For some reason, I have been in the mood to mix tapes lately. Not burn CDs. I suppose if I had a way to burn a CD, I might be interested, but there is something more personal about mixing a tape. I used to have such a good system.
First I would pick a recipient and a message the tape needed to convey. One of my first was for Adam. I have mentioned Adam before. A DJ who knew more music than I could ever DREAM of knowing. I was convinced I would wow him with a subtle message of affection by using songs by Alanis Morrisette and King Missile. There was even a special section of funny songs about Scotland.
By the time I got to college, I realized it was a foolish move. So the next major tape I made was for my friend Ryan. I titled it “Innuendo Free” I have a copy I made for myself somewhere. It did not include overt songs about my crush, which would probably be why he never considered dating me. Bad mixing on my part.
After selecting a message and a recipient, I picked the 20 or so songs. I listed them on a sheet of paper and then ranked them from 1 to 5. The scale was rockability or something like that. Was it a ballad? Angry? Dance?
Then I picked the order. No song could be greater than a difference one. A series of 4s could be in a row, but I could not go from 2 to 4 without passing 3. I took into consideration the flipping of the tape and continued the numbers from the last song on one side to the first on the other.
Finally came the packaging. How would I convey to the recipient the meaning? With a collage? Pen and ink drawing? Clip Art?
It was an art. Tonight I am ready to mix, but missing meaning and recipient. So I’m making myself a tape of fun songs to work to without too much sexual innuendo or naughty words. Songs to scoop ice cream to.