31 March 2015
I can’t even argue with this:
The art — and make no mistake about it, it is an art — of making a mixtape is one lost on a generation that only has to drag and drop to complete a mix. There’s no love or passion involved in moving digital songs from one folder to another. Those “mixes” are just playlists held prison inside a device. There’s no blood, sweat and tears involved in making them.
For the beauty of the mix tape alone, I’d love to see the cassette make a comeback, for everyone to have a chance to learn the art of the mix. I know, they can easily do that on a computer. But there’s something about the finished product, the feel of the cassette in your hand, the hand-written track list, that fine string of tape you can pull out of the cassette in a fit of emotion when the relationship sours and your boyfriend returns the tape with all your other stuff, that makes this artifact of another era so much more than just a playlist.
Preach it, Sister Christian.
4 August 2014
This is a task one takes very seriously indeed:
Dear Husband took it upon himself to create the perfect 70s playlist. He worked on this bad boy for weeks, possibly months. All the music had to be from 1974 or earlier and was a perfect mixture of soul, funk, rock and very early punk.
He had 4 hours of music plus an alternate list for the late night guests.
And he was wise enough to kick it off with the party-starter of the age: Carl Douglas’ immortal “Kung Fu Fighting.”
27 November 2013
My introduction to 8tracks.com came from, of all people, Rebecca Black. Then again, the young lady who turned “Friday” into an earworm has been known to surprise people. (See, for instance, her cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”)
RB’s ten-track November ’13 mix opens with Heavy English’s debut single “21 Flights” and continues with “Come a Little Closer” from Cage the Elephant’s Melophobia album. That should give you enough reason to check out the rest of it.
19 November 2013
I did over 300 of these, some of which eventually were updated to CDs, which is why this site is here in the first place.
And yes, they were all something like this:
Weirdly, it now takes me longer to assemble an 80-minute CD than it did a 90-minute tape.
(Via Outside the Beltway.)
11 November 2013
Delusional Thomas is to Mac Miller what Chris Gaines is to Garth Brooks: new ideas, same fingerprints. Miller er, Thomas has unleashed a new mix, produced by Larry Fisherman (also Miller), with special appearances by Miller as Miller and by the wonderfully-named Earl Sweatshirt.
Give it a listen at Potholes In My Blog.
29 April 2013
The deliberately lower-case magazine inconnu offers a 90s mix of fourteen tracks, described thusly:
For all you 21st century cowboys and cowgirls out there who would rather be listening to 90s radio, anyway. A little bit of Marcy Playground, Beck, Rilo Kiley, and 3EB to get you through those hot summer evenings in the #concretejungle.
Who knew that Rilo Kiley made any recordings in the 90s? Obviously not me.
23 December 2012
As of about ten years ago, I’d done 333 mixtapes. (As you can see, I’m not making a whole lot of progress converting them to CD.) Michele Catalano writes in Forbes that the comparative technological ease of making one’s own CDs has cost us something:
The art and make no mistake about it, it is an art of making a mix tape is one lost on a generation that only has to drag and drop to complete a mix. There’s no love or passion involved in moving digital songs from one folder to another. Those “mixes” are just playlists held prison inside a device. There’s no blood, sweat and tears involved in making them.
There was a certain ritual to making a perfect mix tape, one that could take hours to finish. Maybe even days, depending on how much you wanted to impress the recipient. While the songs had to have a common theme (“I hate you and hope you die” was as common a theme as “I would like to get to first base with you”), it wasn’t good enough to just take a bunch of love songs and throw them on a tape. It was about so much more than grouping some tunes together. They had to segue. They had to flow into one another. Each song needed to be a continuation of the one before it, as if all these disparate bands got together and recorded a concept album based solely on your feelings for the guy who sits in front of you in English class.
I do actually put that amount of work into a CD, mostly to improve the flow, although the fact that I haven’t done one all year should tell you something right there. And earlier this week I found in a box a fairly late tape (#326) labeled “Nothing in Common,” which turned out to be a random collection of Seventies stuff though I will happily defend its production, if only for exploiting the sheer variety of Seventies tunes: where else will you hear the Bee Gees’ “Love You Inside Out” and T. Rex’s “Metal Guru”?
7 November 2012
What to listen to when the weather has gone from frightful to lethal? Sheila O’Malley has posted her Sandy/Athena Shuffle, and there are two things you can be sure of: nothing painfully obvious, and the presence of Elvis.
6 July 2012
Stereogum once again is offering a 24-track mixtape (okay, it’s a pair of ZIP files, don’t get cranky) titled Cruel Summer, which they describe as “handpicked from the pool of this year’s finest freely available MP3s, and then lovingly selected and sequenced to soundtrack rooftop goodtimes and/or backyard BBQs and/or emotional breakdowns.” What more could you possibly want? And you’ve probably got 200 MB to spare, so download it here and unzip at leisure. So to speak.