So what’s all this talk about making a mix if you don’t actually make a mix, right? Well I’ve been at it the last couple of weeks making mixtapes. I’ve got two done I’ll be mailing this week. I also made a mix of horror soundtrack stuff for the van. My son and I quite enjoy those on the ride home from school everyday. But the most important mix of all was for my wife. I finished “Mama’s Mix” last night. It’s not really called “Mama’s Mix”, but that’s the unofficial name anyways.
Before I started dating my wife back in high school my mix game hadn’t been nearly as refined and precise. They were just ramshackle songs thrown on a tape haphazardly in order to just have something to listen to in the car with my parents. But when you’re trying to impress the opposite sex, well you’ve gotta put some thought into, man. There’s gotta be a flow to it. There’s gotta be those questions running through her head as she’s listening to a carefully placed song like “Does he think that way about me?” and “What does this song mean?” You gotta add an air of mystery. That’s how it was in high school anyways. From there you start to take pride in the songs you’re committing to tape. Even a mix you’re making for a pal you want to be impressive.
I still take pride in the process. I’d mentioned earlier that we still have a vehicle with a tape player in it. Our 2004 Honda Odyssey still rocks a cassette deck, and since the CD player no longer works in it we can’t play CD-Rs. The DVD player works, but since it’s so old it only plays DVDs and actual CDs. No CD-Rs. The tape is our only option for mixes. My wife is currently using the van. Her job is taking school pictures. You know those packets your kids bring home in the fall and spring of them smiling in front of a backdrop with their hair strangely combed? Well my wife takes those pictures. And those backdrops? Well she has to haul those things with her and our new vehicle, a Ford Flex, just doesn’t quite cut it space-wise for her to haul her equipment for the spring pictures. It’s back to the van for her. I thought making her a mix to pop in might make the drive a little better. Besides the pictures, she has to drive all over the northeast and west part of the state visiting schools(some hers, and some she’s trying to get business from.) This way she’s got some decent tunes to listen to whilst making her way from one town to the next.
So why do I put masking tape on the cassette sleeve you ask? Well a good friend of mine and I started doing that in the early 90s when we’d reuse a tape that had something on it. We’d cover it in masking tape so we could write the song titles on the sleeve. From there we just kept doing it regardless of whether the tape was new or used. We could decorate them that way(because in the early 90s I guess I had nothing better to do than make freakin’ mixtapes and decorate the tape.) Anyways, the process stuck. A mixtape just wouldn’t feel right to me any other way.
For you non-tapeheads, enjoy the mix right here.