Editor’s Note: This story is a work of satire. All quotes and people included are fictitious. Read at your own risk.
Though most people are getting to grips with the multiple music streaming services available, many want higher quality and more true tones.
While the first thought that comes to mind may be vinyl records, the recent trend is actually a little more recent – cassette tapes.
“I saw this thing playing music in Deadpool and I was like, ‘what is that?’ I needed to know,” says LSU freshman Doug Funee. “I asked Google and it said it was a ‘Walkman.’”
Funee did some research and learned of cassettes, or magnetic tape that data is stored upon. Funee is very fond of his recent discovery. “It’s way easier than streaming music.”
Funee recently made a dorm room business of putting new music on old, blank cassettes. “I’ve got some Drake, a little T-Swift. I’d put Kanye’s new album but it’s only available on Tidal, and like, ew.”
Many people say “ew” along with Funee at big music streaming, as his business has really taken off. This lo-fi file sharing has seen a spike in Walkman resales in Baton Rouge.
“I had to completely change my business model,” Patty Aioli of popular local music shop Nuclear Soda Stand says. “No one wants records anymore; it’s all cassettes.”
Aioli found plenty of old cassettes from her dad, who kept them because there’s too much quality there, man. “Steely Dan, The Eagles, Beegees – I figured it was ironic but people say they love this stuff.”
“I would not say it was a better format than vinyl, but it is more convenient,” muses Aioli. “It’s hard to carry a record player around for most people, as well as all the records.”
Funee mentions similar advantages, but points out that being a cassette user indicates a more educated music fan. “You’ve got to know what you like,” he notes. “No finding new stuff – you gotta commit. Or like, carry a big bag around I guess.”
Aioli sells large enough bags, as well as tickets to what she calls “live tapings.”
“Everyone packs in and I describe the record we’ll be taping for the month,” she says. “Then, I put the record on and hold up a Dictaphone up to the speaker, then auction off the tape.”
To give you an idea of the event and cassettes’ popularity, the fire marshal came to shut down the live taping I attended as research. He ended up buying the tape of Nelly’s “Nellyville” for $900.
Cassettes are so popular, local musicians are recording LPs on cassette. The CheeWees released a cassette called “Cargo Shorts and Reef Thongs” that has seen some critical acclaim.
“Using the same collection of chords and topics for every song is a brilliant subversion of the dad rock genre,” says Pitchtape; it got three and a half fanny packs out of a potential five.
More progressive musicians are not wholly fond of the format, however; they prefer laser disc. “Look, it was always higher fidelity,” says sleepcore artist Tommy Gherkin.
“The snore-singing of sleepcore just comes across better on laserdisc. It’s a shame the compact disc beat it.” Gherkin also went on a rant about BetaMax that I did not fully understand.
I reached out to John Encore, former owner of the recently closed Comely Discus Music Store for comment. He said he was too busy boiling his head.