Cassettes and Paper

I’m reading zines of old. I came across some zines that were sent to me by a couple of women who played an important part of my teenage years. Nothing like that! You see, back in the ’90s I found for the first time in my life “modern music” which I enjoyed. Before that I was listening exclusively to music of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, a lot of which I still love and listen to, but I found a band who were contemporary that got me going. Through that band I met many great people, and I still continue to meet people because of them. Back in the the 1990s, I received two cassettes from two women.

I have had many cassettes throughout my life, and very few I’ve kept. They can be broken down into three categories:

  • Interviews with musicians/artists that I’ve done.
  • The tape titled “Just Shake Your Boots And Let It All Get Loose”
  • finally, The tape containing If You’re Feeling Sinister1

The first category does not apply to this story, but the other two do. While I’ve owned If You’re Feeling Sinister on compact disc for what is most definitely now over a decade, this original cassette copy, with handwritten notes, has a special place in my heart. It was through this cassette that I was introduced not just to this album, but to a band who would become one of my true, great loves, Belle & Sebastian. I still have with it a little slip of paper with a horrible joke about John Lennon and musings on the Chipmunks, and more importantly perhaps one of the most apt things ever said about Belle & Sebastian, “they’re Scots so Stuart Murdoch’s voice may seem unusual; and it is.”2

I’ve mused about my love of Belle & Sebastian many times before, and that’s not necessarily the point of this post. This post is more meant to meander, which I’m doing, slightly.

The other tape had two sides, one labeled “Summer In Winter” and the other was “I’m Sick Of Your Morals!!”

Those two are references to a Belle & Sebastian song, and a Plumtree song. This tape was basically an expansion on the initial tape, though provided by someone else, it was filled with Beck, The Apples In Stereo, The Inbreds, Elliott Smith, The Magnetic Fields, Eric’s Trip, Zumpano, Super Friendz, Stereolab, and a few others. If you look at my iTunes collection, you’ll see that nearly everything draws back to this cassette.

I think I cannot overstate the importance of these two women, and they both made ‘zines, back when ‘zines were physical. Rereading them is a strange trip. Teri’s Melt The Snow has interviews with Julie Doiron, a photocopy of The Magnetic Fields’ setlist from the Lee’s Palace show in ’99, mention of  a woman named Angela who apparently is “Woody,” and one of my favourite statements, “I was slightly disappointed by the old but new to me House of Tomorrow EP by the Magnetic Fields but I still liked the lyrics and can you believe the next record will be a triple album?”

I can’t deny some pangs of jealousy, of the woman who is slightly older than me, as I’m sure some of my younger friends get a bit jealous when I talk of shows they missed3. I really wish I could’ve gone to that ’99 Magnetic Fields show, but I took quite a long time to enjoy The Magnetic Fields.

Though, my favourite page might be from Jen’s Under The Stars #2, but I can’t tell you about it. I’m sworn to secrecy, as the page is “just for me.”

Rereading these ‘zines what I think I can most take out of them is the narrative. There’s a personal feel to them, as if the author is speaking directly to the reader. “This is what’s going on with my life…” kind of thing, and I do think it’s something this blog could use more of. Rather than “I saw this movie, it sucked.” My voice is most definitely less lyrical than Teri’s4 and less blunt than Jen’s5, so obviously I don’t want to mimic them, but I think I could learn from them6.

Perhaps this is all just nostalgic bullshit.

  1. The other side had the Velvets, who I like, but never changed my life. []
  2. Yes, I appreciate the use of the semicolon. []
  3. The Flashing Lights! []
  4. was. []
  5. was. []
  6. as I did in the past. []

3 Thoughts on “Cassettes and Paper

  1. you haven’t read my ‘zine, asshole

  2. it’s Woody, not Wody!

  3. Pingback: Never Had To Fight | verbing the adjective noun since 1902

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