Monday, October 26, 2009

Cassette Corner #1

Welcome to Can-Smashing Robot's new feature, Cassette Corner. This continuing series will mostly focus on my current attempt to listen to every cassette in my big crate full of cassettes as I drive to and from the school where I'm student teaching. These cassettes were mostly purchased, received as gifts, or dubbed off of friends' and relatives' vinyl, cassettes, and CDs in the years 1984-1998. I can only listen to them in the car because all seven tape decks in my apartment are no longer in working order. I have downloaded some songs from these tapes onto my computer and iPod, but some of these cassettes have not been listened to in years. This cassette misadventure is digging up all kinds of nostalgic, wistful, melancholy, and silly reminiscences, so I thought I should share some of it to kick-start this mostly inactive blog. Join me on my Proustian journey through the past, cassette-style. Having said all that, this first installment has nothing to do with any of that. It has to do with the extreme metal brutality of this past Austin summer. Now that a chill is in the air, I can remember a bit of Summer 2009 with fondness. I had to drive my un-air-conditioned nightmare to and from work in the blistering heat of the second-hottest summer, and the hottest August, in recorded Austin history. It sucked. It sucked so much ass. Anyway, every summer I leave an old mix tape on the dashboard from May to September because I'm easily amused. I finally remembered to document the results tonight. Here they are:

Kicking our research up a notch, we now compare the sun-baked cassette to a normal cassette: CBS Records' 1980 release of Aerosmith's Greatest Hits

Look at that last photo. Aerosmith's Greatest Hits stands erect, alert, with the stiff posture of a veteran Marine, while our sun-baked Maxell glides jauntily down the promenade, a good-natured idler, a gentleman of leisure, slightly tipsy from a spirit or two, whistling casually as he keeps his calendar free for yet another month. Who would you rather be?