Tapes and Tapes and Tapes

In a technological down-shift that will warm many an aging Deadhead’s heart, cassette tapes continue to be the medium of choice deep in the American underground. This embrace of outmoded audio technology is old news to regular readers of Bull Tongue, Byron Coley and Thurston Moore’s Arthur column — new installments of which will be featured here on the Arthur site — but even old hands can find this network of brilliant and often purposefully obscure music tricky to navigate.

Among the many resources that your contributing editor consults in searching out the latest drone and psychedelic noise releases is Expressway To My Skull, an audioblog and review site maintained by Vancouver’s Mark E. Rich. Rich is on vacation at the moment, but prior to leaving he posted Expressway’s Guide To The Cassette Underground, a handy digest of “earth psych” labels, DIY distributors and cassette-only radio shows.

You can also check out his monthly cassette review columns by clicking here. Have a nice vacation, Mark.

(And P.S. thanks for the Bull Tongue shout-out.)

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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