Sold Out //
This begins with a song which reminds me of Betty Boop and has whistling, but then it breaks into this audio clip about not being able to control your eyebrows. The song has this blissed out feeling, like a live human being with animated birds. This switches through like the changing of radio stations and we go into a slight bit of "Knocking On Heaven's Door" (which I know is not the proper title) as performed by GNR.
While you may not believe me, when I was younger we used to have to tape songs off of the radio before they got a proper release (or if we didn't want to buy an entire cassette for one song, we could just tape the song off of the radio) I actually taped a lot of U2 off of the radio back in my pre-teens. In some ways, chopped up and preserved over time, a blank cassette which could have been dubbed over more than once is the type of vibe I'm getting from this cassette.
There are deeper vocals now, like the batteries in the tape player are dying, and a lot of these songs are being mixed around and jumbled up in fragments as well to create a rather fascinating sound collage. Showtunes are definitely coming through now with audio clips of speeches.
A whistle comes through now- a flute perhaps- and a guitar can be heard strumming while a drum is banged and this is quite the sound to end that part on.
Some true Top 40 songs are coming through now. It's that "I'm not going to write you a love song" song which I want to say is Shania Twain but won't look up so don't hold it against me if I'm wrong. I hear audio of what sounds like a football game and then there are several other songs of different natures which just sounds like pressing record on your tape player and turning the dial on your radio.
Beats set the mood now. We can dance through these audio clips. It's funny how some of these things crossover in ways which maybe they shouldn't but it just works here. A Frank Sinatra type of sound now. I'm sure there exists a list of all of these source songs somewhere so I'm not going to be the one to make sure I get each and every one of them exactly correct.
Sometimes the music mixed in can sound like the introduction to a television series. So far I feel like I've heard both "G.I. Joe" (the original) and "Thundercats" in very brief glimpses. A beeping now, like something is glitching. Talking comes in with the sharp shred.
As we switch through the stations now it feels more like television than radio for a moment and then the songs start up again. Jazz piano. Singing comes through a lot of static now, and if you didn't know back in the day with the radio we would have antennae as well, so sometimes you'd hear this song and want to tape it off the radio but a cloud would come through and the static would make your recording less than perfect.
Wow this cassette really takes me back to being ten years old and sitting outside on my parents' front porch.
Someone is talking about times changing over a song and we're into some country now as well. For a brief second, we can hear "I Will Survive". Guitar notes now over words. The vocals come through with static. "I don't see the need for all these beliefs" someone says. This is great. Such different styles of music all blended together to form one sound. For another brief second I hear "La Bamba".
"I go to Walmart. I go to Family Dollar". Can we legally make Family Dollar change their name because I feel like their name suggests a dollar store and everything there is not in fact one dollar. Someone is singing now and this is into a weird home recording subgenre where maybe it was something taken from a cassette found in a thrift store.
Are they talking about farting?
A woman is singing in a country demo way. Someone says something about Will Rogers and the first side reaches an end.
On the flip side someone is singing who sounds like Elvis. Through the static comes some smooth singing and a decent amount of this is country as well. There are so many different songs in here and different styles of music it seems impossible and futile to name them all, but I just heard something which sounded like The Crystals.
Someone is talking about how much she loves herself now. There is someone who looks like her and it's her! Now some sad singing. I can't quite place who this is though, but it has a Michelle Branch feel to it. A song about being the master of the sea while someone is speaking in ad pitch.
Something about your daughter Cynthia and a doll. That's very peculiar. Blaring horns and static now. We're into hip hop now and I wish I knew what this was but I really don't listen to rap music that's on the radio and it had more of a modern sound to it. Classic rock now. Some pop. Some soul. Maybe a little manipulated Coldplay now. And I feel like I very briefly heard Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down".
They are talking about something in a courtroom way now with a Miss Connor. A sharpness comes through as we turn the dials to generate different frequencies. Static waves are crashing now. This goes from pop to rock and is now telling me about all the pretty girls as more static waves come crashing through.
Though this cassette came out in November of 2019 and I sit here typing about it in 2020, I want to call it "The Cassette Of The Year", but I really feel like it's more valuable than that- an archive of what it was like listening to the radio growing up with that tape player ready to press the record button.