Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mix Tape: Tuesday.

27 November 2001
Arling & Cameron "Weekend"
Gladys Knight & the Pips "Midnight Train to Georgia"
Smog "Held"
Actionslacks "Perfect G"
Blondie "Sunday Girl"
Magnetic Fields "The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side"
Rolling Stones "Dead Flowers"
Sam Cooke "Don't Know Much About History"
Travis "Driftwood"
David Bowie "Modern Love"
Oasis "Wonderwall"
Otis Redding "I've Been Loving You Too Long"
Paul Simon "Graceland"
Willie Nelson "Always On My Mind"
Dream Academy "Life In A Northern Town"
Squeeze "Tempted"
Red House Painters "I Feel the Rain Fall"
Al Green "Let's Stay Together"
Stan Getz & Astrud Giberto "The Girl From Ipanema"
Looking back at this mix tape (actually on CD-R) only one word comes to mind: Obvious. I usually pick more obscure songs to show everyone how cool and hip I am (or was, or thought I was). But this is not that at all. This was made for LP while we were living in Portland for her long drives to work in the burbs that she dreaded (she dreaded the commute and the job). It was a way for me to be with her on her journey in the mornings and evenings in the car that could barely make it over the west hills on highway 26. I remember how I use to worry that car would one day just die on that road, but it never did. It actually got totalled by some hit and run driver while it was parked on the street by LP's apartment.

Arling & Cameron's "Weekend" is one song I am sure LP could go without ever hearing again. It is such a catchy little electro-pop song that just makes you sing along. But I seemed to put it on every mix tape for a five years span (maybe more). The Magnetic Field's "Luckiest Guys" is by far my favorite song they ever recorded. It reminds me of living in NYC - and there were many days in Portland that I so wanted to move back. I just get lost in the song. The Stones' "Dead Flower" is another song I beat to death on mix tapes. I went through a big "Beatles Blow, Stones Rule... Ramones come in Second" period. "Dead Flowers" is the perfect song to me - so why not make sure everyone knows that by putting it on their mix tape. David Bowie's "Modern Love" took me years to get into it. When it came out I was a little rebel that listened to punk rock (that my older brother was into). And Dream Academy's "Northern Town" also goes down as one of my favorite songs. I so wanted to be in Dream Academy when that song came out. I thought they were the coolest - and perfect fit for me.  Otis and Al Green are on there because they are two of LP's favorites.  She loves her Memphis Hi and Stax soul.

The art of the mix tape is an all day process for me. I've sat on the floor of bedrooms for hours and hours perfecting the mix tape. The skill I miss is when actaully making a mix on a cassette tape you need the perfect use of all the tape on both sides. So you must know off the top of your head lots of songs that come in under a minute - punk rock is great for this. Throw in a good Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, or Adolecense song for a great ending tov Side A or B.  I've always been more into making mix tapes to expose people to new / different music than they are use to - rather than making the party mix, or the I hate you / love you mixes.