Mix Tapes

That last entry depressed the fuck out of me. Let's talk about Mix tapes. they've been coming up in conversation lately.

First of all, remember when they were really mix TAPES and not CDs, even though people still often call them that?

In 1985, a now-theater critic for a local rag sheet and public-television station made me a Broadway show tunes mix tape, which I still have; this fact greatly amused a friend of mine. That year, my then-fiancee made me a mix tape, mostly Simon & Garfunkel's Central Park concert but on the end were all these 'meaningful' songs, which got all romantical and shit. Some Genesis (old not new), some Clapton, maybe a Beatles tune. Real sweet, to fill out those 45 minute sides.

Some subsequent collegiate year, my friend Mike made me an obsessive-quest tape (We were brilliant at obsessive-quest activities - this being one of many. Obsessive film festivals, obsessive drink mixing, the list goes on). This one held "the most versions of a single song that he owned." The song is an old pop-jazz standard, "All the Things you Are." The count, I believe, was seven, including his high-school jazz band (which had to be transferred tape-to-tape rather than vinyl-to-tape). There was vocal, non-vocal, and a Mingus version called "all the things you could be if sigmund freud's mother was your mother." It also had, among other things, some They Might be Giants tracks on it (oh you hipsters...i saw them first!)

I still have those draggy yet precious tapes. And stereos today are so tape-disregarding, the last boxy-shelf stereo I bought failed to have an auto-rewind (I didn't even check, and now I pay the price of flipping. FLIPPING! What a fucking hassle.)

A few days ago, I went to iTunes and downloaded about fifteen versions of "All the Things...." including a weird-ass Mingus cover ("All the Things you C#"). So easy. Too easy. Not quite the same. And it won't have the Fairport Jazz Ensemble on it.

I'm making mixes for people. I've got an overdue one for a friend, who wanted something 'upbeat.' I've got some 'chick mixes' I've made for friends, and playlists named for people. I've got a 'highly specific mix' that isn't, and 'songs I like right now.' I need to do another comedy mix for someone, in exchange for my deficient hip-hop collection. I gave my mom a mix CD for mother's day last year. My music collection's not that extensive, but it's fun and pretty eclectic. And it's a hell of a lot easier than knitting a damn sweater.

Maybe I'll create an 'obsessive mix,' just for amusement. To package up with "All the Things you Are."

No comments: