Record Store Day’s sibling, Cassette Store Day, will sweep 100 music stores across the country, including three Arizona indie locales.
Uncle Aldo’s Attic in Northeast Mesa, Stinkweeds in Phoenix and Weird Kid Records in Casa Grande will take part in the international celebration with countries like Japan, Germany and France.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 2013, Cassette Store Day on Saturday, October 12, aims to increase awareness of the culture and to acknowledge the importance and impact of the vintage music format.
Artists like the late Jay Reatard, the Michigan ska band Mustard Plug, Dr. Dog and Prince and the Revolution keyboardist Lisa Coleman will release exclusive cassettes for the event,
Uncle Aldo’s Attic is celebrating for the first time this year. It has a wide selection of cassettes, including those by Prince and INXS.
“It just kind of made sense to join in,” says store owner Desi Scarpone.
“We already sell cassettes so why not get involved with the event. Because this is our first year participating, I don’t know what to expect. But I am excited to see who this event will draw in.”
According to Scarpone, the store tends to sell quite a few cassettes, especially heavy metal. Customers who are interested in the format tend to range in age from 16 to 40.
“I think part of the appeal with cassettes is being able to physically hold your purchase in your hand as opposed to simply clicking a download button,” he says.
Scarpone says the store plans to celebrate by offering a 25% discount on cassettes.
Stinkweeds will also discount cassettes for the event and offer a limited-edition T-shirt.
Despite a decline in popularity after the rise of CDs, cassette sales and other analog formats are slowly making their way back into music lovers’ collections, says Weird Kid Records co-owner Jeffery Law.
“This comeback of vintage formats like records and cassette tapes isn’t just a phase or a short-lived trend,” Law says. “They’ve always been around. We are just seeing more people realize the quality that modern formats like CDs and streaming services isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
Law also says he feels that cassettes are a way for audiences to show their loyalty and appreciation.
“By streaming music or downloading songs online, you aren’t giving your money to musicians,” Law says “Artists get pennies, nickels and dimes.”
Music fans can properly support their favorites by “making a physical purchase, whether it’s a tape, T-shirt or poster.”
Law co-owns Weird Kid Records with his wife, Jessika Sandrowski. They say the store has a line up of activities to celebrate Cassette Store Day, from raffles and giveaways to mixtape competitions and cassette exchanges.
“We plan on making the best of the event,” Law says. “We are most excited about getting people in here, hanging out with locals and supporting their favorite artists. I think that’s the goal for all the shops celebrating Cassette Store Day.”
Cassette Store Day Participants
Uncle Aldo’s Attic, 6016 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, 480.218.1415, unclealdosattic.com
Stinkweeds, 12 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.248.9461, stinkweeds.com
Weird Kid Records, 1377 E. Florence Boulevard, Suite 149, Casa Grande, 630.660.9166, weirdkidrecords.com