Best Resurrected Musical Format - 2009
Hipsters, it seems, will do just about anything if there's enough of a retro-kitsch factor involved, which generally boils down to an idea that sounds really, really good when you're baked. Only a few short years ago, after all, sales and manufacturing of new vinyl LPs were as dead as Elvis, and now that's one of the fastest-growing (and only growing) sectors of the music business. Now, a few local bands have taken that a step or three further and resumed releasing new material on cassettes, those chunky plastic-and-magnetic-tape artifacts you haven't been able to play in a new car since around the turn of the century. (And that tend to melt in the stifling Houston heat and humidity should you leave them in said car.) Evidently, there are still enough old cars and jamboxes lying around Houston to convince bands like Muhamad Ali and Cop Warmth it's a viable medium, while Bright Men of Learning's Benjamin Davis Murphy — inspired by '90s lo-fi cassette kingpins Sebadoh — has planned a whole series of cassette-only releases. Pure hipster irony or remarkably farsighted forecasting, more and more people these days are ready to just push "play."