Dec 5, 2019

One Sharper Image Catalog Too Many Two

Plug Tunin'

Okay, yesterday. That was dumb. Let's just make fun of the Cassette to MP3 Converter ($59.99) and its glamorshot.

This gadget is... not... entirely... a terrible idea? There are definitely cheaper ways to get a cassette turned into an mp3, but assuming this thing does the basic job it claims, I guess it's not the worst?

What's "the worst" is the cassettes they used.

Up top, loud and proud, for the rocknroll granddads -- it's BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE. If you squint you can make out Tunnel of Love. Sure. ok, boomer. (Ed. update: days later, on a final pass before posting this entry, I'm watching the video for "Tunnel of Love" and... with an Irish accent this is an outtake from The Joshua Tree. Given the latter-part-of-the-80s glossy production, it could've been Bryan Adams. It could've been Crowded House. My dad was right... it DOES all sound the same! That's a punch in the gut.)

The second tape is The Who’s Quadrophenia. Took a few seconds to get that one -- how many album titles end in “…enia”? The Who was an obvious first guess, but I googled the only other visible words, “twin pack cassette,” and Quadrophenia was right there in the results. I poked around Discogs for images just to make sure.

who cassette label


Springsteen. The Who. This bowling ball is curving beauuuutifully down a freshly polished alley, headed for a monster strike.

And then...

The third cassette bursts up through the lane. Pins fly everywhere. The popcorn machine catches fire. The sprinkler system and the burglar alarm both go off. Pitchers of beer go flying. Women and children are screaming...

the digital underground! DOOWUTCHYALIKE!

I had an immediate guess, but I knew it was based on shakier evidence. “-ground” is hardly as rare as “-enia.” And is that word below it “release”? I needed a magnifying glass to confirm that it was. But also! There aren’t just words on the label, there are graphics. The logo at the bottom I thought might be the Tommy Boy Records logo. (Was I a big rap fan as a teen? With exceptions, no. But, was Information Society on Tommy Boy? Yes. (Oh, and fuck Tommy Boy Records? Yes .))

So, google search: “Digital Undergound Tommy Boy Release”

DU album cover

🎤 My sound’s laid down/by the Underground. 🎤

I don’t recognize any of the songs on the EP but Wikipedia has an entry for the track “Same Song,” to wit: “This song was also used in the Halloween party scene in the 1995 movie Casper.”

Kool Dadd got really into rap, back in '95 when he took the kids to see Casper at the Cineplex 11. "Oh no," he protests, "I was into rap way before that. I practically wore out the tape of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air." Good thing I've got the Cassette to MP3 Converter ($59.99) to finally digitize it!