Mixed Tapes


Does anyone make mixed tapes anymore?  Side A and Side B are a thing of the past, for sure, but I wonder if, these days, creating a playlist has the same sentiment as making mixed tapes did back in the day.  This was basically a means of soul connecting – by way of compiling your favorite songs, the ones that run you in and out of every emotion (and especially the ones that moved your romantic core) you were creating a musical intimacy with the mixed tape recipient.  You wanted them to listen to all the carefully chosen, painstakingly arranged melodies and achy, truthful lyrics that told a story about your longing, and would make them feel what those songs made you feel.  You would have shared something of an out-of-body experience with the listener.  Emotional audio courtship.

I might have been too young during the days of mixed tapes, and therefore never received one.  I’ve never had someone thoughtfully arrange songs for me with secretly placed meaning and affection.  Burned CDs from my friends in college don’t count.  A few discs of ripped folky-guitar love ballads (including artists like Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Keaton Simons, Jason Mraz… ooh, sensitive seduction at it’s best) I’d received from a guy I dated in my late 20’s is the closest I got.  A similar effect, I would say.  It was musical evidence that this guy was in touch with his emotions, respected me immensely, and was crushing on me, acoustic-style.

What songs would my dream mixed tape have on it?  What would I hope someone who gave me a mixed tape wanted to convey in this scrappy, romantic compilation?  What if I received a mixed tape from someone whose musical taste was terrible?

Have you ever made a mixed tape for someone?  Received one made for you?

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