Why Anyone Might Want A Cassette

•July 1, 2018 • 1 Comment

In response to an article, someone commented “I dont understand why anyone would want a cassette.”

After over twenty years in storage, my entire cassette tape collection has been reclaimed. It includes pre-recorded albums, home-made mix-tapes, and recordings of dj sets from long ago.

Box o Tapes.jpg

As I type, I’m on the 4th playing of “Ask Rufus”, which has been on a continuous loop as I’ve lounged in my den/studio sipping a cool beverage,  alternately reading comics, writing poetry, surfing the web, and napping on this, lazy, summer evening.

Yes, I could set an MP3 or CD player on repeat, but neither would sound this warm and full. I could also put on the LP, but I don’t have a record player that automatically flips sides.

There are two reasons right there someone might want a cassette. It makes sense that anyone younger than I would not understand or appreciate the cassette.

To my joy, I discovered in my collection a few mix-tapes recorded from a variety of mid to late 70’s Bay Area radio stations: KDIA, KSOL, and KYA get announced a few times. I must have been about 12 years old. I remember pleading with my father, asking him to buy me a portable tape deck.

tapedeck

I carried that thing with me everywhere. I would park myself in front any available radio, the microphone aimed at the speaker, ready to hit RECORD with the first note of my new favourite song. It has been quite fun listening to these old tapes, and using Spotify on those one-hit wonders I’d forgotten I loved (this has led to increased track hunting on Discogs, btw).

There, more reason as to why someone might appreciate cassettes.

I’ve especially enjoyed listening to the old dj sessions, recognizing how my abilities have grown or changed … along with my tastes and interests.

Between paragraphs, I popped my very first “DJ Mix” into the B deck of my cassette player. It is now playing. It’s more a compilation than an actual DJ mix. It includes The Tubes, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”, The B-52’s. “Give Me Back My Man”, and Grace Jones “Unlimited Capacity For Love” among others. The cassette was recorded in the sound studios of Lackland Air Force Base, in 1983. This was the first time I’d had access to professional grade recording equipment. I hadn’t yet learned how to use a mixer, so there are breaks between each track: Cue track. Press RECORD. Track ends. Press PAUSE. Cue next track. Repeat.

Cassettes were my primary medium for the majority of 80’s. I preferred them because they were the most compact option of the time. Compact meant I could have and transport more of them. When I realized that I could purchase my own dual-deck cassette recorder, my mix-tape game hit next level.

My medium preference shifted back to vinyl after discovering dj mixers. But I still relied on cassette for recording, even after the introduction of CDs.

The CD was supposed to be ‘perfect’. However, it sounded cold and flat to me. And when they skipped, it was waaay more annoying than vinyl. I hated CDs so much, that all four of my cars from 1983 to 2005 had tape decks.

I recorded mixes on cassette until about 1993. At a popular SF venue, the manager asked me for a demo. I proudly handed him a cassette, to which he replied, “I don’t have anything that can play that. Do you have a CD?”

It was then that my cassettes began going into storage.

Now, years later, I can once again load a couple of 90 minute tapes in deck A & B, and listen without interruption, to music I know I love because I made the recordings, and wax nostalgic to my hearts content … rarely  repeating the same song … or even the same artists … with no need touch the equipment for hours.

I hope this helps anyone understand why some of us appreciate cassettes.

jmz

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Notice

•September 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

(with thanks to my Brother, Riley)

 

They’ve murdered Darren Seals.

 

And I can’t any more

I don’t have any more

I can’t do another march

I can’t rally to protest

 

I can’t

 

I’m tired

 

Dead tired inside

 

All I can do

 

Is write

 

 

They’ve Murdered Darren Seals

 

Martyred that young man

Like James Chaney

Or Jesus

Christ

If there is a God, he is not just

He is not fair.

 

If there was a God,

He’s not around any more

 

Having long abandoned this experiment

With Hell in Earth
He does not care to fix

This mess

He Made

 

I can’t anymore

 

Believe

 

They killed Darren Seals

And I just can’t

 

I can’t hear         the whitexcuses

the whitesplanations

the white-validations

 

They will decree his death

A suicide

Talk about his depression

His lifetime on Prozac

Or Ritalin

 

His Life Time

29 Years

 

They martyred that child

 

As surely as Martin before him.

 

 

 

I drove home in a coma

Dead inside

An automaton

 

Single minded

 

Emotionless

But for the unending flicker

of Sadness

Promising the heat of Rage

 

The roads opened before me

Motorists gave me wide berth

 

 

The fucking dog

Started barking like a maniac

As I opened the door.

 

Where the fuck was his bark

When they stole my bike off of the deck?

 

I growled back at him

“What you gonna do!”

 

Baring my teeth, I scowled into his black eyes.

 

He backed beneath the dining room table,

tail between his legs.

His bark diminished to a soft rumble.

 

 

Zero Tolerance

 

I am at Zero Tolerance

For stupidity

 

Little patience for ignorance

 

Faggots, be wary:

 

I am not a character

On a clichéd-gay sitcom

And you are not as witty

As you believe you are.

 

Zero Tolerance

 

 

I am so Blessed

 

I work hard and play well

I am challenged and rewarded

I’ve achieved goals and have dreams yet to manifest

I’ve struggled to get this far

But I’m here.

 

Survivor guilt is a bitch

A burden Darren Seals will never have to bare.

The weight

Of his loss

Tugs on my heart

Nearly crippled me

 

I buckled a bit

As the world shifted

To compensate

I Can Not

I Will Not

 

Zero Tolerance

 

for Inanity

Passive Animosity

Dishonesty

 

Say What You Mean

Mean What You Say

Know What You Intend to Convey

 

And be open to correction

of         error in thought

error in notion

 

Darren Seals had to be killed

For me to reach this degree of intolerance

 

And I feel like shit with guilt

 

I have let the Idiocracy get to me.

They martyred that man

 

And now seek to keep his name from being said.

Nary a word in the press.
So,

 

I say his name

Write it down

Look it up

Study it

 

Like Gospel

 

 

They’ve murdered Darren Seals

29 year old founding activist of the Ferguson Protests of the Murder of Mike Brown

 

They murdered Darren Seals

Catalyst of the #Black Lives Matter Movement

Darren Seals

Live Blogging @ The Blue Nile Restaurant

•March 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Kevin Washington.

The man makes every instrument he touches speak in the most beautiful of dialects.

And when spirit captures him … transcendence.

And spirit captures him when he is simply speaking.

And gospel truth pours out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some actually said that Los Dominicos were “celebrating too much.”

How do you celebrate “too much”?

That’s some twisted shit.

“You’re too happy.”

“Stop feeling so good!”

What kinda uptight, conservative nonsense is that?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I like your “Darkmage” t-shirt

or whatever it says.

And not because of the guns.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-jamezipad

 

and Mix Up! just got a shout out on the mic.

I never get a shout out on the mic!

https://www.facebook.com/events/228156303990281/?fref=ts

Just Another Ride Home

•July 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

79 degrees, 2;22 am

Raven’s Caw

•July 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Thunder held a different tone

More like a drone

pulsing

rapidly

 

I hear you

and I’m listening

for guidance

for a new way

What I Did Yesterday

•July 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Sitting in the office, researching online materials regarding fare transit policy, I notice a slight hint of ozone in the air.

“It’s a hot one.” I think to myself. “The AC has burnt out.”

Danger Mouse, using uncanny echo repeating capabilities says, “Does anyone smell that?”

She jumps up in alarm. Scurrying through the maze, she sets out to find the source, verifying her keen senses against the less acute around her as she goes.

After hearing her query a fourth party, I stood up from my cube like a prairie dog on the watch and yelped, “Yes. I smell it. Yes. I smelt it. I smell it.”

Hearing my own echo, she made eye contact. “You smell it?”

“Yes. I smell it.”

DM calmed down, but only just so. Something was still awry. Determined to find the source, encouraged by the validation of others reacting in kind, she scurried on.

When she returned to me, I said “Sound the alarm.”

“Really?” Still unsure.

“Yes.”

And so she did.

Convinced of our doom, the call was made to evacuate (Mind you,  I had no problem encouraging this course of action).

As meetings were disrupted, and projects put on hold, The Rats fled the ship. Though I was not Lead Rat, again, I did have a rolel.

My favourite moment was when I went up to one of the new interns, still working away diligently at his desk, and yelled “YOU’RE GONNA DIE!!!”

He looked me in the eye, nonplussed, and said, “No I’m not.”

For myself, I decided that, with the two hours left in the work day, I would bike to the library and continue my research.

I set off for the East Lake Street Library, not considering the excessive heat. By the time I got to the River Road, I was feeling a bit delirious.

I decided the best course of action, considering this new mental state, would be to skip the library and head straight home via the most shaded route possible, the Seward Neighborhood (talk about prime location for a Bike Boulevard!)

Though the terrain was rough along key byways, it was mostly shaded. I road slowly beneath the trees, hoping to spy a lemonade stand, feeling more and more exhausted.

When I reached the Hexagon, I rolled up to the entrance. Discarding my bike like an old rag, I made a beeline for the bar. Had to wait in line, as a woman literally looked me up and down.

I looked her up and down.

“Yeah. Here.” she said, sassing back as she pulled out a stool for me. “You look like you need a drink!”

“Yes. I do.”

I turned to the bartender. ” Can I get a glass of water. I just biked from Saint Paul.”

“Saint Paul!?” the woman exclaimed. “You’re lucky you’re not dead. It’s like 97* out there!”

My point here: Drink some water. Make sure you have water with you. I’ve biked home many times without needing to hydrate. I’d never done so in such intense heat. I honestly thought I would be fine.

I wasn’t. I was admittedly delirious. Aware enough to recognize my delirium, but not enough to do the right thing about it. I wasn’t thinking clearly.

It never once occurred to me to stop at one of the many gas stations or other businesses along the route and get water.

Heck. I made it to the Seward Neighborhood.There were garden hoses attached to houses. (Yes, being a black man, I run the risk of getting shot dead, but I’m sure if I’d gone to David Peterson’s house, I’d have been fine.)

Biking. Walking. Moving. Drink Water, People.

Secondary point: I did not make it to the library yesterday.

If you have any thoughts you might like to share with me regarding Transit Fare Policy, I am collecting such thoughts at jamezs@tlcminnesota.org.

untitled jan 4, 2012

•January 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Brian Mazo, quit driving backwards on The Bay Bridge in my dreams.
Leslie Robinson, your lasagna is perfect.
Jill Scott, any time I can do anything to cheer you up, just let me know
(and, thanks for the hospitality).
San Francisco, I know it’s bad, but it’s gonna be alright.
I didn’t see it happen, so maybe we made the shift.

On this warm winter night, I recount a dream – leaving out bits – to save time.

The Sea frightened me more than it used to.
The flash fell off my camera… which I prefer.
Saw Orion’s dick for the first time … large, flacid … as he pointed towards The Moon.

Two hundred meteors foretold. We can’t see them here.

Did climate change kill the Mastodons, or was it hubris and greed?