Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mixin' it old school

So I somehow stumbled across Phantom Scribbler's blog the other day and read, among many other witty musings, this post, about the heyday of mix tapes. You've got 'em, I'm sure -- tapes made by old boyfriends, tapes made by friends, tapes made by friends with secret messages of lust hidden among the songs... I keep most of mine (both the ones made for me by other people and the copies of ones I made that I kept for myself) in my car, which is so aged as to only have a cassette player. And while I used to know these tapes track by track, it's now a complete surprise as to what song comes next.

It's early, and I'm not nearly as eloquent as PS on this topic, so I'm gonna quit the yapping and post the contents of one of my all-time favorite tapes. This one was made in the summer of 1994, after I'd just graduated from college. I was living at home and working at 7-11 (a job I'd gotten because I knew I'd hate it so much as to find something better to do) and partying like crazy with a bunch of high school friends who'd stayed around. Then I found out that my application to join a volunteer program and go to Santa Fe to work in a (now defunct) boarding school for Native American kids had been accepted. So this tape was made as a goodbye gesture to my friend P., with whom I drank a lot that summer (and many summers before and after).

In my journal, where I keep all the set lists, it's named "Jersey summer," but the cassette itself is labeled DEAD BIRD for reasons that I can not remember; I think it had something to do with a dead seagull in a wading pool in the backyard of Bruce's house, where we used to drink a lot?? And that it was funny? Who knows.

Anyway, without further ado, today's mix tape blast from the past:

Side One
Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins
Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys
Make It Funky - James Brown
Gentleman - Afghan Whigs
Hoover Dam - Sugar
Ocean Size - Jane's Addiction
Leaving Trunk - Taj Mahal (a little literal with that one...)
Bouncing Around the Room - Phish
Settled Down Like Rain - Jayhawks
Summer of Drugs - Soul Asylum (umm, that one, too...)
Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen (hello, it's Jersey, the Bruce song is obligatory)
Rearview Mirror - Pearl Jam (again with the literal)

Side Two
Sing A Simple Song - Sly and the Family Stone
All I Want - Sheryl Crow (this was long before this song was an overexposed hit. I just need you to know that.)
Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn
Llama - Phish
Accidents Will Happen - Elvis Costello
Positive Bleeding - Urge Overkill
Eye Know - De La Soul
Shrine - The Dambuilders (one-hit wonders, I believe, but it's a really fun song)
Maria's Wedding - Black 47
Two Places at Once - The Church (getting sappy...)
When You Dance, You Can Really Love - Neil Young (the obligatory song that seems out of place when the tape is done)
Respect - Aretha Franklin
Stay - Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories (more ambivalence)

In retrospect, Side One is much stronger; Side Two gets a little schizophrenic. And after I gave this tape to P. and went to New Mexico, he made me several mixes, at least one of which was full of all kinds of hints that he was into me... Looking back at the contents of the tape I made him, I can see why he may have thought I'd feel the same.

Enough reminiscing. Time for a shower and another 11-hour work day.