Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retro Summer Blogfest

I’ve got too much energy to switch off my mind
But not enough to get myself organized
--Infected, The The
I’m very excited to be participating in a blogfest that is right up my alley.  Amy over at The Ramblings of Amy created the Retro Summer Blogfest, dedicated to examining a forgotten mix tape.
I think John Cusack truly captured the meaning of the mix tape with this quote from High Fidelity:
  Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”
I hear you, Mr. Cusack.  I have always been drawn to the allure of the mix tape; my friends and I exchanged them all the time in high school, and I still make them for myself.  I have to listen to music when I write, and generally each of my characters has their own special song that defines them.  By the time I finish a novel, the playlist is as much a part of the book as the characters are.  Go figure that most of my mixes are a bit bizarre and tangential.
Creating the name for a mix tape is almost as much of an art as picking the songs.  Some of my favorites have been:
Music for the Socially Repressed (the very first mix tape I ever had, made by my friend Jill)
Encephalopathy (filled with sad songs to hide in the closet and cry to--not that I really ever did that.  At least not often.  Okay, weekly, but I was an emotional teen.  And an emotional twentysomething.  And thirtysomething.)
The Non-pharmacologic Treatment for Depression (entirely made up of Beatles‘ songs)
William Shatner Will Steal Your Soul (songs with a good beat that were easy to dance to)
Picking just one was difficult, but the mix tape that I listen to the most has to be Morning Coffee with a Ritalin Chaser  (I like to run to this one).  Here's the list:
Lucretia My Reflection by Sisters of Mercy--hard driving bass that sets my pace when I run, and was my first real introduction into industrial music

Blue Monday by New Order--I danced like a heathen to this song in the day

Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before by The Smiths--love me some angsty Morrissey.  He had really good 80s hair, too.  And then there's this blog.

Dead Set on Destruction by Husker Du--Best. Band. Ever.

I’ve Been Tired by The Pixies--just a funny song, all of their music is like hearing a Dali painting

Judy is a Punk by The Ramones--I discovered the Ramones in high school and they led me into everything Punk and Goth.

Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne--obviously, a song with my name!  There are others--(I’m Not Lisa, My Name is Julie by Jessie Coulter and Julie Do Ya Love Me by Bobby Sherman, but this one is just so lovely)

Roam by The B-52s--makes me want to pick up and drive

No Rain by Blind Melon--who couldn’t identify with the Bee Girl?

Everywhere I Go by The Call--gives me a little spiritual lift

What’s My Scene? by The Hoodoo Gurus--total high school song

Rattlesnakes by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions--I love the movie On the Waterfront, and this song references it

Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac--straight piano version is best, always wanted to name a baby girl Rhiannon, but alas, I had boys

I Love Your Lovin’ Ways by Nina Simone--first blues CD I bought.  She’s amazing.

Misguided Angel by The Cowboy Junkies--my soul mate’s song

Jasmine and Rose by Clan of Xymox--reminds me of summer lust

Blush by Razed in Black--goth techno, what more could you want? Must dance and wear black lipstick, now

Supernova by Liz Phair--the original song about pretty sparkly boys

Why? by Bronski Beat--reminds me of my best friend in high school, his amazing blue eyes and his incredible strength of character

Space Age Love Song by Flock of Seagulls--I’m a huge John Hughes fan, and this is the quintessential Pretty in Pink/Some Kind of Wonderful/Breakfast Club song

Verdi Cries by 10000 Maniacs--Natalie Merchant has the voice of an angel.  That’s all.
The sad thing is that most of the songs on my mix tapes are the same darn things I’ve listened to since high school and college.  Here’s hoping that through this blogfest I find some new bands to obsess over for the next twenty years.


  1. Now that is an awesome mix tape!

    I have not one single mix tape left from the "back in the day", but if I did, I'm pretty sure you'd find MC Hammer and Milli Vanilli on it.

    Yes, you have my permission to grimace. :/

  2. Very cool mix tape, and very cool taste in music. I recently posted the 25 songs I'm digging right now. Come check it out if you want to hear some cool new music in the same vein.

    Thanks for the nice comment on my poetry blogfest entry, by the way. Nice to know someone in Omaha--home of the best sporting event in the world.

  3. I felt so sorry for sweet little 'Bee Girl.'

    Love 'Rhiannon' and 'Space-Age Love Song.' Lots and lots.

  4. Great song list Julie - and I love those mix titles too! :)

    I actually have a mix tape with Sisters of Mercy, The Ramones, Fountains of Wayne, The B-52s Fleetwood Mac, and Nina Simone too. My B-52 song is 'Love Shack' though - and now I want to go have a listen!

    Thank you for participating!

  5. Wow. I feel like I must have been living in isolation the last, oh, decade or so. Rhiannon? yes. Always a nod to Fleetwood Mac.

    Have heard a few of the others, but I will have to Google to see if the remainder ring a bell. Or two.

    Looks to be a great mix!

  6. I'm jealous of your mix tape titles!! Mine were always so generic - Dance Mix, Love Songs, Groove Tape. Nothing as brilliant as yours! And there is nothing wrong with listening to a lot of the same music we did in high school/college - that music was the best!

  7. I have no mix tape titles! I went with #1, #2... and so on. I love that I now have songs that are new to me to add to my playlist!

  8. i really don't recognize any of thsoe songs EXCEPT No Rain, which i LURVE TO DEATH!
    For reals, if i hear it on the radio (and i do about 3-4 times a week) i will sing that baby the rest of the day! Loudly.

  9. Jennifer--MC Hammer is a pop culture icon! Just go into a crowded public place, yell STOP! and I'll bet at least half the room thinks "It's Hammer Time".

    Curtis--I hope your talking about the College World Series. Because we have tractor pulls here, too.

    Suze--The Bee Girl always makes me smile because she ends up accepted at the end. Who can ask for more?

    Amy--this is a way cool blogfest. I can't wait to listen to some of the new songs I've found!

    Bryce--sad to say, most of these are over twenty years old. I can't seem to move on from my adolescence. And Fleetwood Mac transcends all trends.

    Jennie--I hear you! I can't seem to get into much new stuff anymore--or by the time I do, it's already a few years old. I have MTV fail.

    Sand Castles--Most of my titles I try to link with the theme of the tape--and since I'm a geeky healthcare person, they often end up with medical names. The human body and its afflictions are a never ending resource of mix tape goodness.

  10. Falen--No Rain always makes me smile. And want to run through fields of daisies.

  11. Some new ones to me - and that's hard to do! Orgy did a great cover of Blue Monday a few years back. And High Fidelity is a great movie.

  12. OMG you are taking me back. Verdi cries? Now I have to listen to that. I love your mix tape title. They are too frawesome.

  13. Because of the artists I DO know in your list, I feel the compelling need to check out all those I don't. So I am going to do that!!

    Love your mix tape titles. And love that I'm not the only one who talks of mix 'tapes'. hehe.

    My mix tape actually was called "Zagor", which is a book series. I must've been creating a so-called soundtrack in my head for the series, I guess.

  14. Indeed. Who can ask for more?

  15. Great quote and I love your titles of your mixes.
    I think everyone has the broken/unrequited love album as well. :)

    I got to Roam and just started singing. Darn those B52s are so catchy!

    Fun list!

  16. I was squealing over most of the song titles, but when I hit "Verdi Cries" I nearly had a small orgasm. WORSHIP that song.

  17. I still make mixed CDs for friends because nothing beats 'em. Who doesn't love a compilation of music?

  18. Alex--I had to go spend money on Itunes thanks to your list--really liked chevelle. YAY! New music!

    Lydia--That is one of my absolute faves. I sing it very loudly in the car, no concern about fellow drivers.

    Trisha--that is an awesome idea, to create a tape for books I love! Now that could get interesting.

    Angela--thanks! the world is way better with a soundtrack.

    Suze--you are one of the coolest folks I've met in a long time. You've got a good soul.

    Shelly Brown--not to mention I have to give the B52s style props. Always wanted to have hair like Kate Pierson.

    LAGEOSE--And no batteries necessary! Musical orgasms for everyone!!!

    Alleged Author--I agree. Plus, some of my friends need help with their musical choices. I'm doing the world a favor via mix tapes.

  19. Great titles! I had fun reading them which makes me think I should title more things in my life - it would make everything fun and interesting! I also enjoyed reading your description of each song. Thanks for such an entertaining post!

  20. WOW! That's a lot of great songs!!!


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