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« 365 Days #131 - Don Reed / eden ahbez (mp3s) | Main | Vicki »

May 11, 2007



In college, some friends and I took Laurie Anderson's song title "Difficult Listening Hour" to heart and spent weeks compiling cassettes for each other. We would meet on weekends to enjoy the results. It was a contest; whoever produced the most unlistenable tape was deemed the "winner." After a few iterations it became obvious the usual run-of-the-mill squawking fervently and very closely at microphones would simply not do. Eventually I developed something I dubbed the Feedback Monster. I had a simple Radio Shack reverb unit and a cheap old amplifier that did not have fuse protection. Essentially I made a speaker play the role of the "mic" plugged into the reverb unit and the speaker for the amplifier simultanously. A newfangled amp would have blown a fuse immediately; this trusting old amp soldiered on, bearing the brunt of my assault admirably. The result shrieking and swooping mayhem I made by manipulating the input level, depth, and feedback level was dutifully dubbed onto a cassette deck plugged right into the tape loop of the amp. Listening to the tape, you certainly felt like you were RIGHT THERE. Needless to say I won that week (of course, all I had to do to win the week before was recite office supply product descriptions into a mic, through an orange road cone).

Your salute to DIY recordings have dredged up some priceless memories. Thanks!


Noteworthy is Belgian label Club Moral's release of their complete (mostly cassette) stocklist as podcasts.

Cherie Birkin

Ok, I have a boring, Mac-moron question - how on earth do I open these RAR files on my Mac?? Is there freeware software I can get?

Thanks William, another amazing post - can't wait to hear these!



This is a marvelous initiative Mr. Berger! You've got one very happy listener here!


Regarding .rar archives on a Mac: I figured that there was an application on a Mac that would open .rar archives - maybe the same thing OSX uses to create and open .zip files? Use of .rar files is so widespread on music blogs, there must be a way for Mac users to open them. I did find this:
It seems to be an .rar app for Mac, with a free demo period, but I can't vouch for it. Any Mac users out there with suggestions? I think that I'll make future posts with .zip files, which if you have OSX or higher, are cross-platform compatible. Let me know if this is a real problem; I can re-post these 2 as .zips.


Bill Berger rules!! Yay!!


There is a freeware program for opening .rar files on the Mac. It is called UnRarX. Very, very good.

Mortimer Prime

There is a gem of a program for Mac and Windows/PC (Caution, I don't know if it works with Linux or anything else.) It's freeware, and converts about 12 kinds of audio formats incl. .rar into .mp3 or .wav. It's called Switch. http://www.nch.com.au/switch I'm running OS 10.4.9, so I'm just going to assume that would be the best version to run this on. I'm also running it on an Intel Mac, so that's no problem either.


I have been doing a blog mostly focusing on cassette-culture releases for a little while, so these posts are very welcome. Thanks!

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