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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Print: Is the Local Cassette Label Revival Just a Fad?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 7:00 AM

From SF Weekly's latest print music section:

Billy Sprague
  • Billy Sprague

Cassette-only labels are back: With vintage tape duplicators whirring beneath a dizzying backdrop of art supplies, busted keyboards, and shelves of tapes, Billy Sprague describes his long-term relationship with cassettes and the outlandish art that accompanies them. After praising at length the format's financial practicality and sonic warmth, he pauses, smirks, and offers another, perhaps underappreciated quality of cassettes: "They're cute."

Sanity Muffin's Billy Sprague makes runs of 100 tapes -- and they usually sell out.

Sprague runs Sanity Muffin, a modern cassette label that follows the path of vaunted indies like 4AD, Rough Trade, and Factory. In the '80s, those houses explored die-cut, fold-out packages, custom screenprinted snap covers with buttons, and Velcro. In today's mp3-happy music universe, Sprague and many other locals keep the analog tradition alive by releasing innovative music on cassettes, often with bizarre artwork... [continue reading]

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and lows from the week in S.F. music.

Also, we recommend shows from Dir En Grey, Hanin Elias, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and Parker Gibbs' Annual Holiday Craptacular.


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