Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Make Me A Mix Tape

I love a mix tape. Giving them, receiving them, making them.

A mix of inoffensive yet catchy pop music can be the perfect way to introduce oneself to a new person in the office. A well thought out mix can also be the perfect third date gift while a collection of Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits and Elliot Smith can provide the salve to (what you think is) a premature goodbye.

But things just ain’t the way they used to be when it comes to making a mix . . .

Whereas the creation of a mix tape used to require listening to each of the fifteen or so songs on a given mix in their entirety, making sure that you hit pause after a each track was over but before the start of the next (inferior) song, sorting through other tapes or cd’s and queuing them to the proper song, now you just make a playlist from the 5,000 or so songs in your iTunes library, click on “burn to disc” and sit back.

It used to be when somebody handed you that little rectangle cassette case with a cheeky title meticulously penned on the cover along with the tile of each track, you knew that there was not only a lot of thought put into its creation, but a minimum of 90 minutes as well (nobody ever makes 60 minute mixes). You took pride in playing the tape—loud in your Dodge Dart—and read into each song, knowing that this person was thinking especially of you when they chose it.

This is not to say that burning somebody a CD today is meaningless. Far from it. But I just don’t know if they really speak for themselves like they did way back in the day. . .

And with that, I leave you with some lyrics from Milwaukee pre-emo kids The Promise Ring

You remind me that I'm never going to be twenty-two
listening to the alarm, waking up south of north avenue

my skin is going to wonder what I'm doing now.
So write me a letter, tell me where you are how to get there and how long that it takes to tape me some songs.
Make me a mixtape
something old and something new
something I said or that we did that reminds me of you
make me a mixtape that makes me yours.

Don't leave out Husker Du.

Put something on that The Cars did in 1982.

It makes me yours.

1 comment:

  1. no, I get it. you hate the cds I burn for you. NOT cool, man. NOT COOL.