I released my first cassette in 1998 or something. It’s actually pretty fuzzy, I skipped a lot of high school to make it (on a cassette 4-track) and almost flunked out but then I don’t think it hit the streets right away. It was called B.R.E.A.K., a witty backronym for “Beats, Rhymes, Emotions, And Knowledge” (I don’t think I believed in the Oxford comma back then, and I’m still agnostic, but if there’s one thing I Know you can ethically retcon, it’s the punctuation of a backronym).
At the same time, and I think released slightly sooner, I was making a tape as part of a group called The Sentinels. The other members were ginzuintriplicate (I am also retconning his rap name, which is dicier) and Naked J aka Savage Poetic. That was called The Lying City. On the occasion of our duplication of the first & only 50 copies, we played our first ever live show at the legendary Khyber Club in K’jipuktuk (here I am DE-retconning the colonial name of the place I grew up calling Halifax). Our beats were played straight off the 4-track master tape on stage, with the vocals just muted.
Neither of those is available, this Cassette Store Day. Long gone. Good riddance imo.
I have been on a few tapes since then. Some of them – like both of Crackbeat Society‘s compilations, or the Unwinnablemagazine Kickstarter reward mix – are also relegated to the dollar bin in purgatory. But some of them you can still clutter your home with!
I’m just gonna do some Bandcamp links here and you go snag the merch.
- A Few Subversive Ciphers by Jesse Dangerously, The Mighty Rhino, & Batya the Toon
I had this one song I needed people to hear, another song I’d been trying to finish for years, and two friends who had different but complementary things they needed to get off their respective chests. I don’t think either Rhino or Batya owns a cassette player, but don’t let that stop you. “Creatures of Dream” won the 2016 Pegasus Prize for Best Filk Song!
- The Snuggle Is Real by Mikal kHill
I appear on “The Light of Day”
- Before The Flood / After The Flood by Jacob Earl
I appear on like half the songs on these tapes! Jacob conceptualized an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s MADDADDAM trilogy, and taught me the Cole’s Notes version so I could add some verses and flourishes.
I feel like I’m forgetting something? Can that really be it so far?
Well, go buy them please. It’s the day when you have to do that. Sorry I don’t make the rules.
Hey actually you know what? I’m going to link to my last few cassette purchases below, just to prove that I’m part of the gang for real.
*ok I’ll come clean, the Mulligrub tape was a gift from my sister but I like it