July 19 10

I put this on twitter the other day, and to date, I have 4, 785 tweets (holy mother of god. seriously?) and this one statement right here, well, it has gotten more response than anything else I have ever brought to the twitter table. I’m not even kidding. It’s a good thing I had already given birth to all three of my kids before getting on the twitter bandwagon, or the gloves would be coming off right about now.

Who knew?

The response, really, was overwhelming. People got angry, people got defensive, people nodded in agreement, people shouted from the rooftops AMEN, WOMAN!

I guess it was my poor wording choice by saying that mix cds are not meaningful, because, oh my god, they are. They 100% are. I make them all the time. I make them for friends who love them, friends who want them, and friends who I think could use them. But, you guys, making a cd nowadays, when we all have music at our fingertips, when it’s super easy to click a button on itunes and BAM! an album appears on your desktop, when it’s simple to drag and drop music right into a convenient little playlist that cam be burned straight to CD…it’s not the same as it used to be.

Back when you’d have to sit by the radio and WAIT for the song you wanted to come on, when you’d pray that the DJs voice wouldn’t come on over the end of the song, because, really, that’s the last thing you wanted on your mix tape. Back when you had to know the exact running time of each song because you didn’t want to be left with too much dead air at the end of the side, but you also didn’t want the last song to be too long that it’d be cut off. Back when you had to make every single song work and flow properly because unless you were using the fast-forward button (which, I mean, come on, GIANT pain in the ass), there was no skipping ahead. There was SCIENCE involved, people.

I first started making mix tapes back when I first got my first dual-cassetted boom box. It was a golden god, that thing. I spent hours sitting with that thing. I stole my sister’s tapes when she wasn’t looking. I recorded from the radio. I played around with recording my own voice between songs. Making these tapes for me was big business. It took rough drafts and outlines and plans.

There had to be an occasion for the mix…and if there wasn’t something obvious, like Valentine’s Day or a birthday, it became The Second Monday of the Month mix or the Wednesday is Party Day mix.

Or The Noise Day mix, which I still have, because it was the best. I still recognize Naomi’s handwriting. From 1994.

There was the one everyone had…LOVE SONGS.

There was the Mellow and Mellower mix that had mellow songs on one side, and even mellower stuff on the other. There was even a Mellow and Mellower part 2 AND a Mellow and Mellower part 3, because, you know, adolescence was tough man.

There was the Songs to Make Love To side with the Songs to Break Up To on the other side.

There was the Songs No One Should See You Dance To mix, which no one ever saw me dancing to. Rightfully so.

There was the COVERED mix, which, obviously, was full of cover songs.

There was the Q101s mix…an entire mix of the best songs playing on the radio at the time.

There was the Walk of the Mil AKA Roadtrippin’ which was made for the 90 minute drive between school (in Chicago) and home (in Milwaukee. Get it? Walk of the Mil? Milwaukee? Hell’s bells, you all, was I clever in high school)

The thought, of course, is still there now. And the rules are mostly the same. Music someone else gives you is still meaningful, it’s still special, it’s still getting a teeny tiny glimpse into who that person is…but dropping a playlist onto a cd just feels different than sitting for hours in front of an old school boom box.

Now I just have to find a cassette player so I can find out what’s on the Noise Day mix. I am dying to know.

(…as my daughter says, “What’s a cassette?”)

(of course she does…)

  1. haha totally relate

    Comment by Tammi Marie on July 19, 2010
  2. I HATED when they cut off a song with a commercial or the DJ talking!

    It really was a science!

    Comment by Kristabella on July 19, 2010
  3. For some reason, in my Freshman year gym class we were required to make up a dance routine. I was in a group with 3 other girls and we all vowed to go home and listen to Z100 and TRY OUR HARDEST to record If by Janet Jackson.

    Comment by Rhi on July 19, 2010
  4. My dual-cassette boom box is still in my childhood bedroom and I always pop in a tape from the shoe box under the bed when I’m home (hello, cliche!). My favorite part of the process used to be collage-ing (that should be a real word) the case with Seventeen / YM magazine cut-outs!

    Comment by Kate on July 19, 2010
  5. OMG.
    I found the Noise Day mix in a shoebox under my bed at my mom’s house!

    Comment by ali on July 19, 2010
  6. We can sit in my car (yes really) to listen to it. But I’m not going further than 2nd base with you! *snort*

    Comment by Karen on July 19, 2010
  7. Loved the mix tape, but CD’s are a blessing 🙂 If it were not for technology, nobody would get any music from me these days.

    So, did you go to Boarding School in Chicago? Or did you travel daily from Milwaukee?

    Comment by Heather on July 19, 2010
  8. Q101 mixes were the best- woohoo for Chicago girls!

    Comment by becky on July 19, 2010
  9. I can remember sitting on my bedroom floor for hours just waiting on the ONE song I was missing. Sigh. The good ole days.

    That being said? I adore the iPod and I’m convinced it’s one of the greatest inventions ever.

    Comment by Issa on July 19, 2010
  10. I used to stay up late listening to the KBEM and KFAI (in Mpls) on friday and sunday nights, I’d record the whole one hour shows of new wave/punk music, then use my brothers dual-cassette player and make my own tapes.
    Ah, the mix tape. Nothing says “I think you’re neat” like a crazy awesome mix tape from a co-worker, that he gave to you at a company christmas party, along with a copy of his favorite book.
    I think mix tapes are awesome, and agree with you on making CD’s.

    Comment by monstergirlee on July 19, 2010
  11. There was NOTHING better than mixed tapes. I remember being given one by a guy and knowing that it was a sign we would be together forever.

    And, I had to explain to my sister-in-law what an 8 track was…which I barely remember myself and sort of died on the inside during the conversation.

    Comment by Spring B on July 20, 2010
  12. One of my first cassette tapes was one of Mariah Carey’s first albums. And I love those songs more than any of her other songs because they remind me of dancing my parent’s basement, and wearing that tape out until it wouldn’t play anymore.

    Also: I want that “Love songs” zipper pouch.

    Comment by Kerri Anne on July 20, 2010
  13. Oh My Ali!! I just found my Cure mix tape the other day!!

    P.S. My husband proposed by giving me a mix tape…only 5 years ago. He knows how to charm me! Now I just need to hold on to a tape player to show my grandchildren one day.
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..Looking backalready =-.

    Comment by suzanne on July 20, 2010
  14. I used to hold the recorder up to the boom box because the boom box could not record itself. I thought that was some hardcore dedication.

    Comment by regan on July 22, 2010
  15. I actually bought a cassette to mp3 converter and converted all my old tapes so I could hear them on iTunes, including all the old mixtapes I had. It was awesome.

    Comment by Avitable on July 28, 2010

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