If you live in the Midwest, you’ve endured one of the longest, coldest winters in history. Global warming is nothing more than lore, same as Paul Bunyan or evolution. We’ve gotten record snowfall and haven’t been outside since September except to run in and out of buildings before our noses freeze and we lose our ear lobes to frost bite. What we wouldn’t give for a hot dog at a baseball game or the welcome sting of a sunburn coupled with the smell of Noxema cooling our skin as we lay in bed on an insufferably hot summer night. We yearn for the sound of an attic or window fan on an 80 degree evening, sleeping without blankets while the sounds of crickets and barking dogs in the neighborhood serenade us.
We’re resigned to the fact summer will never arrive. We can’t afford a Bahamian vacation and all the lime-infused Coronas in the world cannot match actual sunshine. So much to love about summer. So many great summertime memories, among the best of which has to be the summer mix tape.
Kids these days simply make a ‘playlist’ on their ipod, but that lacks the challenge and victorious feeling of creating a mix tape. Listening to the radio for hours on end while you wait for your favorite songs to air with a ‘clean intro’ was an ultimate victory 25 years ago. The bizarre juxtaposition of songs by Rick Astley and Def Leppard on the same station can no longer be found as the “Top 40” format has gone the way of the cassette and high-speed dubbing jam box (as essential a tool to mix-tape-creation as a potters wheel is to clay-pot-creation). Also lost in this ipod world is the delicate balance of keeping a mix tape under 90 minutes and strategically planning for only 45 minutes of music on each side of the tape – with each side capturing its own mood or theme. Only 10 or 11 songs could be included and assembling the musical puzzle that came in at 43 minutes and 32 seconds was art. Or science. Or possibly even magic. Ipods can have a 100 song mix. Or 200. Kids can’t learn to prioritize and make sacrifices when their ipods (and their parents) bend to their every whim.
We have worked hard to create the ultimate summer mix tape. We considered creating a ‘beach’ side and a ‘chill’ side, or perhaps an entire ‘chill’ tape to go with a ‘jammin’ tape. But two mix tapes is one too many. We’d be no better than the modern Gen Ys or Millennials if we made two, three, or even four tapes all about summer. We also determined all songs had to be hits post-1980 because mix tapes didn’t exist much before that. While “Summertime” by Mungo Jerry, “Summertime, Summertime” by The Jaimies, “Summer Girls” by LFO, or anything by The Beach Boys might seem necessary, these songs represent a different era. No, the mix tape era, as we’re defining it, began in 1980 and ended in 1994. We burned our first mix-CD from Napster in 1995 and the appeal of the cassette was lost forever.
If you want a copy, drop us a line at the site and we’ll tell you where to send your SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) to get an actual ‘dub’ of our mix tape perfection. We created the playlist (give or take an available song or two) here on playlist.com). So, at the very least …stream the darn thing.
SIDE A (43:29)