Cassette Store Day brings new music back back to old platforms

by Ryo Miyauchi, Asst. Entertainment Editor

Add cassette tapes to the list of past music formats making a comeback. It’s not so surprising to find a cassette-only release of an album for an indie rock band. At first glance, this sounds like a niche phenomenon. However, the community of tapes is actually growing popular, enough to upstart its own day of celebration, Cassette Store Day. This Saturday, Sept. 27, San Diego’s M-Theory record store joins the fun for the event at its Mission Hills location.

Cassette Store Day is a fairly new event. The first CSD got started by a couple record label owners in the United Kingdom just last year on Sept. 7. What began as a simple exchange of ideas became an international event spanning the U.K., U.S. and Tokyo. Dozens of stores across the country once again join in the celebration this year on Sept. 27.

The idea of a format-focused event takes root from Record Store Day and its push for vinyl record products. Like RSD, participating stores put out CSD-only new releases and re-issues. Live performances and festivities also take place in certain locations. It’s all for the greater cause of promoting cassette tapes as a viable format and simply having a good time.

M-Theory was one of the many record stores in the U.S. that participated in the inaugural CSD last year. Along with a stock of limited edition tapes, the San Diego event featured performances by live bands and all-cassette DJs. Though smaller scaled than before, this Saturday’s event follows the success from the previous year..

“This year, unfortunately, we are not going to have any bands playing,” M-Theory General Manager Rick Tyner said. “But we will have a good amount of limited edition cassettes. There are a lot this year. We are only going to have a fraction of what’s out there, but we picked up bunch of the good ones.”

The online list of the official CSD releases is massive. The indie fans may find the new solo efforts by their heroes Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs worth their time. Punk followers might like newcomers White Lung’s latest “Deep Fantasy” or the original demos re-issue by scene veterans Adolescents.

“I’m stoked for J Dilla’s ‘Donuts’ and Madvillain on cassette,” Tyner said when asked about his anticipated releases. For hip-hop heads, those modern day classics should be a treat. The latter group’s member, MF Doom, is also dropping his collaborative project with his partner in crime Bishop Nehru. Whatever is your go-to, CSD caters to all fans from every corners of music.

M-Theory Mission Hills opens doors at 10 a.m. on CSD, so be sure to get there early to grab your favorite tape before it’s all gone. Even if you got nothing to play it on, it’s at least a great music item to have around. CSD welcomes both casual fans and serious obsessives, and M-Theory invites everyone to pass around the fun.