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Best of the Mass Produced Cassette Press Release, February 2008

I guess I never thought I would see the day, but ladyheads and gentlemutts ... this year I am extremely proud to present ... M.D.G.'s The Best of the Mass Produced Cassette! It's a new compilation album containing what could be considered my most extraordinary studio work ever. At the very least, I think it would certainly rank as the most peculiar. Now for those of you outside my immediate family and friends circle, I think l'll probably need to explain what a Mass Produced Cassette is, or rather, was.

The Mass Produced Cassette (or M.P.C.) was a numerously duplicated series of 60-minute tapes containing a vast array of original spoken word comedy, radio spoof stuff, and music related tracks both silly and serious. With the exception of a few co-written bits (and perhaps the odd snippet of an 80's radio hit here and there) I wrote, produced, and recorded all of the M.P.C. material in and around my bedroom studio between 1985 and 1988. During that entire period, I was a busy high school student having to dodge around homework assignments, early bedtimes, and school bus rides, but somehow I managed to put together a new volume of The Mass Produced Cassette each year. I would always set a December deadline primarily because I needed to cover my ass for Christmas presents, but as it turned out, people really did end up loving a lot of the M.P.C. material. Or at least they told me they did!

I desperately wanted to make this Best Of album ages ago, but I was afraid of how truly mammoth a project it would be. Well, folks, I was dead right! Fortunately, I had the good sense to start with all the necessary tape baking (in a special round oven-it's true!) and all the analog-to-digital tape transferring way back in July, because in the end, I needed every last minute of elapsed time to meet my scheduled December 2007 release date. I think I may have even sprouted some new gray hairs during the process, several of which seem to have appeared someplace else besides my head! Did I mention this was a BIG job?

And, of course, a BIG job such as this should feature nothing less than a BIG album cover, so I called upon the great talent of illustrator, Ryan DeClerck. I first became aware of Ryan's work through his association with Animatus Studio, but what really sold me was the extraordinary concert posters he used to design for a top-notch jam band called The Niche. My all-time favorite of Ryan's posters shows a little green alien in a bathroom standing in front of a urinal disguised as Frank Zappa! Judging from this image, you might suspect that Ryan would be a little bit bonkers, but in reality I actually found him to be pretty normal. We got together in late September to discuss my cat-on-the-couch / 80's time capsule cover concept. It took several months of us both E-mailing sketches and suggestions back and forth before we started to arrive at the finished design. Once Ryan completed the drawing and coloring of the cover, I decided to go even further with the 80's time warp effect. I searched all over my apartment as well as my storage space for as many pertinent period items as I could find. I proceeded to scan them all into the computer and then I strategically placed each image inside Manfred's room one by one. Look carefully at the magnificent Best of the Mass Produced Cassette album cover and see if you can spot all of the old Rochester music store & radio station bumper stickers, the portrait of Manny The Frog, the collection of highly influential comedy LP's, my 1987/1988 Olympia High School yearbooks, a couple of old band logos, and last, but not least, an actual rejection letter from Doctor Dimento for the song No Fleas Please! Now I think the album looks every bit like it sounds!

And what kind of sounds are we talkin' about exactly? Let the bullets fire!

  • A step-by-step program about how you can be a big hit in the Top 40 music industry!
  • A lesson in human psychology and social adaptation given by a completely unqualified teenager with a $50 microphone and a rubber chicken!
  • A little lackluster track about fleas and the complete lack of them therof!
  • A sixty-something blues singer-turned-rapper rambling on and on and on about what he can't seem to remember that he doesn't remember!
  • A series of screeching situations starring none other than Rush's lead singer, the inimitable (or so you thought), Geddy Lee!
  • A pirate radio broadcast featuring absolutely everything from a frog DJ, to a heavy metal funeral, to a pre-pubescent action adventure, to a hot prog-rock song extravaganza, to a ... well, you get the idea. It's just got everything, OK?

So are you ready for a wild ride? Now for the first time in any digital format, the complete Best of the Mass Produced Cassette can be streamed or downloaded here for free! The album actually contains 21 tracks with a total running time of 50 minutes, but this online version has been conveniently grouped together into just 8 parts for your convenience. Click here to read all of the album's liner notes including detailed information about every single track (and I do mean detailed). There's even an additional paragraph from the back cover that further explains the history of The Mass Produced Cassette. I really hope you enjoy the new album and I want to invite everyone to go ahead and share it with as many people as possible. I won't ever be selling this one, folks. It's a freebie forever, so share, share, share!

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