Mixtapes May Be Dumb, But I Made You One

Going through some old things recently, I found a whole stack of CD’s I’ve kept underneath a pile of old notebooks from school. They were wrapped up in an elastic band, scratched to heck and tossed in a box of random stuff I’d been keeping in storage. Normally, I’m really careful with my albums, so this was an alarming and curious development, to say the least.

Well, once I pulled them out, I had to laugh. The funny part wasn’t that I’d had these laying around this whole time; no, it was interesting because almost all of these CD’s were mixes burned for me by either old girlfriends or old guitar students over the years. Nevermind the fact that I’m starting to get to an age where it’s difficult to put all the right names to all the right handwriting, shades of Sharpie or nicknames for my cars.  It’s just hilarious that something can mean so much, then, with a little time and a little perspective, mean almost nothing at all.

What is the impulse to make someone a mixtape (or CD?) Is it to give them a subtle—or not so subtle—message? To make sure that they remember you’re thinking of them? Or maybe it’s just to check if they’re paying attention (jump cut to me, alone in the car, yelling, “Who listens to this much Melissa Etheridge?” and throwing the CD out the window.)

Well, whatever the reason people make mixtapes, I’ve decided that if I’m going to make anyone a mixtape, it should be you, Dear Reader.

So here you go: my custom playlist, just for you.

It’s not the most obscure stuff I know; it’s not the coolest stuff I know. Instead, it’s just a good mix of music for rollin’ the windows down and drivin’ a little above the speed limit to. Enjoy Daylight Savings Time. I know I am.

Honorable mentions go to “Judy Garland” by Veal, as well as “April Fool” by Chalk Circle. No matter how I tried to fit you in, it didn’t work. Oh—for “Too Sober To Sleep” I just love the Carolyn Mark / NQ Arbuckle cover so much, I had to omit Justin Rutledge’s downtempo, depressed original. Sorry, gentlemen.

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