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November 09, 2005


Kenzo ( /

See also earlier blog posting Audio cassette tapes. Beautiful cassette tapes!


Fascinating post; filled me with yummy mix-tape nostalgia. Making compilation CD-Rs are fun, but not as much fun somehow. The struggle to make perfect segues with pause button technology, and then craft an eye-catching insert, led to a sense of real achievement when the tape was finished. To get to that "tape making stage" with a new girl—what a feeling! Thanks for the memories, and the mp3s.


I once thought it was a good idea to use a Charles Manson song, Beefheart's "Long Neck Bottles" and the Dre/Snoop classic "Bitches Ain't Shit" on a seduction mix tape, so don't feel bad.

Jeff Jotz

Mike, we probably ran in the same circles back in the day without even knowing it. The Crispy Lizards were actually a bunch of teenagers from Linden, Elizabeth and Union - right in my backyard. They attended Union Catholic HS together. Tim Stefanick is a Colonel in the Marine Corps, while Brian Donahue is a reporter for the Star-Ledger. Both are longtime WFMU listeners and fans. I still have the original Crispy Lizards tape and it is sitting in my "convert to MP3" pile. They were big fans of The Blisters, another killer 1980s punk band from Union County. I'm gonna e-mail them your blog entry. Thanks for the memories!

Mike Lupica

Hey Jeff! Excellent, thanks for the info... Yes, I've communicated with a couple members of Crispy Lizards before, and another member (Joe Lennon) was good friends with a girl I was pals with from 86-90. I guess I always associate them with Trenton because that's where she lived. Thanks for the update!

brian mulvey

shit, Topps? i think i was there with my parents making the crucial vhs vs beta decision circa 1986. have not heard the name since, at all. now Crazy Eddie on the other hand, that's almost hipster.


I'm a few years older than Mike, but not so old that these cassette brands and place names don't jog memories. I shopped at Two Guys and Topps, for instance (and bought most of my early new wave records at the East Brunswick Crazy Eddie's).

Black Vomit were from Monroe Twp. and classmates w/my younger brother. Their WRSU hit "Reggae Man" was pretty silly (and not even remotely reggae), but they were certainly not the worst band in the world. They weren't even the worst band in Middlesex County.

Radio Fetishist

I was a big fan of Denon HD-8. They always sounded better to me than the Maxells or TDK's. Alas, now all we have is CD's which I haven't figured out how to make sound right yet. Brand doesn't seem to matter. They always seem to come up flat, even from 'bright' vinyl or old red book CD's.

Krys O.

Ha! I worked in the record/tape dept. of five different Crazy Eddie stores from 1984-1986. Believe me, they weren't a bastion of hipness. I wonder whatever happened to all of the in-store cassettes from the record labels that we were supposed to play but didn't?

Mike Lupica

Black Vomit. They put out a 7" and a cassette, as I recall. I know I still have the single... Maybe I'll bring it in next week and play it on the air to see how the years have treated it. Though I don't remember "Reggae Man", I do remember song titles such as "Abbington PA Massacre", "7-11", and "Crackhouse Next Door" as being college radio "hits" of the era.

fatty jubbo

I once aquired a lady-penpal in 9th grade. I decided to make her an audio diary/mix-tape. The only blank tape I had around was a shit dollar store tape. I used a boombox to record my thoughts- the combination of the crappy boombox mic and the budget tape made my voice sound like that of a raspy old frog man. I was quite obsessed with the "Teddy & The Frat Girls" EP at the time and made sure to put "Alophen Baby" on the tape for her.
Lyrics: Some people like ass/some people people like tits/but nothing gets me going/like liquid shit.... mewled over a sort of Shaggs version of Teenage Jesus & The Jerks.

Of course- I never heard back from her.


aw yeah, TDK D-90!

wow, talk about geek-out. I love it!

Enid Coleslaw

Hey thanks for the link and post..that website would make a great wrapping paper design! I was still using cassettes up until about 5 years ago when I finally got a CD-R drive on my computer. I really like vinyl but never felt the same nostalgia for pre-recorded cassettes; I wasn't too sad to see them go as the cover art was always crappy after getting shrunk to that size and living in the tropics greatly assisted the build-up of mould on the things.

I agree though that the mixtape is truly an artform as opposed to the mix CD; I remember doing my first few mix CDs and thinking that it was just way too easy and that there was some cheating going on. I mean, the thing tots up all the running times for you? I used to have to sit down with a pen and paper back in the day and calculate the seconds to make everything would squeeze onto a side. There's been a lot of ink spilt about mixtapes and their role in courtship (of girls mostly); sadly I was one of those girls who made mixtapes for boys and never got any back; looks like girl music geeks just don't enjoy the same level of demand as boy music geeks. Bah. Still, it was fun.

Art Zawodny

re: Black Vomit

there were a few releases,
cassettes were:
1. Fungus
2. We Scared O The Goofa Man
3. Live at Al Cibelli's - only a handful were made.

7" - Its Only Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye. 500 pressed, plus a few test presses. seems to go for ok money on ebay these days:

My name is Art Zawodny and I played bass on all of them except the Fungus tape (which is where "Reggae Man" came from) .i think Mike Wallstein played bass on the Fungus tape.

We played live on WFMU once, on Pat Duncan's show, it was the summer of 1988. The hilight of this band was opening for the Adolescents at City Gardens in May of 1988. it was my first gig ever, and I was nervous as hell.

The 7" is actually a pretty decent hardcore/punk release. well recorded and well played. the Goofa Man tape is crap, and the Fungus tape is so so.

I currently play guitar in a band called Ambergris, and Pat Duncan seems to be playing us quite a bit, seems like every week now, since August :)

Black Vomit "evolved" into "...but ugly" with Packy Vomit Thompson and myself getting a new drummer, and doing the NJ Punk club circuit for a few years. I quit that band in 1993, which by that point had ceased having any punk direction at all. We had some decent gigs, both live on Pat Duncans show on WFMU (just recently replayed on 11/23) as well as Brighton Bar, Maxwells, CBGB, Court Tavern, Roxy, Fast Lane, T-Birds ... etc .etc
3 tapes were made
1. Out of the Basement and into the Bedroom
2. Abuse Your Delusions (I and II) studio tracks and live from CBGB and WFMU
3. I forget the last tape that was done, but it was after I left the band.



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