This episode marks a number of occasions, but most relevantly, my two-year anniversary at KMUZ. It was at this station that the new iteration of my program could re-invent itself, and I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on this show. But to mark the occasion, it seemed important to chart new territory, produce new content, play new music, and present something that lived up to the program I’ve come to produce over the last twenty years.
With that, here is my first all-cassette program, and as if that weren’t enough, only one tape comes from the distant past. The rest are new releases, from the last few years, by artists that are still active and still making music in some form or another. This was an excellent opportunity to figure out if there’s anything to this “tape renaissance” that so many people talk about. People hand me tapes of their bands all the time, and while I can listen to tapes at home and even include them on the program, I so rarely do so because I can often find another version of the music elsewhere, given the other opportunities and possibilities I have at my disposal that are easy to access. This was a chance to give these tapes their due, and focus on material that is largely only available (in a physical form) on cassette. In putting together this show, I uncovered a few gems that I’m very happy to share with you, and this may become a series, at some point.
The backbone of this program is an LP called “The Elvis Tapes,” which is a recent addition to the collection, and feels like a natural way to offer some connective tissue for such an undertaking. It is the only thing from a record, as well; everything else – including my own voice and the transitional pieces – came from analog tape sources. While the quality may vary from tune to tune, this is not as a result of the playback machine. I’ve been swabbing the heads and keeping the decks in good working order, something I never did in the old days but find very therapeutic now. What you’re hearing is an aesthetic choice that used to dominate the way we interacted with music for years, and in a way, I find incredibly charming. It was nice to feel some of my old mix-tape habits come back into play as I was assembling this show, and I think the results are a lot of fun, but are entirely something in line with the last two years of Mid-Valley Mutations.
And, for that matter the last 25 years of making art. I started in ‘zines and playing in bands, but radio was so attractive that 20 years ago I took the air, and have been doing so ever since. In a lot of ways, radio has come to dominate my life, and I really enjoy the way it has given me an outlet to find peers, create new art, and interact with some amazing people. It makes me happy to bring you shows like this, and hopefully, I can continue to do so for at least another twenty.
So, sit back and enjoy some radio with audible tape hiss. It’s Friday. You earned it.
This program contains samples from “The Elvis Tapes,” an LP released by The Great Northwest Music Company in 1977.
Part I: Parallel Broadcasts
01.) Austin FM Theme * Paco Jones * Austin FM Theme * Self-Released (2016)
02.) Lunch * Operation Re-Information * HQ Cassette
03.) Old As(s) Fuck(s) * /root_DIR * /root_DIR / Xiphoid Process Split Tape * They/Them Records
04.) Boxcutter * Xiphoid Process * /root_DIR / Xiphoid Process Split Tape * They/Them Records
05.) Chronicles of Young Failure * Postrich Bear * Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story * Blue Eggplant Records
06.) The Parallel Broadcasts [Excerpt] * Porest * The Parallel Broadcasts / Radio Between The Lines * porestsound.net