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Paintings of vintage cassette tapes by ‘Sir Horace Gentleman’ of the Specials
11:33 am


The Specials
Horace Panter

When the Specials’ self-titled first album, produced by Elvis Costello, dropped in 1979, it instantly became one of the founding documents of the ska revival movement, or 2 Tone, as it became known. The band had a remarkable run of hit singles from 1979 to 1981, with both “Too Much Too Young” and “Ghost Town” hitting #1 on the U.K. charts before the group broke up. Terry Hall , Neville Staple and Lynval Golding would go on to form Fun Boy Three, whilst the Jerry Dammers-led contingent pressed on as The Special AKA, releasing new material through 1984, including the influential hit single “(Free) Nelson Mandela.”

Before he even became the bassist of the Specials, Horace Panter, who went by Sir Horace Gentleman, had a degree in fine art from Lanchester Polytechnic, and he apparently imbibed a solid sense of the pop aesthetic in addition to considerable draftsmanship skills. From 1998 to 2008, Panter was “Head of Art” at a secondary school. Panter lists as his influences “Peter Blake, Kenneth Noland, Wayne Thiebaud, and Joseph Cornell as well as the naive style of Henri Rousseau.”

Panter’s pop art paintings cover a wide swath of ground but I found his series of cassettes the most amusing. Most of the canvases are about three feet wide, and many are available for purchase.

Clicking on any painting will yield a larger image.

Prince Far-I

One Step Beyond

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Don’t call it a comeback: International Cassette Store Day is coming!
02:01 pm



Record Store Day is great. I love records! They’re warm and beautiful and have giant sleeves for awesome art and you can do colored vinyl and weird inserts and cool fold-ins and I love every crackle and pop and they’re just really goddamn magical, okay?!?

However... records are also delicate, cumbersome to transport on tour, and expensive. Tapes are the true format of the proletariat musician! You have a physical product that’s cheap as hell, sounds pretty good and has a lot of cool potential for inserts and packaging. For punks especially, cassettes never really went away. So I for one am thrilled about the announcement of National Cassette Store Day, September 7th.

From the website:

No longer the inadequate, younger sibling of Vinyl and CD, the humble Cassette has been making a resurgence of late. Proving that cassette tapes are not just for those of us who remember buying Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ with birthday money, or making lovingly compiled mixtapes for the object of our teenage affections. International Cassette Store Day 2013 is a celebration of a physical product that is accessible, fun, cheap and still going strong in the turbulent current musical climate.

This event sees limited releases from its organisers - SEXBEAT (Fucked Up), Kissability (tbc) and Suplex Cassettes (Fair Ohs, Proper Ornaments); as well as classic albums reissued in this fun format by Transgressive (At The Drive-In, Pulled Apart By Horses), Bella Union (The Flaming Lips), Domino (The Pastels), 4AD (Deerhunter), Wichita Recordings (Hard Skin), Burger Records and many more. Other labels involved spreading the Cassette love with limited releases are Jade Tree, Mirror Universe, Reeks of Effort, Art is Hard, Faux Discx and Tie Dye Tapes and more to be confirmed.

Participating stores will be announced next week, but there are initial commitments from Rough Trade East in London, Burger Records in Orange County, Silent Barn in Brooklyn, and a to be determined shop in Tokyo.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Peter Murphy shills for Maxell cassette tapes
01:07 pm


Peter Murphy

Here’s a classic British TV commercial from the ‘80s starring Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. You can read on the Internet that he was on the label, seen above, and in the print ads, too, but was that really Peter Murphy, too? I think it’s someone else.

Peter Murphy’s birthday was July 11. He’s 53 now and still looks like this. I guess drinking the blood of vestal virgins keeps you young, eh?


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment