I’ve been making mixtapes since I was fourteen and my long-suffering Mom bought me my first cassette deck. I still make a mixtape every year on my birthday-a type of musical diary always named tracks@age. It’s fun to go back and see what I liked long ago and far away. There’s no theme-simply music I was listening to and enjoying in that twelve months of life. Many mixtapes have stood the test of time, though I do wince at some of the bands I played at high volume on my cheap lime-green “hi-fi”. Black Oak Arkansas? Yikes! Mom you were right. I’m sorry!
I always designed a cover and type treatment, and sadly to say, most of those have not aged well.
I’d trade tapes with friends, and we would eagerly wait to see what new music we would discover on the tapes. The internet allows us to sample any tune, but decades ago, a mixtape often determined if you would shell out your hard-earned Rainbow Valley money on an unknown group. I still remember hearing “Life on Mars” from Hunky Dory on a friend’s mixtape, and running out to buy everything Bowie I could find (Not much on PEI, circa 1971).
I still send out a few mixtapes to some old dinosaurs like myself. Not cassettes, but CDs, as most of our decks-including my cherished Nakamichi Dragon-have long crossed the Rainbow Bridge to Stereo Valhalla.
But I will always call them mixtapes. One word, not two.
Here’s the track list for 21@59
1. Motivational Speaker, Cut Chemist, 2006
2. Save Yourself, Hiatus, 2010
3. Bonnie, Tire Le Coyote, 2013
4. I Never Dreamed, The Cookies, 1963
5. Doin’ It Right, Daft Punk, 2013
6. Parade, Rone, 2012
7. It’s Tricky, Run DMC, 1986
8. Long Way To Go, Dwight Yoakim, 2012
9. Love/Hate Transmission, Liz Phair, 2003
10. I Don’t Believe A Word You Say, Ben Harper And Charlie Musslewhite, 2013
11. Beverly Penn, Waterboys, 1985
12. Just Like Me, Paul Revere And The Raiders, 1967
13. Microphone Fiend, Eric B And Rakim, 1988
14. Down The Road, C2C, 2012
15. Kellogg’s Jingle, The Monkees, 1967
16. Et Puis Je Sais, Johnny Hallyday, 2006
17. Mother Blues, Ray Wylie Hubbard, 2012
18. La Mer, Julio Iglesias, 1968
19. Si Fragile, Luc De Larochellière & Gilles Vigneault, 2006
20. An Accidental Memory In Case Of Death, Eluvium, 2004
21. Moonraker, Shirley Bassey, 1979