You know how a photographer captures a beautiful moment in time and transforms it into something extraordinary? It’s not necessarily their creation, if you want to be technical, but is certainly an artform. This is how I feel about making mix tapes, well, nowadays cds. But tapes are so much harder and in exchange more personal since you’re working under side A/side B time restraints and pressing record instead of dragging a mouse. It has your sweat and fingerprints all over it. And usually a tear or two if you are feeling especially emo. I digress. There is even a Web site that supports my assertion: http://www.artofthemix.org/index
It’s no secret that music is basically behind every thing that I do despite the fact that I am not a musician or professional critic. I have been nursed on music since I was a kid. I remember running my fingers over my dad’s old vinyl that sat on the floor of his closet (Goat’s Head Soup scared the shit out of me with that damn goat stew and School’s Out was complete with pink disposable undies). My dad used to sing me songs before I went to sleep and he even named my first stuffed animal for me, Rocky the Racoon (I still have him by the way…most prized possession).
Specifically, I have been making mixes alone in my room since roughly seventh grade — though those early mixes were usually reserved just for me and my cat. I have to say that making mixes for other people is much more fulfilling. My cat never gave a shit. I would like to say that I only make mixes for people I really really like. It is the best way I can say what I want to say without having to deal with all the social mores of face to face interaction, which, admittedly, is usually quite exhausting for me.
I made a mix recently for a friend and co-worker that I am especially proud of for a number of reasons. 1) It marries my musical tastes almost perfectly with hers (I am very perceptive of what others like); 2) I think it captures her very bittersweet winter so far pretty accurately; 3) and the theme is heavy and almost unintentional, playing with the idea of movies (which she loves) and sowing and planting new seeds (since she is trying to move on in her life). I hope she agrees and doesn’t think I’m just being a blowhard.
“A Kick in the Balls” A Winter 2010 Mix for Kara:
- Constants Are Changing — Boards of Canada
- Reprise — Grizzly Bear
- Morning Theft — Jeff Buckley
- Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe — Okkervil River
- On Directing — Tegan and Sara
- Soft Shock — Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Changes Are No Good — The Stills
- This House Is Not For Sale — Ryan Adams
- In The Fall — Red Cortez
- You, You’re Awesome — Do Make Say Think
- Bbtone — Pinback
- That’s Entertainment — Morrissey
- Sowing Season — Brand New
- Side With The Seeds — Wilco
I love to make the perfect album. Maybe one day I will start playing guitar again and make some of my own. *sigh*