Monday, September 22, 2008

Audio Time Capsule

In my high school years I was heavy into the art of the mix tape. I would stay up late into the night making mixes for friends/acquaintances/myself..usually with some collage cover art (I was equally heavily into the art of collage-making). I felt that these mix tapes encapsulated friendships or moods. Were little audio snapshots of my life at the time.

As the age of MP3s and Napster dawned, mix tapes gave way to mix CDs but the mix CDs, while not quite as authentic and kitchy as the tapes, were way better since I had access to basically any song I could think off as fast as my college ethernet could get a hold of it. And so I became even more specific with my mix themes. "Songs To Listen To While Getting Ready To Go Clubbing in Providence" (very heavy rotation of Amber and Kylie. "Songs to Play at a Classy Dinner Party (lots of Sinatra and Ella) and so on. I never quite got the hang of making playlists, preferring to be surprised when I pulled it out of it's case to hear what was on it.

Which is why I have been DELIGHTED lately to be coming across scads of unlabeled Mix CDs I made 5,6,7 even 8 years ago. Since I have been dog sitting, going through my parents CD collection I found a few blank CDs, presumably mixes I made years ago and forgot about) and have been listening to them on the way to work. How awesome are these mixes? Let's see.

One starts out with "It's a Miracle" by Barry Manilow, segways into "Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warner...then gets into "He Loves Me, He Loves You Not" by Dream. Holy awesomeness.

Then another contains hits from Elvis, Toto, George Michael, Stevie Wonder and Zap Mama, to name a few.

I am on an odyssey of my musical taste in the early 00s and I have to say it is a freaking blast....and has be getting back into the mix CD scene. Think TaTu and Fleetwood Mac belong on the same CD? You have come to the right place.


Erin said...

I'm embarrassed to say it but I actually own the Dream CD. It gets worse. When the songs come on iTunes I can sing along to them all. So just know that you aren't alone in eclectic musical tastes :)

Jackie said...

That is seriously a little bit of awesome. My best friend in high school and I would always give our mixed tapes crazy names - like "Ladels are Fabulous".

And yes, TaTu and Fleety Mac most definitely belong on the same CD. In fact, I just burnt a mix that contains nothing less of 2Pac, Frank Sinatra, and Jesse McCartney all on the same disc. :D

Sarah said...

HA Erin - I am not ashamed. I will even admit I only started listening to them beacuse they were on Bad Boy Records and i was obsessed with all things Puff Daddy in the late 90s, early 00s. I'm not ashamed!

Jackie i LOVE me some Tupac. I made a "love songs" mix about 5 years ago that featured "All About U". A wicked romantic song, I know.

Laura said...

How much fun is that??? My high school mix tapes were all copied from the radio so they usually cut off like 5 seconds before they should and the tape has been played so much it's staticy, but still fun to find!

Jenn said...

OK, nobody should ever be embarrassed of their mix tapes or CDs because the art of the mix is a fantastic one.

I was once a great mix-tape artist as well, even creating carefully crafted jackets to go in the plastic cassette tape cases. Word!

I then segued (sp??) into CD mixes as well but lost some of the very special hands-on art of the tape mixes. I moved on to making sleeves on the computer which was awesome but not as crazy and didn't involve markers and stickers so, you know, less ridiculous in a way.

Some of my tape mixes also included hits from the radio and an occasional snippet from a movie or tv show that had special meaning or was an inside joke, etc.

You are inspiring me to revisit this art very soon. I think markers and stickers should be involved.

And I fully support your crazy companion artists. I am quite certain that I have made a mix featuring the unlikely pairings of John Denver/Rob Zombie and also Lynard Skynard/They Might Be Giants. Awesome.