Wednesday, October 18, 2006

All I know is that I don't know nothing (about AP History)

In a total and complete exercise in obsession and compulsion, I have started a Tour Through My Tape Cassette Collection of Great Mixes of Yore. And I have some pretty great mixes on tape.

While other teenagers were building volunteer hours as candystripers at the local hospital, or studying to try to get good grades on the AP History test (whatever!) or developing their talents or SOMETHING, I was spending many an hour perfecting the art of the mix tape. Rewind, fast forward, rewind, record, find the next song, oops, went too far, rewind, perfect! Laborious, I tell you. A time sucker-upper. And I was great at it. (Diana was super great at it, the best, the queen of mixes. Credit where credit is due.)

I was really quite against the transition into CDs. My future husband told me once, "I am thinking about converting my music collection to CDs." My reaction: "Why on earth would you want to do that? What a waste of money! Each CD costs at least $15, and that's ridiculous to spend that much money when you already have what you want on tape. Plus, do you really think that when you're older you are going to want the entire libraries of Def Leppard, Yes, Rush, and the Ocean Blue---on CD!?" Secretly, I was unwilling to accept that my mix tapes would become obsolete and my number one time waster would become invalid, and then I would have to do something conventional for the AP History Exam, or something. And in case you were wondering, he did buy all those CDs. (Steve Craig is sooo rich! He has a job, and he never even cashes the paychecks! They are all sitting in his drawer. He doesn't even need the money. His house has 8 bathrooms!!) When we're feeling crazy, we put on Def Leppard and dance, dance, dance! Don't we, Steve?

Well, here we are 14 years later, and I have never burned a CD of any sort, I have never purchased a single song online, I have never owned an iPod. It seems much too easy. What a monster that Al Gore has created! Everything is too accessible. Like last night, when I wanted to know where water chestnuts come from, I asked Steve and when he told me, I immediately didn't believe him and so I did a google search that took 1.3 seconds, and was humbled because he was right like he usually is. End of story. No asking around, no hitting the old encyclopedia volumes, no digging through the card catalog system at the local library, under T for Tubers. It's like that with music. What were the lyrics to It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)? Let's listen individually to try to figure it out, then meet to hash it out over Eggs Over MiHammy at Denny's. Not anymore, my friend. Just go online. Easy peezy. No more poring through your father's tape collection--which he scored painstakingly at the $1 promotional table at the newspaper where he works, even though he works the night shift and doesn't get there in time for first dibs on the good music--looking for just the right song to put after I'm Sticking With You by the Velvet Underground.

ANYWAY, as I was washing the dishes just now, I put in one of those fabulous mixes that I made in the late 80s/early 90s--it's hard to tell when, as the songs weren't terribly current even then. AND, I got nostalgic and thought, Dang, this is a good mix. So I wanted to share with ya'll.

Here is my current playlist:

Desperado. Eagles
Stand By My Woman. Lenny Kravitz
Beds are Burning. Midnight Oil
Secret. OMD
Very First Lie. Material Issue
Dark Globe. Syd Barrett
Wonderful World. Louis Armstrong
Hairspray. Hairspray Soundtrack
Red Rain. Peter Gabriel
I Melt With You. Modern English
The Promise. When in Rome
Boys Don't Cry. The Cure
Never Tear Us Apart. INXS (Naturally, this song gets cut off in the middle, as it's at the end of the side.)

Nothing Compares 2U. Sinead
With or Without You. U2
Roxanne. The Police
Another Brick in the Wall Part II. Pink Floyd
Knowledge. Green Day (Before Green Day was cool, thank you!)
October. U2 (That's for you, Amy)
Big in Japan. Alphaville
Walking on the Moon. The Police
An Innocent Man. Billy Joel
The Longest Time. Billy Joel
The Greatest Love. Whitney Houston (Okay, there was a minor breakdown in coolness near the end of side B. I don't know how to explain it.)
Gloria. Manhattan Transfer (Coolness factor is restored. Whew!)

There it is! If anyone wants a copy, I can totally dub one for you. Do they still sell blank tapes at Walgreens?


ahc said...

"Nothing Compares 2U" is one of my all-time favorite songs. Since all 80's songs have become hot material for rappers to re-mix, I'm surprised that one hasn't been slaughtered yet.

One of the most painful things to my ears is the recent rap remix of Corey Hart's 80's mega-hit "Sunglasses at Night"-- it's called "I Wear My Stunner-Glasses at Night." It's probably the worst song since [insert name of rap "artist"] decided it was brilliant to loop [fill in name of dang-good 80's hit], slightly alter the lyrics, and feature the grunts and moans of [insert name of up-and-coming young rapper "discovered" by P. Diddy or Dr. Dre].

I say that those precious hits of the 80's are best left to those mix tapes we all have lingering around in our music collections. Guard them closely and don't let the rappers get them!

p.s. Emily, my theory continues to hold true that you truly are superwoman. How do you find the time to do these things? You are the coolest. . .

p.p.s. Recently I happened upon a Stake Dance by accident (I was searching for a wedding reception & ended up at the wrong building) and would you believe that they STILL play "I'll Stop the World. . ."

sarah said...

Ii don't even own a tape player anymore. That's sad. Can't even play my BYU mix tapes. It doesn't get any better than that - borrowing music from 30 or so friends with good music taste and wasting oh so precious study time making the perfect mix, and of course, a copy for a certain cute guy that also let you borrow his complete U2 collection.

BTW, I'm not sure Manhattan Transer is cool to any 40 and unders, outside of the Godfrey family.

amyjune said...

Thanks for the throwback to the old school years Emily. I have to say thatI am secretly coveting that mix tape. And maybe one of these days, since it is OCtober afterall, you will get a mysterious caller singing that to you on the other line.
As for IPods, I have no idea how they operate or function and have chosen to remain blissfully ignorant to this "new fangled" technology.

Pepper said...

Walking on the moon... the lead singer is Bono right! Oh, and the reason Michael and I are married is a Def Leppard concert. Two, that is two ipods in the Buhrley family. Michael listens to legal stuff on the way to school and I listen to my running podcast to get me through my runs. No music and no Rush, Ocean Blue or U2 hits on either ipod.

Alice said...

Wow, I am feeling a bit nostalgic... and really old. I was quite a mix-tape master myself at one time. Now that we, like Sarah, no longer own a cassette player (except in Jay's sad 1995 Mazda which still gets him to the bus stop, and even all the way downtown on some days), I went to all the trouble of purchasing and downloaded individual songs to recreate my favorite mix tapes on CD. Now my CD's seem rather passe. I guess one of these days we will have break down and get an ipod. I guess it will be nice to finally get rid of the towering pile of CD's in our home. Ugh.

Emmie said...

Great post, Emily! I had a boyfriend who made me mix tapes to cheer me up when I'd had a bad day. Best thing about the relationship, and I still have the tapes. (He had great taste in music!)

Sweet Pea said...

That is awesome.

My mixed tapes always has some Milli Vanilli and/or MC Hammer. So, so sad.

My husband was in NYC the same time yours was...AND we were all sick while he was gone..I wish we lived closer and I would have had you over for dinner. The boys could have wrestled each other, Lu would have bossed them and the Norah's would have chilled in the baby jail. Another time, eh?

Suzie Petunia said...

So now I'm just wondering where water chestnuts really come from... I'll go google that next.

Do you still have the mix I made at the end of our freshman year? I still listen to that one sometimes. And do you remember the "mix" you and Bennett made for me that had nothing but ... oh, what was that song called? There was a country version and a boy band version. Anyway, I was so excited to get mix in the mail and then it was just a big joke. I still tear up about it when I think about it. Boo hoo.

Emily said...

I loved these comments.

Bek, if only we lived closer! I would have loved dinner at your house...especially if it was Caribbean night, and our husbands could have met up in NY, and our Norahs would be quite cute chilling together. I just basically resaid everything that you already said, but I liked it so!

Suzie, I swear!!!! (By the moon and the stars up above, I'll be there....) Yes, I have your freshman mix! That is a dang good one. It was my first introduction to Big Head Todd, now one of the favorite bands of this household. And as for that "mix" from me and Bennett, those were good times. We thought we were so funny. Amy got one of those gems, too. I swear!

Emily said...

And Sarah, not cool?! I am incredulous. Sing it with me:

Glo-o-ria. It's not Marie-ie-ie. Gloria. It's not Cherie-ie-ie. Gloria. But she's not in love with me.

So cool.

Emily said...

One more important question for Alyssa:

At the church dance, did the lyric, "Making love to you was never second best" go through any kind of editing process??