Recently I decided to get back in the mode of making mixes for my friends, with specific people in mind, as I find it makes the whole experience so much more satisfying. Just in the nick of time too, as I have recently received several mixes - just as diverse as the creators. Well, I think that at least, as I only got to listen to one of the two... Rick's mix (I think entitled "Hells Shelbs") was part of the valuables in my purse that got snatched (cock suckers). The other, the one that came annoyingly without a title, was made by my ex, and I've only listened to it a few times... so I haven't formed an opinion of it yet. Mixes from exes are hard though. I have several around the house that survived one of my more bitter breakups (including some that we made together) that I still listen to on occasion. Sometimes those make me want to throw something - or even just throw up - so I have to be in a good head space before I push play.
Anyway, the whole point is, I finally got back into making mixes again, and the latest has turned out pretty damn good. Remember, there are many rules to a good mix, even the ones I keep tucked away on my iPod never to be shared. This one fell into a strange "rule" category, because he's the boyfriend of a good friend of mine, and the whole theme of the mix was escaping me. Not to sound all Nick Hornsby about it, but a mix is a serious thing, man.
"The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don't wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules."
There are a lot of rules! Like, I couldn't decide if putting one of my favorite Frightened Rabbit songs would be taken the wrong way... I say that because the album Midnight Organ Fight is pretty much all about heartbreak and empty sex and I didn't want him (or her) to think 1) that I expect their relationship to end badly or 2) that I myself was looking for empty sex (well, not from him at least).
I know, that sounds stupid, but like I said, mixes send messages, and I certainly don't want those messages to be mixed. I eventually just decided to shut the fuck up and put whatever song I damn well wanted on there, and worry about the more important things like flow and timing. Plus, some of my favorite musicians just happen to always write about love and sex and heartbreak. So, whether you like it or not, I'm putting Brendan Benson on there. (Actually, I hope you do like it, that is, after all, the point of a good mix, having the recipient like it).
The thing I truly enjoy the most about making a mix though is that I get to push my current favorites out to others. I have an excuse to listen to things on repeat (you know, to secure the flow from one song to another) outside of the fact that I do it all the time anyway... but you might remember that from another post. Making a mix for someone means you get to really get to know them in a new way. You have to think about them in depth, their likes and dislikes, how those mesh with yours, what kind of mood you want to set, and what kind of mood you're in. It's all very complicated, and yet makes me really fucking happy. Next time you're in the mood for some new tunes, lemme know... I will not disappoint. Unless you just don't listen to the same shit I do... well, then you're obviously screwed because my taste rules.