ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE: A New Thing in a New Town: 8-track cassette

Nov 22, 2009

You read it right. 8-fucking-track. I happen to own an eight track player.  Bless Goodwill and their Dollar Days. It happens to be rigged directly through the stereo and set as Phono #2, for glorious instances just as these. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the fidelity of this eight track is really poor. I’m casting no stones, looking no horses (gift or otherwise) in the mouth, it’s just that after hours (literally) fiddling with all the adjustments I could think of (including trips to the 99 cent store for some speaker wire alchemy), I can barely make out the songs. Either I get this weird, low-cycle bass hum that sounds like a giant hydroelectric generator through ear muffs, or it’s so tinny I fear glass shattering. Just to show you how far I went to try to get this to work, and be as scientific as possible, I popped in my “control group” 8-track, The Best of Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians’ “The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven.” It sounds great. Lush strings, and tons of verve on the “I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover” medley. Pop in Atom again, and, unfortunately, not much of anything that be construed beyond an industrial noise band’s wet dream with a wee bit of Atom in the distance. For completists. FYI, it’s a live recording from March of ‘00, and from what I can tell, all the material has been previously released. On the weird side, I just realized that I’m credited for the photo on it (which I didn’t take), but not credited for a source photo on his new album, “Redefining Music,” (which I did take). No hard feelings, just my type of luck.

 –todd (

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