The Mixtape Monologues

In my closet, I have a shoebox, and in that shoebox are some of my most precious possessions.

Between 1990 and 1995, I made myself a collection of mixtapes – songs that I painstakingly hunted down and recorded off the radio. Okay, so painstaking might be a bit misleading, as I definitely recorded a bunch of things I had no intention of saving, but the final products became the soundtrack of my pre-grunge adolescence.

They’re becoming a bit decrepit over time, so I’m going to be going about the process of digitizing them to CD/mp3. But I’ve already lost one to overuse, and my thirteen-year-old self neither recorded the names of the artists nor always got the name of the song right, so in that case, I have to engage in a bit of musical archaeology.

As I go through them, I hope to use this space to post videos and talk a bit about my relationship to each of these songs. Some are embarrassing, some are expected, some are a bit out of the ordinary, but what I find fascinating is how I (still) react to them. Regardless of what I’ve learned about music, regardless of what I think critically of the artists or songs or production quality, regardless of the esteem or derision with which these songs are typically met today, these tapes are little urtexts of my past, and in context, each song brings me immediately, viscerally, to particular times in my youth.

Hope you enjoy the trip.

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