Flaming Lips

Back in the days before Napster, when mixtapes were actually tapes and many bootlegs only existed on cassettes, some of us fed our frustrated archivist ambitions with dual-cassette players, photocopiers, scissors and double-stick tape. The first-ever International Cassette Store Day is Saturday (September 7), and although it’s a really dubious holiday, it gave us an excuse to dig deep into some dusty boxes for a few artifacts from a bygone era. Following you’ll see demos, homemade wonders, advance cassettes, some items from the sidewalk stands on Portobello Road or St. Marks Place, and even a few official or semi-official releases — including a bona fide copy of Nirvana’s legendary 1990 “Smart Studios” demo. (All items on loan from the Jem Aswad Museum of Cassette Art)

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