LYRIC O’ THE DAY:
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.