When I started writing the “mixed tape” series I had this grand idea of what I wanted it to be. There were going to be several installments and I was really going to dive in to the theology of making a tape. Explore the psychology and every implication from the marker used to scribble the title to the meaning of the songs and why they appeared in their certain spot on the tape. I’ve discovered that no one cares about these things except me. If you do care about them, you already know what I’m going to say. If you don’t care, you could care even less about reading my thoughts on it. I’m not educating anyone or spewing revelations. Eddie from Empire Records did that, so did Rob Gordon from High Fidelity. The last thing I want to do is be lumped into the same category as them…
So, why do it? Why continue with all the mixed tape talk? Well, it’s all Chuck Klosterman’s fault. Those of you who have read his Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs will know exactly what I’m talking about. Those of you who haven’t, I’m glad you don’t. I’m guilty of committing the same “mixed tape crime” though I’m a less offender. My tapes weren’t identical, but the meanings were. Some of the- most of the songs were the same. Why? Is it that I’m so uncreative and musically shallow that I can’t find different ways of expressing myself? Or is it because those particular songs truly mean something to me? The melody and lyrics hit home so hard that I couldn’t have written them better myself, assuming I could write music. I’d like to think that I’m none of the first things and everything of the second, but Chuck made me reevaluate myself. Good for him, he engaged the reader.
The truth of the mixed tape is undoubtedly going to get me in trouble. At least talking about the ones that meant something to me are. As with Chuck, I can relate about sixty percent of all the sex I’ve had to mixed tapes. Also, just about every female I ever really wanted to have sex with has gotten one from me at some point. If you look at it the other way, I think there might only be one person in my life that I’ve slept with that I didn’t give a mixed tape to (a ONS). I pat myself on the back for this, read on:
It’s not that mixed tapes somehow equal sex or there’s some perverse motivation behind them. Generally the two are completely removed from one another. When I’m thinking about making a mixed tape, I’m either really focused on what I think the listener will like or I’m trying to fit all the things that explain who I am into 120 minutes. It’s the ultimate tangible object into someone’s soul and thought process. It’s not a mystery that if I allow someone to explore me that deeply, to see that side of me, they’re someone I have a true connection with. Not just a sexual connection, but I genuinely adore their existence.
Does this make me a bad guy? The reason I ask is because I feel guilty. I mean, I shouldn’t feel guilty about only having sex with people I truly care about, but I’ve given these tapes to people I probably shouldn’t have- even though I meant every bit of it. Is it my loophole? Should I ever be questioned about my motivations I can pass it off as nothing more then good music. Maybe I’m a coward? I can’t find the balls to say what I have to say to her face, so I create this subliminal mind fuck to resonate in her brain. Maybe this is my way of opening up to her, to see if she understands who I am and how I feel? Maybe this is my test to her, to see if she understands the complexity and beauty of “my” music and to see how she reacts when the disk stops spinning and she’s left to deal with nothing but silence? I mean, let’s face it- no one really uses tapes anymore.
So which one are you? Are you a true friend or are you truly desired? Does it honestly matter? You can’t live your life by lyrics, lyrics are created out of life. So keep living and see where life takes you. Create your own soundtrack and share it with someone who deserves to hear it. I felt you deserved to hear it….