Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Remember Mix Cds? (OSFM Mix cd, 2008)

Good morning!

Well, I am worse for wear this morning, kiddlings. I went over to Emma from The Fiercest Lilliputian's darling apartment last night and had a WHALE of a time cooking mushroom mutter masala (Vegan! Delicious!), expressing jealousy over the fine appointments of her furniture selections, and gabbin' my little head off. I had so much fun, I lost track of time and ended up staying way past my usual "at-home-by this, in bed-by-this" schedule (but for a very good cause!). Upon stealing home late-in-the-night-for-me, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea  to watch the latest episode of Mad Men that had queued up on Amazon Instant Video (the drama! the chills and thrills of last night's episode!!). All that adds up to, I had an unusually  awesome Monday night, but I am a sleepington. Lord! You could really open a grave and just lay me in it for how tired I am this morning. Coffee! Buoy me up, sweet, sweet coffee!

Whatever the preamble, and in the interest of keeping the steamer that is She Was a Bird afloat, I nevertheless present you with today's subject, a relic from the ancient past....a mix cd.

Matthew and I started dating in late June of 2008...what was the first thing I did, in classic maybe I am that guy from High Fidelity fashion? I made him a mix cd. Natch! The cover (above) features an illustration of a Mohawk Indian from a sixties' children's encyclopedia, gleaned from the discards bin at McKays' in Knoxville some years earlier. I used to hoard vintage primary school textbooks and young adult illustrated novels and college-level science workbooks for all the weird and wacky illustrations dedans, in the interest of making cd covers and gifts. As you can see, sometimes this hoarding comes in handy.

If you're one of those girls (or guys), you remember the delicious indecision that was trying to cement the setlist for a "first mix" [tape or cd...format at this point had compelled me to use a CD-R, but I started out on 90 minute blank Maxells or Sonys just like everyone else]. You want to look cool to the potential or newly minted significant other, but you can't put too many unlistenable or alienating tracks on the dang thing. Nobody wants to know how unabashedly into Woody Guthrie you are at first glance...you gotta ease 'em into the good stuff. My friend Kelsey and I spent most of our high school careers perfecting the art of the well-balanced mix tape (first-class-music-nerds), and I didn't want to let myself and my new beau down. After many hours of planning, here's what I came up with for July 27, 2008:

Congenitally bad handwriting. It is what it is!
"OSFM" was the name I gave all mix cds post-2003, coming from the sizing tag abbreviation for "One Size Fits Most" and the idea of FM being like FM radio. I know, dorky, but still. It's nice to have uniformity in titles. I still stand by almost all of the decisions here. I'm bummed that a couple of the songs didn't show up on Spotify, but for the most part, this is what it sounded like (isn't the future amazing? I just playlisted a physical cd in a digital format. Mind blown.):


[Tracks that are on Youtube but not Spotify: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Jim Morrison-esque b-side "Come Into My Sleep", the RZA and Vincent Gallo's collaboration on "(Something I Want) For Real", the theme song from the Japanese spy girl show "Playgirl", Malay sixties' pop group Naomi and the Boys' almost atonal "Bad Loser" and South African jazz singer Dolly Rathebe's "Tlhapi Ke Noga"]

Hi, vintage Nick Cave. Love you! (source)
Something that occurred to me as I was tracking down these cuts online-- the ubiquitous mp3 blogs from my college days have gone the way of the dinosaur! I hadn't thought about how anti-piracy legislation and heavier restrictions on what you can share online would affect me until I thought about where a lot of these songs came from in the first place. I know there still ARE some, but many of the mainstays of my college autodidacticism are gone, gone, gone. I would have never known about the thirties' track "Adam and Eve in the Garden" by Chris Bouchillion, which I have committed to memory in its entirety over the years, without the prewar blues and roots blog Honey Where You Been So Long, last updated in 2010. There was another called Bubblegum Jukebox that introduced me to the Spanish version of "Come and Get Your Love", which, if you ask me, is better than Redbone's original. For a couple years there, people with amazing and obscure taste in music were sharing it all over the world... I get bummed out thinking that the era of being able to discover new, truly off-the-beaten-path music is over! Back to the analog drawing board.

Remember me? (source)

I have to try and rise to the occasion of work today, through my sleepiness, but let's talk about mixtapes and cds. Were you the type to swap cds practically a second after phone numbers on the dating trail? Where did you find inspiration for new music? Did you have any particular rules in making cds or tapes? Any wildly ambitious mixes you made back in the day? What do you think about the mix I assembled above? Do tell!

That's all I got for today. See ya back here tomorrow, once I've had some rest! Til then.


  1. i used to swap mix tapes through the mail with live journal friends. and i made SO MANY for travis is high school. i always dreamed that a friend or my boyfried would make one for me and spend as much time as i did on mine, but it never happened. so sad.

    1. ME. TOO. Isn't that funny? "Maybe someday a boy will spend as much time on a mixtape...as I spent on making one for him..." If wishes were fishes!

  2. I love finding my old mix CDs. Most of them are pre 2003 and thus awesome. My boyfriend met Nick Cave when he came to Grimeys a couple months back. He is making that exact face in the picture they took.

    1. Oh, wow! I wish I'd met Nick Cave when he came to Grimeys a couple months back! Dang!

  3. Love mix cds. I still have many from the various phases of my life. Check out 8tracks.com for mixy goodness that can still contain some weird obscurity (when you dig for it).

  4. Oh, how I miss mp3 blogs, too. Trying to fill the void with various music discovery apps and services but it's just not the same...there was so much extra info and context and passion in those posts!



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