Thursday, April 27, 2006


Are you old enough, or young enough, to remember the thrill of the mixed tape? When you would pour over your collection of albums (vinyl, cassette, or CD, but vinyl were the best for actual mixing), think about what songs you would choose, what order they would go in, and put them on a tape. You could make different tapes for different moods...I had a tape specifically for breaking up, which was the mushiest crappola you would ever NOT want to hear, I'm telling you. Well, Ted and his brother have both paid their dues as Disc Jockeys, and BIL even had a pirate radio station out of his bedroom for awhile, so we could make tapes at his house where the songs mixed into one another, that kind of was great (except I'm not a patient learner, so when Ted was trying to teach me how to mix them properly, I was a brat). Anyway, do you remember the thrill of getting a tape from someone you liked, be it a friend, a crush, or an actual boyfriend/girlfriend? Listening to it over and over again...wondering if there was a message in the text of the songs they had chosen...hearing new songs that you hadn't heard before, mixed in with old favorites...the thrill of discovering that your new steady liked music that you had always liked, but you had never talked about with him/her? It was great. Ted used to make me SO MANY tapes, and he would make tapes for himself, tapes for trips in the car, tapes for riding BART, whatever. We had all of these tapes. Still do. Of course, now the only place we can listen to them is in the '86 Volvo, because our stereo area doesn't have room for the tape deck, and the Camry doesn't have a tape deck, either. (Oh, wait, I still have an old walkman around here somewhere...) But one thing I realized yesterday, is that this new generation won't have the thrill (or embarrassment) of digging through a box and finding an old tape, popping it in the machine and being transported back in time. I'm thinking that nowadays the thing to do is to make a playlist for your friends and significant others, and they can download them to their iPods and computers. When they get tired of that playlist, they just delete sad, never to be thought of again. And please don't tell me they could burn it onto a CD, lose it, and rediscover it in 20 years...that's not my point! point is that the burned CD will probably be the exception, rather than the rule. I'm sure there's some benefit to the new way, the downloading of playlists, that they won't melt if left in the car on a hot day, won't get stepped on and ruined, won't get lost so easily...but the old fuddy duddy in me is kind of missing the mixed tapes right about now.

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