Aug. 27 2013 06:55 PM

Local tape labels hold event with performances and analog wares

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M-Theory Music
Photo by Peter Holslin

Record Store Day hit San Diego five years ago and has since become an annual event at local brick-and-mortar shops. But 2013 will mark the first time that San Diego celebrates Cassette Store Day.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, M-Theory Records in Mission Hills (915 W. Washington St.) will host its first Cassette Store Day event—also celebrated in other U.S. and U.K. shops—which will feature local tape labels selling their analog wares and live sets from Bonsoir and Monochromacy, who'll each have cassettes for sale.

Rick Tyner, M-Theory's owner, said he was approached by Elliot Moeller of The Plateaus and Lucy Wehrly of Teenage Burritos about participating in the event. "Here at M-Theory," Tyner says, "we don't need much reason to throw a party.

"It sounded kinda fun so I figured, What the hell," Tyner adds in an email. "Funny thing is, as soon as we got involved, four local labels with cassettes ready for release contacted me.

"I'm always looking for new ways to work with local artists / labels, etc., and this is proving to be a bigger community than I originally thought, so it's great!"

Cassette culture has enjoyed a resurgence, primarily in noise and punk circles, and four locally based tape labels will participate at Cassette Store Day: Stay Strange, Lifestyler, Rita and Dream. Part of the reason it's made a comeback is that it's a more cost-effective medium than vinyl, Tyner says.

"Cassettes are analog and, unlike vinyl, relatively inexpensive to manufacture," he says. "It makes a lot of sense that DIY labels and larger indies are making cassettes again for this very reason. Simply put, it's a format to distribute music. I wouldn't bother with what's a better or worse way to do that."

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff

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