ABC Mix Tapes

Back in the olden days, we used to listen to music on these devices that operated audio cassettes with magnetic tape.  Yes, we’ve discussed this before.  No, don’t try to out-old me with some reference to reel-to-reels because we have no less than three antique phonographs in my parents’ house so I don’t wanna hear it.  If you were lucky, you’d have a double cassette deck where you could make copies of your favorite tunes for your favorite friends.  Most of my music collection before college was limited to motion picture soundtracks (on tape and on vinyl) because, honestly, growing up in Southern Indiana/Northern Kentucky, it was that, ’70s and ’80s rock, or bluegrass.

During college, I was introduced not only to a new world of music (XTC!  The Pixies!  R.E.M.!  Back when they were still new and good!) but to new machinery: the compact disc player.  It was around that time that I started making and receiving mix-tapes (CDs onto tapes).  At a loss on how to organize any particular theme and concerned that the wrong message might be sent when really I just liked that tune and wanted to share it, I fell back on my nerdy tendencies and created “ABC” mixes.  There were two kinds:  one where I organized the songs in alphabetical order and one where the artists were listed so.  No other rhyme or reason.  One song did not gently melt into the next.  A head-bashing wall of sound from Hüsker Dü might precede a sweet, lyrical sonnet by the Indigo Girls.

When I was filling TP’s ipop with some tunes for our road trip, I realized that I hadn’t made an ABC mix in a long, long time.  I think it may have been some time in the late ’90s that I made the effort.  It looks like the last one I made ended abruptly because the technology at the time did not allow me to fill the CD with A through Z’s worth of songs:

Aurora    Foo Fighters
Believe What You’re Saying    Bob Mould
Cure For Pain    Morphine
Divorce Song    Liz Phair
Empty Glasses    The Amps
Feel The Pain    Dinosaur Jr
Greatest of All Time    Archers Of Loaf
Half a Person    Smiths
I Wanna Little Sugar    Nina Simone
June    Smashing Pumpkins
Kalifornia    Fatboy Slim
Letting the Cables Sleep    Bush
Making Time    Creation
Nobody’s Fault    Beck
Paranoid Android    Radiohead

Hmmm, not bad actually.  Anyway, to rectify this grievous dry spell, I sat down today and tried to cull through my much larger collection of music to make a new ABC mix with recent tunes.  By “recent” I mean music produced or which I obtained after the year 2000 . . . or thereabouts.  Yeah, I know, not very scientific.  But then, neither am I – yesterday, I had to ask the AAA repairman how many years the 72 month warranty for the new car battery lasted.  As though the difference between a five year warranty (my guess) and a six year warranty (reality) would make a difference.  Anyhoo, I present to you the following:

Animal Midnight    Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Ballad of Serenity    Sonny Rhodes
Colleen    The Heavy
Dry The Rain    The Beta Band
End of Medicine    The New Pornographers
Free Love    David Brent
Golddigger    Kanye West
Heaven Can Wait    Charlotte Gainsbourg  & Beck
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (Wilco cover)     JC Brooks
Jaan Pehechaan Ho    Mohammed Rafi
Karma Police    Radiohead
Lazy Eye    Silversun Pickups
The Mess We’re In    PJ Harvey Feat. Thom Yorke
Novocaine For The Soul    Eels
Ocean Breathes Salty    Modest Mouse
Pavlov’s Bell    Aimee Mann
Questions and Answers    Apples in Stereo
Regulator Foot    Sarah Azzara
The Seed (2.0)    The Roots [Feauring Cody Chesnutt]
That’s The Trick    The Folk Implosion
Under The Hedge    Ted Leo/Pharmacists
Vivrant Thing    Q-Tip
Woo Hoo’s
X-Ray Man    Liz Phair
You Don’t Know    Kraak and Smaak
Zero    Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Let me know if you want a copy.  I might just snail mail you one.


11 responses to “ABC Mix Tapes

  1. Mixtapes are the best!
    I mostly do mix CDs nowadays though.

  2. i’ll send you one if you send me one!

  3. I absolutely will. Send an anon message on my blog with your address (which won’t get posted until I approve it).

  4. you got it! i was going to make a ‘they might be giants best of kids music mix’ for our favorite little tarazian anyway so i’ll toss this abc mix into the package too. 🙂 what kind of music are you listening to these days anyway?

  5. i’m in transition. for approximately 6.5 months i mostly listened to bad russian pop music, which i hated. then i arrived home and got all nostalgic. soon i found myself playing russian youtube music videos (though finding them was hard because i didn’t know the names of the songs or artists for all the tunes that were running on endless repeat in my head). now i’m trying to stop the madness and get myself to listen to something else that i don’t have such a disfunctional relationship with. any suggestions?

  6. most of my music influx ceased around the mid 90s. when i think of you, i think of ‘world music’ but not in the corny NPR ‘i’m a liberal and therefore am obliged to like world music’ sense but in the actual ‘oh yeah, when i visited that country, i used to listen to that music’ sense. what genres do you like and what do you hate? i can make the ABC mix above but with the TMBG added in, i might as well give you an MP3 disc laden with tunes. arabic? desi? french?

  7. i like all 3. actually, i like most music from the countries i visit, except russian pop.

    except when i get nostalgic and want to hear it.

    except that kazakh music is the real indiginous music of kaz and not that russian pop stuff.

    except that no one other than old people listen to kaz music (at least that’s what our translator told us, she’s 19)

  8. oops. the computer was still logged in as someone else. the above was me.

  9. haha! N.A. (my grandfather’s initials by the way) is going to make you listen to whatever he wants anyway so whether it’s russian pop or traditional kaz, you had better get used to it!

    ooh! are you and B doing some clandestine email exchanges where you write draft emails under the same account and then can read each others’ writings without it being sent over the internetS so it won’t get redacted or blocked?! so cool! i think they had that trick in some movie i saw recently. hmm…

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