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Monday, July 18, 2005


The mixtape is a concept which has not only survived the digital revolution, but flourished with recordable cd's and now podcasts. My brothers and I have always been big on the mix sharing. You give somebody a mix and say; here's some stuff I think you'll like. The sub-text is always; here's some stuff I think you should like. There's always subversive elements. The best mixtape I ever got was in 1984, it came with a surprise rolled up in the case, nice! What was on it lasted much longer. The party responsible knew my heavy tastes, so he chose songs that he knew I'd like, but also knew would open up avenues as yet unexplored. Very subversive, and very successful. On that tape was a live version of 'You Really Got Me' by the Kinks (One More From The Road, 1980), and 'Sweet Jane' by Lou from Rock and Roll Animal (1974). He knew where those tracks would take me -shopping! There were songs that I was already digging, 'Supernaut' (Sabbath Vol. 4, 1974), and songs that really stretched my horizons, like Peter Gabriel's 'Solisbury Hill' (now we know who made the tape, hee hee). I wish I still had that tape, though I'm sure I went out and bought every LP represented in due time. I remeber another mix tape which had 'Revolution Blues' by Neil Young (On The Beach, 1974) on it. There was an equal reaction to that tape, I went out and bought a crap load of Neil Young. That tape came from my other brother, who was less subliminal, but managed the same job through dilligence. My thanks to both of them. Keep mixing it up y'all.

My greatest triumph in mixed tapes was The Rayle Tapes, a six-tape set make for a certain girl named Gail. I made it in the comfort of my home-at-the-time in Salem, MA, under the influence of.... beer. Each tape started and ended on a perfect note. I still have them. Gail unfortunately ended up with copies of those, which unfortunately had some of the ends of the side slightly cut off since the sides were timed so perfectly and I copied them on a crap dual cassette deck. anyway, they were great and I still have them. The turntable, however, has shit the bed, as they say around Salem.

Another great tape I have is called Ted's Sounds of the 70s, made by a certain Jackson.

And how could I forget the tape of Belgian bands made for me by a really cool Belgian guy I met at an Auteurs show at the Mercury Lounge in '95 that never was. Damn Luke Haines and his drama.

Anyway, the mixed tape is an art.

What's a tape?
What I love is that Ken made a six tape set for a girl... and gave her the copy.

By the way, did it work?
Nah, it wasn't meant to. It was meant to introduce our friend Gail to new music. I got carried away.
I'll say, considering she moved as far away as one can without leaving the continental
US. Nice job Ken.
She went that far just 'cause the ends of a few songs got cut off?

now i have realized my cd player plays MP3 files i find it quite interesting to come up with an "Mix CD" with 120 or so songs.

i have a hard enough time trying to come up with 20 songs that work well together.
Try it with the same song over and over, and play it at work, loud. A good song for this would be 'Hanky Panky' by TJ and the Shondells.
You could also try "My Ding-A-Ling" by Chuck Berry (his biggest hit, incidently)
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