Thursday, February 15, 2007

Speaking Of Mixed Tapes...

While rummaging through some old boxes of cassette tapes recently (God, how I miss them so!), I came across this relic from May of 1998. Unfortunately, the tape itself is missing, but the cover is still in-tact.

The value of this item is priceless in that it's the first mixed tape I ever made for Lisa. We officially got together in March of 1998 and, a couple of months later, she asked me to come out to St. Louis to meet her family. At the time she was still living in Columbia and, because she would be heading out a day before me, we drove two separate vehicles. I took this opportunity--that of her driving back afterward by herself (and me, a short distance behind her in my car)--to create one of my famous mixed tapes as a gift to her. Complete with cover. I had just started graphic design school and, although not yet familiar with the ways of design-oriented computer software (that came during the third semester), I had a Xerox machine and all the paper and toner I needed at my disposal. It should be noted that the recurring theme of the bald child is the scanned image of my niece, Abby. At that time, she would have been approximately one-year-old.

It should also be noted that the playlist consists of artists and groups still true to my heart (Tom Waits, CVB), rather dated (Possum Dixon, Ween) and downright embarrassing (The Connells, Counting Crows). Another noted characteristic is the two selections I had chosen to lead-off side two: "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, and Public Enemy's "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos." The former being a country song about prison life and, the latter, being a hip hop track about a prison break. Two perfect songs, back to back. Like peanut butter and chocolate.

The playlist, in case you care:
"one side..."
The Heart Of Saturday Night -- Tom Waits
Sodajerk -- Buffalo Tom
Einstein On The Beach -- Counting Crows
The Mighty KC-- For Squirrels
Victim -- The Wild Colonials
All Sinks In -- The Connells
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame -- The Young, Attractive Elvis
Kentucky Rain -- The Old, Fat Elvis
Invisible -- Possum Dixon
Someday I Will Treat You Good -- Sparklehorse
Fair -- Ben Fold Five
Red Balloon -- Bill Janovitz

"...and the other side."
Folsom Prison Blues -- Johnny Cash
Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos -- Public Enemy
Her Baroque Syntax -- Jetenderpaul
Courtyard -- Olivia Tremor Control
The Official Iron Man Rally Song -- Guided By Voices
Like A Rolling Pin -- The Replacements
Sometimes/She divines Water -- Camper Van Beethoven
Perfect Day -- Lou Reed
Lights -- The Jayhawks
Honey, Don't Think -- Grant Lee Buffalo
Your Existential Past -- The Spent Poets
In Spite Of Me -- Morphine
She Wanted To Leave -- Ween


Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI ...

I didn't recognize that as Abby until you said it, but Abby's image IS copyrighted, and so I'll need you to sign some forms in triplicate and send me a check.

You know, at your convenience. Or whatever.


16 February, 2007  
Anonymous 'blade said...

What's so embarrassing about Buffalo Tom?!?!?

16 February, 2007  
Blogger mwt. said...

Actually, I meant to list Buffalo Tom as "rather dated." Which, actually, most of this is. No, BT still rocks in my book. Thanks for the heads up.

Thanks for the heads up.


16 February, 2007  
Blogger mwt. said...

...and I just realized that I wrote "thanks for the heads up" twice in row.


16 February, 2007  
Blogger Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Did you come upon The Spent Poets by me? I don't know anyone else who has that recording, at least not in the family.

21 February, 2007  
Blogger Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Oh yeah, before I forget, check out Finetune if you haven't already.

21 February, 2007  
Blogger mwt. said...

Pete: yeah, I did catch wind of The Spent Poets from you, as a matter of fact. Summer of 91, I believe. If you were still living in Galesburg at the time, that's the summer it would have happened. Damn fine record. It's a shame they faded away after they recorded it. At the same time though, I can't see them putting out anything else that would compare to that one.

To this very day, whenever I see their CD used, I buy it out of principal. And then I turn around and give it to a friend as a gift.


21 February, 2007  
Blogger Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

It really is a very good disc and I agree that it's unfortunate that they faded away. I feel the same way about Jellyfish. I don't know what it is about them, but I just love their stuff. Spilt Milk is one of my favorite discs.

23 February, 2007  
Blogger mwt. said...

There was also this rap group on Def Jam Records in the mid-eighties called Original Concept. Doctor Dre from Yo! MTV Raps (not to be confused with Dr. Dre of NWA fame) was their DJ. They only had one album and, despite being released to mixed reviews, the group really had the potential of putting out something strong down the road. Which, they never did.

You never even hear about them anymore, but they'll have a track show up on a compilation every now and again (a club track called "Can U Feel It?" that was popular for less than a minute). Anyway, the full length album seemed really thrown together as if it were being rushed, but parts of it remind me of early Beastie Boys (i.e., "Def Jam era") and, like I said, seemed to wet my appetite for something even better (think of Definently Maybe to What's The Story, Morning Glory, or The Bends to OK Computer. In other words, pretty groundbreakingly good first record, topped by an even better sophomore release. I know, The Bends wasn't Radiohead's first record, but it wasn't exactly "groundbreaking" either).

But they must have made some impact, because the album goes for, like, 75 dollars on Luckily, I found mine a few years back in a pawn shop for next-to-nothing. And before that, I had the cassette from when it first dropped, but that's long gone too.


23 February, 2007  
Blogger mwt. said...

What I meant to say is that The Bends is "groundbreaking," whereas their debut isn't. At all.



23 February, 2007  

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