Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Let the Music Play

It's a typical girl meets boy story. They meet online, boy asks girl out, girl asks boy to make her a mixed CD of significant songs that capture pieces of his life. Not necessarily his most favorite songs or artists, but songs that mean something, the ones that remind him of where he's been and how far he has come. Oh, and she asks him to have this prepared and recorded to present on their very first date, in return she'll do the same.

Sound familiar?

Of course not! Who does that?!

I do, a girl who put off college to work in a Record Store, because not only was that quite possibly the coolest job in the world right out of high school, but that is just how much music influenced and continues to influence my entire life. The sounds, the beats, the instruments, the voices, the dissection of the lyrics, I cherish it all. That job was no summer fling, it was true love! I ended up working there for 14 years as a store manager.

"How can you just leave me standing
Alone in a world that's so cold
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied..."

It was a first. I'd never challenged anyone to a first date mix tape before, but with this one, it felt like the the right thing to do. And it was, I got two pretty solid mixed CDs out of it... on date number two. To be fair, mine weren't ready on the first date either, only because the date itself took place sooner than I had expected.

Long story short, we didn't go the distance. Don't be sad, we're still cool, just not cool "like that." And I have some pretty great souvenirs to show for it. His musical taste was almost, almost as good as mine and that's pretty swell in my book.

I'm old school, I grew up in the age where we actually painstakingly made mixed tapes. And even now, in this day of iPods, I still prefer a mix CD to a playlist. Anyone can throw a playlist together, but making a mix CD with limited space, getting the perfect playlist in 20 songs or less is a lost art and takes some serious thought and skill. It's an amazing gift to get and receive.

As a music lover, if you haven't read "Love is a Mix Tape" by Rob Sheffield, you're missing out. It's a book that I've actually highlighted passages in, because his thoughts on music so closely reflect mine.
In it he writes, "There are all kinds of mix tapes. There is always a reason to make one."

Ummm, yeah!

"I have built my entire life around loving music, and I surround myself with it. I'm always racing to catch up on my next favorite song. But I never stop playing my mixes. Every fan makes them. The times you've lived through, the people you shared those times with - nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of life."

Seriously, how perfect a paragraph is that? I wish that I had written it before Rob did!

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."

Some things take pause, but the music never stops. You get over yourself and move on.

Press Play.

Soundtrack: Volume Three 06/20/13

Just Like Honey - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Darlin' One - The Replacements
We've Been Had - The Walkmen
Miss Misery - Elliott Smith
It's All Alright - fun.
Better Be Home Soon - Crowded House
Everybody Here Wants You - Jeff Buckley
Aint' That Lonely Yet - Dwight Yoakam
If I Had a Boat - Lyle Lovett
Bad Things - Jace Everett
Creepy Jackalope Eye - Steve Earle
I Saw You First - John Mellencamp
You Belong to My Heart - Old 97's
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb - Spoon
Idiot Kings - Soul Coughing
Someday I Suppose - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover - Sophie B. Hawkins
Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Feel the Pain - Dinosaur Jr.
What is Life - George Harrison
Closing Time - Semisonic

Soundtrack: Volume Four 07/04/13

The Galway Girl - Steve Earle
Stubborn Love - The Lumineers
Pulling Back the Reins - kd Lang
First Glimmer - Paul Westerberg
Every Day is Like Sunday - Morrissey
Black Coffee in Bed - Squeeze
Take it on the Run - REO Speedwagon
Crime Scene, Part One - Afghan Whigs
Remedy - The Black Crowes
You Got Lucky - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
6th Avenue Heartbreak - The Wallflowers
All the Young Dudes - World Party
The Whole of the Moon - The Waterboys
Change - Churchill
Special - Garbage
So Much For the Afterglow - Everclear
Here's Where the Story Ends - The Sundays

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