June 22, 2011

Win Tickets to Hobosexual’s Cassette Release Show this Saturday

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Technology is a strange mistress.

Today I use complicated technology, speaking in a new language unimaginable even a decade ago. My iPhone takes old-fashioned photos, casting this modern world in a ’60s haze, fake film from the most powerful computer I’ve ever owned … and it fits in the palm of my hand. I engage in conversation with heroes and stars previously as unreachable as if they lived on Mars, but only in 140 characters. We listen to music from digital clouds. I die of dysentary during a game of Oregon Trail on my phone. If I stop and think about it, the potent mix of complication and ease, of the new mimicking the old, is paralyzing.

Which is why, when Hobosexual gave me an old-fashioned Walkman to listen to their soon to be released Live at Columbia City Theater cassette, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to open it. It had been at least a decade since I’d held a Walkman in my hands, and the honestly simple, no bells and whistles technology stymied me. Write complex code, sure. Open a Walkman, not so fast. It turned out to be a tab on the front of the player, no eject, no pop up, no button, just my finger pushing against gravity. It was so simple, it was the last thing I looked for.

Hobosexual, in their straight forwardness, their “this is who we are” balls-to-the-wall rock, are much like that Walkman … so simple it seems astonishingly novel. There are no bells-and-whistles needed for rock this potent. Hobosexual, in a sea of polished acts of networkers, facebook experts and twitter marketers, stand out because they do it the old fashioned way. They get on stage month-after-month, they leave a gallon of sweat and friends tell friends they had their mind blown by an honest-to-god Seattle rock band.

This Saturday Hobosexual is celebrating the release of their Live at Columbia City Theater cassette (and download card) at Columbia City Theater, of course. Opening the night will be the always excellent Whalebones and new local band This Bitch Don’t Fall Off. It’s going to be a night of old-fashioned rock’n'roll, cheap beer cans on the floor, sweat dripping from the walls and amps stacked like ladders climbing towards Columbia City Theater’s high ceilings. Needless to say, it is not to be missed.

We’ve got a pair of tickets for one lucky reader to attend this Saturday’s show. All you need to do is leave a comment on the post telling us what your most cherished cassette was. We’ll choose a winner at random and notify them by Friday at noon.

11 Comments

Hit us up.

  1. Matt Brown #

    Most cherished tape? My blue Young, Loud and Snotty cassette by the Dead Boys that my mother gave me for my 9th birthday in ’79, along with my first tape player. It was the oddest colored tape in my collection until I bought the yellow Paul’s Boutique cassette ten years later.

  2. Verleen #

    Mine was a-ha, Hunting High and Low, I wore out several copies!

  3. Brandon Day #

    Not gonna lie. Boyz II Men. CooleyHighHarmony was my JAM on cassette. No shame.

  4. AWESOME, this is all awesome. I myself was a big fan of the “cassingles” — I played Guns’n'Roses “Don’t Cry” till it died an unglamorous death.

  5. Murphy Brown #

    The Guarneri Quartet with Walter Trampler, playing Dvorak’s Op. 97. I still have it and it still works.

  6. Matt Brown #

    Cassingles were my favorite for a long time! The Tower Records in the U-District had the best selection when I was a teenager. That was my introduction to non-album B-sides – still the greatest invention in music marketing, in my opinion. De La Soul always put a few remixes and usually at least one unreleased song on each cassingle (and, of course, 12″ vinyl single) they released. The “Native Tongue Decision” remix for their single “Buddy” is a crucial alternate extended version that drastically improves an already great song.

  7. My most cherished cassette was an evolving mix tape I made myself. When I first started getting into music, around age 8 (ca 1985), all I had was a clock-radio and a Fisher-Price kid’s tape recorder. When I heard a song on the radio I knew I wanted to record I quickly grabbed the tape recorder, leaned it up against the tiny speaker, hit record, and closed the doors & windows in my room making sure nobody made any noise that would show up in the recording.

    Since I only had one tape, space was limited and meant songs were taped over once I got a little tired of them. So even if I still had the tape today there’s no way I could ever know what songs, or random noises from my little sister, were recorded. I know without a doubt that at the time it was mostly pop-stuff: Michael Jackson and the like.

  8. Jason #

    My first cassette was Faith No More “Epic”. MTV got me hooked on the band by playing the music video for Epic. They are still one of my all time favorite bands.

  9. “Skylarking” by XTC! KEXP just played “Super, Supergirl” yesterday afternoon and it made me so happy.

  10. Charlie #

    I immediately thought of a favorite tape when I saw this. Then as I read the above comments I came up with two more that could rank. I can’t make the show but I’ll play anyway because the question alone has brought back some great memories.

    The first tape I thought of was a bootleg Phish show at The Bomb Factory in Dallas from sometime in the early 90s. I was (still am to be honest) big into Phish in college and had a ton of tapes like this. I knew their provenance so could tell you which generation removed from the actual taper my copy was, among other details. They were all on Maxell II-S tapes; anything else was too-low quality for us. The ones I didn’t get by trading with a friend (I tape a show for him/her, they tape one for me), I got from a now-defunct record/head shop in Hempstead, NY on Long Island. They had books and books of show lists. You’d flip through, find the one you want, buy a blank tape from them and come back in a week or two to get it. They made a small profit on the blank tape, but that was it. Charging for a bootleg show was and is completely uncool.
    It was the ultimate in low-fi and it was great. Now I can download any show I want in pristine, soundboard quality and have it instantly. I don’t do that as much as I got tapes from that store.

    The second tape I thought of was a mix tape my sister (who is 14 years older than me) made for me when I was about 10. Her name is Nina and she called it Neener-Beaners Rock n Roll vol. 1. It was full of the best damn songs I’d ever heard at that point. The Radiators, The Pretenders, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Clapton. Stuff that literally blew my young mind. Plus the fact that it came from my sister who was (still is) way too cool for school in my mind. That she thought of me and wanted to be an influence on me from 1,000 miles away was so awe inspiring to me… I listened to that tape way too much. I’ve still got it in a box somewhere (with a bunch of other mix tapes and shows I can’t give up) and will likely pull it out tonight just to get the songs from it so I can re-build the playlist.

    But the last tape I thought of was also probably the last tape I got and loved. It was a copy of Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory on side A and People’s Insntictive Travels on the other. Two of the best hip-hop records ever produced.
    I got it from a friend of mine in the winter of 1998 and even though I mostly listened to CDs by then, I still traveled around with my old Sony Sports Walkman (the big clunky yellow one with the hinged door that you had to flip open in order to open the tape door. That thing was so indestrctible that when I ran over it with my bike when it fell out of my pocket on Broadway on night, it didn’t miss a beat. Try THAT with your iPhone.)
    I had recently broken up with a serious girlfriend and was morbid. I was riding my bike and the bus everywhere and I was working the opening shift at a downtown Starbucks at 5:30 am and rehearsing the last play I’ll ever work on every night from 6-10 pm. All of this was taking place in Seattle in February. It meant spending a lot of time in the dark, cold, rain and this tape was my soundtrack. It was all I listened to for weeks and it got me through that very hard time. I still listen to both those albums a lot. Based on visceral memories alone, that tape is easily my favorite one.

  11. Thanks everyone for sharing your favorites with us, this has to be our favorite contest we’ve ever hosted.

    Congrats to Brandon Day … we’ll be asking you to perform CooleyHighHarmony at Columbia City Theater tomorrow.

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