The Mix Tape

I recall an article that I read some time ago that talked about the joy and intimacy of the mix tape. And you may remember, “High Fidelity” touched on this as well. In the movie version, John Cusack is struggling with his primary relationship when he meets another woman that he’s attracted to. Considering the central role of music in his life with his partner, there’s no doubt that his plan to make her a mix tape—this loving act of pulling together his favorite tracks from a variety of artists—once completed will be an act of infidelity.

And, goddamn it, I just “get” the double entendre of the title.

Sigh.

In any case, there’s no denying that I consider the mix tape significant. I am fond of saying that it would certainly be nice if people came with user manuals. (“For Irene’s take on childrearing in Germany, please turn to page 19…”) Well, the mix tape *is* some form of user manual for me. It’s my favorite gift to give and receive. Not only an opportunity for sharing myself, but also my attempts—some better than others—to understand the receiver’s moods, interests and whatnot.

LOL, or to establish a certain mood.

I recall the occasion when my friend Jeff was just having an awful time at work. For him, I put together “Jeff’s Feel Good Music Mix” with all these techno-dance tracks by the Chemical Brothers, a group that had been relatively recently introduced to me by my friend, Malcolm.

Get, give, get, give.

Hm. I have no idea whether Jeff liked it. But putting it together certainly made *me* feel better. Great tracks…

Anyway, Jörn and I were hanging out the other night listening to (don’t laugh) ABBA, The Cardigans (thanks, Julian!), Nina Simone, and Cassandra Wilson. Jörn doesn’t have a Cassandra Wilson CD, so…

And while we are on mix tapes, Mike, I really love the ones you made for me. Thank you.

As to Cassandra, I’ll include a clip to a track of hers later. (No, it’s not the full song, you music industry brown-nosers.) The clip is too perfect for a lot of reasons.)

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