store Day Releases to Look For

Posted by Billy Gil, September 24, 2014 05:34pm | Post a Comment

The second annual Cassette Store Day is coming this Saturday Sept. 27! We’ll have just-released cassettes at the front sampler section at Amoeba Hollywood and in front at Berkeley and S.F. Plus, 15% off all used cassettes at Amoeba SF only. Here are some releases to look for …

1349 Massive Cauldron of Chaos

An early release by black metal greats 1349! Personally, I think the lo-fi aesthetic of Black Metal sounds amazing on cassette. The LP and CD come out Sept. 30 on Seasons of Mist.

 

The Adolescents - The Complete Demos 1980-1986

Consisting mostly of tracks recorded in 1980, The Complete Demos is kind of like the punk band’s unofficial first album.

 

Alvvays

Alvvays Alvvays; Fear of Men Loom

Fear of Men and Alvvays are great female-fronted indie-rock bands reminiscent of The Cranberries and The Sundays; two personal favorites from this year.

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37 Years! Celebrating (or at least thinking about) VHS

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 25, 2013 06:37pm | Post a Comment
The inaugural Cassette Store Day took place this past 7 September. On that day, over 50 audio cassettes were released by major musical acts like The Pastels, The Flaming Lips, and Suicidal Tendencies. Unfortunately for video cassette fans, Cassette Day was a strictly audio observance. For whatever reason, Cassette Culture (or the cassette underground), which lovingly embraces audio cassettes for whatever reason treats the word “cassette” as if it only applies to the audio variety. As if that weren’t offensive enough, just two days after Cassette Store Day was the 37th birthday of the VHS VCR. Now that a couple of weeks have passed and the sting has subsided a little, perhaps we can do a bit of reflecting on the video format that dominated the 1980s and '90s (but was born in the '70s). 



The year 1976 was marked by several serious technological milestones. The year of the US' bicentennial saw America land Viking 2 on Mars and introduce the first space shuttle -- the Enterprise OV-101. In the computer world, IBM introduced the first laser printer -- the IBM 3800 -- and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple.



On 9 September, Chairman Mao passed away in China and across the East China Sea in Japan, the first VHS video cassette recorder (or VCR), the JVC HR 3300, was introduced. It wasn’t the first example of magnetic videotape technology -- that had first been demonstrated in 1951. AVCO had introduced the pre-recorded tapes of their Cartrivision system for sale and rental in 1972. In 1975 Sony had launched the Betamax recording system but it would be VHS that would conquer the home video market.



Although I'm not sure how it was chosen for the honor, the first theatrical film to be commercially released on VHS was a South Korean drama, 청춘교사 (aka The Young Teacher), which had been released to theaters in 1972. It was directed by Kim Ki-duk -- the one who made the daikaiju classic, Yonggary, Monster from the Deep as well a less-well-known-outside-Korea adolescent films like Barefooted Youth (1964) and not the Kim Ki-duk who helmed such internationally acclaimed films as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003), 3-Iron (2004), Address Unknown (2001), and Time (2006).



The VCR wouldn't come to the US until 4 June, 1977, when it was introduced at a press conference before the Consumer Electronics Show starts in Chicago. Despite Betamax having better picture quality than JVC's VHS, Betamax tapes could only hold an hour's worth of recorded material whereas the capacity of JVC's standard T-120 doubled that. Furthermore, whilst Sony maintained tight control of the Betamax format, JVC immediately licensed out its technology to companies like Sharp and RCA. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, JVC embraced porn, which Sony shunned. By the end its first year, VHS had eroded 40% of Betamax's market share.




When my father bought our family's VCR in 1978, he chose RCA's SelectaVision. Its heft and fake wood grain paneling matched the aesthetics of our living room TV. It didn’t quite have a remote control -- there was a portable control panel connected by maybe a ten foot long cable. The machine also had a dew indicator because supposedly humidity could make it stop working although I don't remember that ever happening even in the swampiest Missouri summers of my childhood.




VHS surpassed Betamax in sales in 1981 -- the same year the doomed, phonograph-like CED (Capacitance Electronic Disc) was released after fifteen years of delay. Other rival technologies would follow. VCD (Video Compact Disc) debuted in 1993 and quickly became the format of film producers and consumers in the developing world. In 1997, a popular weather drama, Twister, was the first Hollywood film made available on DVD. The awful and evil DIVX (Digital Video Express) was introduced in 1998 (and had its plug pulled none-too-soon the following year). All of these formats boasted potentially superior image and sound quality to that of magnetic tapes (although VCDs often looked worse and LDs (LaserDisc) often trumped all other contemporaneous formats).




VHS still had at least one major leg up on the competition – the ease with which it allowed users to record (and re-record) content from their video cameras and televisions. Who among those alive back then didn’t amass a collection of home movies, soap operas, episodes of Manimal, and collections of music videos? My music promo compilations – laboriously culled from programs like MuchMusic’s City Limits and RapCity, BET’s Rap City, and MTV’s 120 Minutes and Yo! MTV Raps (and interspersed with selected TV ads) remained among my prize collections for many years. Digital Video Recorders like TiVo were introduced to the market in 1999 but were slow to catch on. By 2006 were still only present in 1.2% of households.




And, as with audio cassettes vs CDs, there are still thousands (maybe millions if you consider porn) of films that have never been released on digital formats – classics like Captain Eo (1986) and Walk Proud (1979) (which, of course, can both easily be watched online as can most others). Finally, if it weren’t for VHS, there would probably be no TV Carnage, no Future Schlock, and no Everything is Terrible!, and no Tim and Eric Awesome Show ...no Nam June Paik!



HD DVDs and Blu-Ray hit the markets in 2006, pleasing people who felt that the problem with movies was that their resolution wasn't high enough -- but far more ground-breaking and detrimental to the popularity all physical was the Internet and the launch of YouTube and Dailymotion in 2005. Although in their early days, shared video content was regularly taken down as quickly as it was put up, over time they and other video-sharing websites were part of the rise of online streaming. In 2006, advertising-supported free porn hosting service websites based on the YouTube appeared.




In 2006 the Canadian film History of Violence was the last “Hollywood” film to be released on VHS. In 2008, JVC produced its last standalone VHS VCR. Then, signaling that there was at least nostalgia for the format, promo copies of the independent House of the Dead (2009) were released on VHS to giddy response. So how about it Cassette Store Day people? Maybe next year exclusive video cassette releases!

*****

Return Of The Return Of The Cassette

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2013 02:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Berkeley's E-Lit shows some of the cassette tapes at Telegraph Ave store

Everything comes round again, and sometimes more than once, including the long dismissed but never fully forgotten cassette tape format. Yes, once again the old analog cassette, once a symbol of listening to music on the go in the 70's or 80's (on Walkmans, in the car, or on boom-boxes) is currently enjoying yet another re-resurgence in popularity and/or curious interest by music collectors and small music labels. Even in the six years since I wrote a previous Amoeblog on the topic (Return of the Cassette that tackled the state of the cassette revival in 2007 and tied in with Thurston Moore's Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now NYC exhibit at the time) interest in cassettes has increased substantially.

Attention to cassettes in the media has grown too. Two years ago the Wall Street Journal did a nice piece on their renaissance. And for the past few years there has been a growing number of small indie specialty labels putting out cassette only releases. Among these are such Bay Area labels as MegaKut  and Sanity Muffin (run by Amoebite Billy Sprague) and New Jersey punk label Baldy Longhair Records (see magazine ad for the label right). Blogs have been popping up all over on various aspects of the cassette tape including one how to repair a broken cassette.

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