Once upon a long ago I used to say “if you cut me I bleed vinyl”, that’s how vital music was to me. I was the girl who got everything she wanted. My dream job, surrounded by friends who were so close we were family, enough money to pay my bills (barely) and as much music as I could take.
There’s something about an overcast early morning, where you can smell the rain (or ocean) in the air that always makes me nostalgic. This morning as I wait for my computer to rip a stack of CD’s to replace ones that died when my external hard drive crashed, I remembered the hipster indie screen printing guy from the arts festival and his ancient cassette tape print. I regret not buying it now, but my reason was this “if you buy it, you won’t make your own, make your own”. So into the closet of music I go, unearthing almost 20 cassette “long boxes”. The boxes, once shipped to Tower Records all bear the address of the places I called home. The cardboard has held up remarkably well for being so old, each one holds 25 cassettes. There were only a few years I bought cassettes, I refused to give up my vinyl and since I had a stereo where I could record my LP’s onto cassette, I preferred to do it that way. Later the LP gave way to the CD but my process was the same. I loved to make cassettes, I loved most of all to make mixed tapes.
I made mixed tapes for friends, for occasions, for parties, for gifts, for my latest crush, for a mood… and for no reason at all. I always gave it some cryptic or amusing name, and as I got older I’d give it a cover. I always made track lists, but never liner notes. Tapes like: “Pogo in the Rain”, “Smiling on the Inside”, “Dial-A-Violinist” and “Rough Trade”. I recall a few afternoons spent lounging on my futon with friends, making these, or an angsty evening pouring my soul onto a 90 minute Maxell XL II.
My best friend recently found a treasure trove of mixed tapes he’d made from the early 80’s while living in Germany. I’m intrigued by what may be on them, does that make me a voyeur? it was decades before we’d met and besides the great songs, what glimpses into his teenage psyche would it offer? It caused me to think, what my mixed tapes reveal about the younger me. Would I laugh at my insecurities and anxiety over what was earth-shattering at the time, or roll my eyes at the simple naivete I once had. One thing is certain though, I need to get an RCA to USB Y-cable and see if I can bring back the dead.
For today though, I’ll see about making a Migrainefarm Logo out of some of these old tapes.