Interview with John
Brand New Serial
Editor’s Note Editor-In-Chief Samuel Reese
After a great first it’s always hard to keep the momentum going, and it’s even harder to live up to its greatness. It’s why the second movie of a trilogy is almost always worse than the other two. This new issue of Museworthy has been trying to say the least, but the most diﬃcult part has been trying to make it as good as the first. But I think I’ve learned that sometimes, the trouble is that we try to make it as good as the first, and it fails because not only do we ourselves not see them as equal, neither does our audience. So, for this new issue, I’ve decided to let it stand on its own. Of course, it’s still an installment of Museworthy, but rather than trying to follow the formula of the first, I want this issue to speak for itself. Inside you’ll find a brand-new serial by a returning writer; a photo set by a new, upcoming photographer; and an interview with a old friend of mine. We hope this issue can be a springboard for things to come as we expand and continue forward. Finally, as you read through the pages of this magazine, I hope you’re inspired, awestruck, and equipped to move forward in your own projects. From the Muse and I, Samuel Reese
Administration Emily Reese Music Columnist Matisse Resident Photographer Connie Schneider
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INNARDS Poet’s Corner ........................................................ 17 This month, read two poems by a new and upcoming young writer.
Ear Candy .......................................................... 18 Our regular music column. Filled with rambling insight, speculation, and music. Obviously.
Tanglewood ................…....................... 3 A brand new fantasy serial by returning writer, Erin Turner.
Writer’s Block .................….................. 7 Writer’s block gotcha down? What’s the deal? Find out here.
Dear Summer: ..................... 9
Now that winter’s here, everyone wants summer back in all it’s sun-filled glory. In all fairness, we do too.
Music Life ............................................... 13
Local musician John Michael Cavener answer’s a few questions about his musical journey, and the practicality of a musical life.
Tanglewood By Erin Turner
When Alex was twelve, her parents divorced. Dad took some job transfer to Tokyo, and Mom went back to school, moving her and Alex to Boston so Mom could get her law degree. Sure, they weren’t that far from their old house in the Portland, Maine suburbs, but Alex saw Boston as an evil, foreign city. She couldn’t ride her bike down the street to see her best friend, Myka, couldn’t ride her bike anywhere, actually, unless Mom was there. Mom seemed to think that every shadow and alleyway held bad guys. It took a whole month of whining to get Mom to let her walk to the bookstore around the corner by herself. Once Alex could get to the bookstore, things got a little better. She spent hours tucked in a corner, enjoying the air conditioning (the apartment didn’t have any) and reading. She felt bad, sometimes, for reading the books without buying them, but the closest library might as well have been in another universe, and Alex couldn’t babysit anymore. She handled each book carefully, like it was enormously old and valuable, making sure she never creased a spine or wrinkled a page. It became a game, losing herself in the story with most of her mind, but keeping a tiny part aware of the book’s condition at all times. Of all the books Alex read, her favorites were the Chronicles of Narnia, The Five Children and It, and The Thyme Garden. These she read over and over, wishing for a world of her own to escape to. But then
dinnertime came like always, and Alex carefully shelved the book she was reading in its proper place, threw her little bag over her shoulder, and headed home. Mom gave Alex the bag, a grey canvas satchel, the day they’d moved into the tiny two bedroom apartment on the third floor of the old building with creaky stairs. “What am I gonna do with this?” Alex had asked, wrinkling her nose at the dull, dishwatery color and boring squareness of it. “It’s for your things,” her mom had answered in that cheerful voice she’d used too much since Dad left. Alex knew that it was fake, but never said. “What things?” “Oh, you know, keys, bus passes, money, maybe your schoolbooks later.” Seriously? “I have a backpack.” Alex pointed out. A cool one. Bright red, with black straps and a big black patch with the company’s name on it. Alex was not a pink girl. “Yes, but this way you can keep it in front of you. Its easier to avoid pickpockets that way.” By this point Alex had learned that when pickpockets or bad guys hiding in shadows or dangerous traﬃc came into the conversation, she’d better shut up, or Mom would go all ballistic. So she smiled, and took the bag. It now held a thin wallet containing exactly seventy-three cents, a bus pass she never used, and her house key. But Mom complained if she left it behind.
Before she went inside the apartment Alex peered up towards the roof. As much as she missed their little white house, she had to admit the building was pretty cool. Old, and creaky, and stuﬀ didn’t work all the time, which sucked, but she liked the red brick, and the green ivy that had covered one corner, and the way the front rooms had iron balconies that were all scrolly and tough. Pretty and strong. Like me, Alex thought. Though she was blonde, and had blue eyes, and people always said she was so cute, she hated all that girly stuﬀ. Right now, she wished she could climb up on the roof. That would be cool, but mom would freak, of course. “You’d get a good view from the roof,” came a voice behind her. Alex jumped and turned around, afraid one of Mom’s boogey men had appeared. It was only a boy, about her age, she guessed, with curly brown hair and twinkly green eyes. He smiled, and held out his hand. “Hi. I’m Daniel.” “Um, hi,” Alex said, tentatively taking his hand. He gave it a good, firm shake and let it go. “I’m Alex.” “Nice to meet you, Alex,” Daniel said. He stuck his hands in his jeans pockets and began to bounce on the balls of his feet, then rock back into his heels, then bounce forward, and rock back, over and over. He looked in a hurry. Alex noticed that the right knee was ripped and his grey t-shirt looked smudgy, like he’d been in dirt somewhere. “You live here?” he asked. “Yeah, up there,” she pointed at the third floor. “On the roof?” Daniel asked.
“No, stupid, on the third floor.” “Oh. Can you get to the roof?” He seemed a little obsessed with the roof to Alex. “Only by the fire escape, and Mom says I can’t use it except if there’s a fire.” “Boring,” Daniel said, sympathetically. “Yeah,” Alex agreed. She vaguely heard a pitter-patter of feet oﬀ down the street a bit, and wondered who was coming now. Daniel heard it too, glanced down the street, and gave himself a little shake, like a wet dog. “Well, I’ve gotta go,” he said. “See you around?” “Sure,” Alex said, though by then Daniel had already walked to the corner and crossed the street, breaking into a jog and disappearing around a building. Alex studied the roof one more time, then sighed and pushed through the front door and up the stairs. “Mom?” Alex called as she pushed inside. A bright yellow note fluttered on the fridge; “Gone to the store,” it read, “dinner on the counter.” A little arrow pointed to the peanut butter, jelly, and loaf of bread next to the fridge. “Yum. PB&J again.” Alex said, out loud. She made a sloppy sandwich and dumped the knife in the sink, not bothering to wash it oﬀ. She also didn’t bother with a plate, grabbing a paper napkin. Good enough. She opened the fridge. No milk. She shuﬄed stuﬀ around, hoping for a stray coke or something, but there was nothing but Orange Juice, which did not go with PB&J, so she got a glass
of water from the sink, and took her dinner to her room. In Maine, Mom didn’t let her eat anywhere but the dining room. Here, she didn’t care, except if Alex made a mess. But then, in Maine Mom never had PB&J for dinner. Even though the new building was cool, Alex hated her new room. They couldn’t paint, or punch holes in the walls, so they were bare and white, except for a picture of her and Myka, and one of her, Mom, and Dad taped to the wall above her desk. Her twin bed was new, bought when they moved because her old one wouldn’t have fit. It was boring white, too. Her bedspread was red, her favorite color, and she’d had to work hard to get Mom to let her buy it. Money was tight now. She didn’t like that. The bed was in one corner, under the two windows, her desk across from it, dresser next to the closet (If the tiny hole in the wall counted as a real, honest-togoodness closet). That was it. Alex plunked her dinner on the desk, dumped her bag on the bed, and kicked oﬀ her shoes. The room was hot, and stuﬀy. She pulled up the miniblinds on the window to the side of the bed, kneeling on her bed to reach, and then opened the window. The other one, between her bed and her desk, was easier to reach, but she liked this view better. Their apartment was the last in the row, and on the corner. Behind them an alley formed a narrow barrier between two rows of buildings, but a full-fledged street ran into the alley on the side Alex’s room faced. Across the street was an old, huge, single house. More like a mansion. Alex had no idea what it was for. The big brick building looked pristine, its trim painted perfectly, the glass in the door clear and sparkling. A small sign by the walkway announced that it belonged to some old University group. Several times Alex had been tempted to
peer in the window, but a wrought iron fence encircled the whole property and she didn’t think Mom would be thrilled if she trespassed. Actually, the whole place creeped her out a little, though she didn’t know why. What fascinated her the most was the little garden on one side of the house. She had walked past it dozens of times, but it still looked bigger from her window than it really was. Unlike the pristine house, the garden was a mess. Not trashed, just unkempt. Bushes and vines ignored the boundary of the fence and poured out into the sidewalk. Trees scattered branches in the street when it rained really hard. The lawn could only be glimpsed sometimes between the tangle of plants in the hedges, but Alex could see it clearly from her window. It needed mowing. Though it was dinnertime the sun had just barely begun to streak the sky with pink and orange. Alex could see the garden clearly. And something moved. Deep in the farthest corner, something moved. Dinner forgotten, Alex pushed the window up higher and leaned out, gripping the bottom of the window frame to keep her balance. They’d been here for nearly three months, and in all that time Alex had never seen anyone in the garden, and no one had ever came or went from the house. Ever. She peered as hard as she could into the shadows of that corner, but didn’t see anything else. It must have been the wind, she thought, and turned back to her dinner. Erin Turner is a writer from Cumming, Georgia who is currently a student at Boston University. In her spare time she rides horses and visits Narnia. Visit her on her blog at hiddenfiremusings.blogspot.com because that’d be a cool thing to do. ✤
Writer’s Block is By Samuel Reese
Starting out, one of the hardest parts of writing is finishing a story. Many a tale has been lost to procrastination, boredom, or the everinfamous excuse of writer’s block. Now, this problem seems easily rectified with drive and a good workethic, but the truth is that sometimes the reason finishing becomes so diﬃcult is that we grow bored with what we’re writing, or we begin to make excuses about it. That’s right, as much as we hate to believe it, the Almighty Writer’s Block is no real block at all, or rather no external block.
Consider this: When you find a great book, one that you just can’t put down, you read it day in and day out, scarcely stopping to sleep before jumping back in the next morning. Now think about a time when you’ve found a book that just bored the brains right out of you. Maybe a friend recommended it and before you knew it, the book was being shoved into your regretful hands. You spent a few minutes browsing the first chapter before attempting to claw your eyes out and promptly dropping it forever. The same thing happens when we write the story. See, our minds are conditioned from birth to despise that which bores us, or that which we feel we cannot accomplish. While one writer drops a tale because he can’t stand his characters, another drops it because they subconsciously feel they can’t write the characters like they should.
As much as we hate to believe it, the Almighty Writer’s Block is no real block at all.
See, rather than being some disease that we loathe like a plague, writer’s block actually comes from our own minds. When we begin to get lost in our plot, bored with our characters, or simply too exhausted to continue, we often make excuses -- albeit subconsciously -- about not being able to finish. “My characters are dumb!” “My plot has too many holes to fix!” “I don’t have any time!” And the list continues, because deep down we genuinely don’t want to spend any more time or eﬀort on that project.
I, personally, have been on both sides of this devious debacle, and can honestly say it’s just awful. I have a friend who once described her characters as writing their own story, she merely as the watchful scribe. This, perhaps, describes the oddity of
a Big Ole’ Liar our craft better than anything. It’s something fun to think about and chuckle at when our tales get out of hand, but the foremost thing to remember is that, to some extent, it’s just not true.
the great pleasure of being taught by a teacher who not only loved her craft, but loved teaching it as well. She taught me structure and form, but focused on creativity and style. Regardless of the content, it was a joy to write because I Now, I can was able to figure out what I liked already hear my and what I didn’t, what I enjoyed readers seething, Regardless of what about writing in the first place. but hear me out. happens, it is your The point is this: When things don’t I’m not saying that our stories don’t prerogative as the turn out the way you expect, or when unfold in ways we you just want to give up, remember writer to change it. don’t expect, and why you do this. Be it to entertain, to I’m not saying that inform, or simply as a daily catharsis, on a bout of sleep your goal will keep you going. If you deprivation our characters don’t do genuinely don’t feel like finishing a story, something ridiculous. What I’m saying is don’t. Save it and start something new. that, regardless of what happens, it is your Because when you start getting that itch prerogative as the writer to change it. to see what your characters have been up Stories often develop on their own, but to the past few months, you’ll wanna go when it comes down to it, you have the ahead and get back to your old tale. You right and the ability to step back, take a might be surprised at how much you’ve moment to think, and just edit the heck grown to love it. ✤ out of that thing. That’s your job. On the other side, I had a teacher in high-school who was just the worst; I couldn’t stand her. Not her demeanor or personality, but her lack of any measurable creativity. Sure, she taught me a great deal about writing and structure, but when it came down to it the worst years of my life were spent pulling my hair out over how rigid she was about the style in which I chose to write. So, I dropped writing altogether. A few years later I had
by Christina Adleman
These photographs are the fingerprints of memories. As a writer and an artist I am always striving to preserve something in a real and raw way, whether through words or brush strokes. However, there is something very diďŹ€erent about photography. I am still very much an amateur photographer, but I have already grown to love how completely a camera can capture a moment and turn it into something that is forever. The feeling of the breeze or the lapping of the ocean may be lost, but so many details remain crisp and vibrant nonetheless. Specifically, these photos are snapshots of my adventures. The places I've been, the things I've seen, and all with the summer sun beating down on my back. They are my ode to summer.
An Interview with John Michael Cavener John Michael is a musician and worship leader from Oklahoma, who now lives in Georgia with his new wife, Desiree. As we talk, he sips his coﬀee and rocks vigorously on a back porch swing.
Speaking of your roots, which artists inspired you the most? I wouldn’t say so much “artists” as it was just the people that I knew growing up. I was around a lot of musicians, especially growing When and why did you start playing up in the church. Our main babysitter was the guitar? worship leader, and he was a music teacher When and why? Let’s see, the when: I too. Once I got out of the Christian side of it started playing guitar -- well I first started and started getting introduced to some of the showing signs of interest probably when I was secular songs, really some of the major about ten or eleven. Never actually did inspirations I had during the early days, let’s anything about it. I kept talking to my parents see. As far as artists go, Dave Matthews was about it and they got me an electric Yamaha one of the big ones, just because his passion -- the old school ones that you get at like and his skill with poetry and lyricism that he Walmart -- they got me one of those when I had just really drew me in to that place of was like twelve. I just messed around on it for wanting to write music. So he’s one of the a little while, but I started taking lessons the main ones, but, you know, there’s always the following summer -- I think I was thirteen old school rockers, like Led Zepplin and all when I actually started with the lessons, and I them. took them all the way until I was about 14 or Linkin Park was another big one; their first 15. The reason why: well shoot I love music. album “Hybrid Theory” was one that really I’ve always loved music, from the time that I inspired me to write some more music, not so was a little kid singing my heart out on car much lyrics with them but just the rides to whatever my parents were playing on “musicianship” that they had -- in their early the radio. I love singing, and the guitar was days, not so much in their later days. And old the most intriguing instrument and, at the school nineties bands, you know like notime, I thought it would be the easiest. name bands or one hit wonders like Tonic -their “If You Could Only See,” that’s a freakin’ good song. That’s one of those songs that like What was the first song you learned? Well, typically, the first song that anybody hecka inspired me, and so was Oasis’ learns is Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” “Wonderwall.” It’s because they focused more but I was a little bit diﬀerent; that was like the on the acoustic guitar. You’ve got a lot of those heavy metal guitars and electric guitars third song I learned. I think the first song I learned was -- oh it was an old Vineyard song and stuﬀ, but for the most part I like that acoustic sound, and that’s why I like Dave -- “I Will Sing of Your Love Forever.” and Oasis so much. So I guess my roots are in Christian music.
So were there any other songs or albums that inspired you? Well, I’d get music from my brother; he’d bring home burnt CD’s from his friends, so I’d listen to that. I’d have like, Tantric’s “Breakdown,” Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” Tonic’s “If You Could Only See”; those are some of my favorite songs that I’ll still go back and listen to. Dave Matthews‘ album “Some Devil,” it was one of his later albums, and the song “Gravedigger” was one of his more melancholic -- you know with a very melancholy attitude. I don’t know exactly what was going through when he wrote it, but there was still so much depth, and it was a diﬀerent side of him that I’d never seen before. So those songs on that album -there’s “Gravedigger,” “Some Devil,” I think “Stay Or Leave” was on that album too -- but those were just songs that showed me that you didn’t have to stick to one side, you know, that there were so many diverse states of being that a musician could be in, so it inspired me as a musician to explore diﬀerent avenues.
because that’s the kinda music that relaxes me and chills me, and I feel like you can express yourself through that more so, really, than any other type of music. Those musicians just have such a pure sound, just a sound of passion, like they just love doin’ it, you know? But you know so many people get caught up in trying to make something new and diﬀerent that they lose their roots, they lose what they were brought up in.
Do you ever get nervous before you go onstage? Yeah, I do. Not as often as I used to, and a lot of the time it’s if I don’t feel prepared. Those are the times I get real nervous, but those are usually the best sessions that we have. But yeah, that’s something that a lot of people, even big name musicians, say never really goes away. It’s not so much a fear or anxiety, but an excitement. Part of you is like, “Yeah I hope I do really good,” but part of you is feeling like “I don’t really know if I’m gonna hit it this time or not.” But from the Christian side, it’s also like “Are we gonna go to that glory Where do you realm, that deep place,” you know? It’s like, today are we draw the line between “good” gonna be worshipping and frickin’ be airlifted experimentation and “bad” so to speak? up and meet the King of Glory, and he comes For me personally, I love exploring diﬀerent realms of music, but I can usually tell back down to earth and he’s like, “Good job guys, let’s rock.” [Laughs] But I think as a if I’m getting oﬀ into something kinda weird Christian, there should be more excitement and I’m like, “This is just funky and gross.” It’s funny how some music can just make you every time we go into a place of worship because of that, because you don’t feel dirty, you know? But I’ve always tried to know if today is the day that you stick to a more rock or folky kinda sound, see the King of Glory face to face.
So yeah, I mean you can get nervous anytime, and the only way that will really fade away is to lose yourself in Christ, and lose yourself in the spirit. Because there are times when I’m fully prepared and I think I got it all worked out, and then my drummer doesn’t show up or something like that happens. All the sudden I’m frickin’ nervous, sitting there like “Alright let’s try it,” and one of our drummers from the past will show up to church that day and it’ll all work out. But you never know what’s gonna happen. You could be as prepared as you wanna be and there’s always something that’s gonna be thrown in the way, or something that doesn’t go right, and it’s at that time that you just have to put your trust in the Lord and know that anything that you do is gonna be good. So how do you handle mistakes once you’re on stage? Just keep going. That’s the best thing to do. I mean, honestly that’s the good thing about worship versus a performance. During a performance, you make a mistake and you’re criticized and, you know, you catch a lot of backlash and everything. It destroys reputations. That’s the one thing that you don’t really care about as a Christian, you’re like “Well if I make a mistake, their eyes shouldn’t be on me, their eyes should be on God.” A lot of people twist that and they’re like, “So then you don’t have to be a good musician?” And really, no you don’t. Because if your heart is like David’s and you’re just worshiping the Lord, then yeah, it probably sounds bad to our ears, but it’s still worship. Now, like when we’re doing our Christmas program and stuﬀ like that, it’s a little bit more of a performance, so if I make a mistake on that it could kinda kill the vibe a little bit, but a great musician, when making a mistake, won’t let it aﬀect the tempo, and won’t let it aﬀect the timing. If you make a mistake, you just push through it and keep going. And that’s something that makes a great musican: somebody who can
look past their mistakes and look past perfection to get to that place of just doing it. What are your practice sessions like? Well a lot of times I’ll do dexterity exercises and things like that, but aside from practicing scales and things like that to keep my fingers loose and everything, I just usually jam out on chords, playing a whole bunch of diﬀerent stuﬀ depending on what key I wanna be in, sometimes singing a little bit. It’s kinda like a worship session. But if I’m learning a song then I get pretty focused. I’ve got the music in front of me, I’ve got the lyrics in front of me. I don’t wanna learn the lyrics wrong, so I don’t try to sing it from memory when I’m practicing because if you learn it wrong you’ll do it wrong on stage. And really, doing it that way helps with improv, because if you know the foundation of the song then you can flow all the way through it. But if you don’t know the song, when you try to do spontaneous stuﬀ you’ll get nervous and start getting lost in it, mix melodies and all kinds of stuﬀ, and it ends up badly. On a more technical note, what kind of equipment do you use? I’m a simple kind of guy, I mean I would love to have all the pedals and stuﬀ for my electric guitar, but I like the pure, crisp, clean sound. That’s why I’ve got the one tone pedal and the amp, which is a tube amp. I prefer the sound of tubes over the Line 6 amp I’ve got because that tube sound gives you more of that clean sound, you know, like that 60’s sound. It just sounds really good. I like clean opposed to distorted. I mean I like a good distorted sound for lead guitar, but if I’m leading and I’m the only guy playing, I like it clean so that the audience can hear what I’m playing and be aﬀected by it as opposed to just garbled noise. Unless it was dubstep because then it would be all like “Wub wub wub wub, wrrrrr.” But I’m not dubstepping on the guitar.
So how do you balance your music with other obligations, like marriage and work? Very carefully. It’s diﬃcult, it’s a new time in my life and a new journey, being married now and having an intense full time job that takes up a lot of time during the week, so weekend comes around and I don’t really wanna do anything. I’m getting back to the point where, during the week at night, I’ll pick up the guitar, even if it’s just for five minutes just messing around with chords and stuﬀ. Even getting to worship practice early so I can get on my guitar so I can focus on playing the guitar instead of everything else in my life. Eventually, when we get the keyboard at the apartment, then me and Desi (my wife) will probably jam together which will help. You and your wife are both together on stage, how does that work out? Well when we first got back up on stage after the honeymoon, I felt more alive, I felt more connected, because I have this extra person who I’ve known, and we’ve been on stage together before but we haven’t been married. It’s kind of like, where before it was worshiping with friends, now it’s like I’m worshiping with my counterpart, I’m worshiping with my significant other, and it brings a whole new level to it. Honestly I think that’s really something that’s carried us through this past season is just the power that comes from the unification of two people. To me, there’s nothing weird about it, and if anything it brings us together because I’m getting stuﬀ, she’s getting stuﬀ and it all comes together. Before
we were married, we’d sing together and it would sound good, but once we got married we harmonized together, our melodies would flow together better and it was smoother. It’s just a good connection, it’s harmony is what it is. On a final note, what advice would you give to musicians who are just starting out? Don’t give up. There are gonna be times that you’re playing or practicing, you can’t get it down, it makes you mad, and you wanna throw your guitar and give up on everything. It’s at those times that you have to realize that you need to just get up, take a drink of water, come back and try again. I mean honestly, the hardest part of being a musician is feeling failure and feeling like a failure. That’s one of those things that all musicians have to overcome; you have to get to the place of being confident, and that only comes through experience. You have to experience the failures. You’re not gonna be perfect all the time, so once you start out, it’s hard, but you’ve gotta keep practicing, and you’ve gotta stay with it. If you’re a Christian, you’ve gotta trust in the Lord, because he’s the only thing that’s gonna get you through it. That’s what got me through my starting era. I mean, I had some experience before I started following God, but afterwards he really took what I learned and grew it exponentially. There were times I wanted to give up, but I had to keep pushing through. The more you do it, the more experience you get, the easier it is. And it’s definitely worth it. ✤
The Poetâ€™s Corner All We Know
If all we know is lies Back and forth We terrify All the secrets our hearts know The truth their eyes can never behold Will we stay in the cold? We will be so bold? As to step forward and crunch beneath The doubts and fears and devils of sleep That pull us deep and swirl us round In and out till we scream to be found Around our own games and rules we play The writhing cycle climbs to say Whispering lies and black dripping sin Still I refuse to let him scratch beneath my skin
Oh, contemplation What a lovely sensation Of sorts Filled to the brim as a sea of thought Stretching to infinity its overflow had sought Though you contort And perplex the minds of many Without your perception, our reflection of any Reality becomes a fatality For no ends are tied off forever by your neglect For these are the things they try to forget Let them regret Their foolish decisions If they ever so choose derision Against the battered souls only stretching for comprehension Despite all mad condescension Yet we know at the end Of our fall We sink upside down And rest where they stall
- Jessica Lewis
Ear Candy King Cassette
When it comes to music format, folks seem to prefer digital copies and, to a lesser extent, CD’s over the lo-fi technology of the past, and why wouldn’t they? Reaping the benefits of a digital age is what the growth of society is all about. However, it seems that people do still hunger for the old, concrete formats, more so now than ever. Granted, vinyl has been around for little over a century, and is clearly too old and ornery to be exterminated any time soon. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m instead referring to the increasing amount of gab about people switching back to cassette tapes. I decided to give it a whirl, and let me tell you, folks, it’s astounding. When I cracked open the case of an old Violent Femmes tape and popped it into the slot, an obscene amount of flashbacks from my childhood flooded back to me in an instant. Mucking about with my parent’s old cassette deck; listening to The Lion King’s soundtrack, along with any of my dad’s cassettes I could get my hands on; and generally enthralling myself with whatever wonders that dirty old mechanical mouth would spout out next. My favorite
pastime was finding old, unmarked tapes and listening to whatever was on them. It was like a game; a mystery, even. Now, some of you younger kids out there may not even remember what a cassette tape is; just don’t say so because it makes me feel old. But let me assure you, it’s a fantastic thing. The hiss and whir of an old tape churning in its plastic case as the music slips through is a sound I’ll never forget. From the instant it starts up, the sound of a deck alone reminds you where you’re from and where you’ve been. It’s like childhood all over again: lazy afternoons spent sitting by your grandpa’s chair as he spins a tale of youth and grandeur, and your grandma makes sweet ice tea in the kitchen. A young couple moving in to their new apartment, ready to start a fresh life together. Two teens dancing awkwardly on a school dance floor after one handed the other a painstakingly crafted mixtape. It’s in our blood. That hiss, that pop, it’s in us. It’s who we are. So if you’re still not convinced of the splendid simplicity of the humbly beloved cassette, just pop one into your mom’s old deck (I guarantee you, she still has one), and give it a try. You’ll see. ✤
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