Mixed-tapes; The Sonnet of Today

Going-steady in high-school has always meant a couple of things. Firstly, your parents were going to have a few awkward conversations with you. Secondly, you weren’t going to listen. Most importantly, somewhere in the relationship, a mixed-tape (or CD in later years) was going to find its way into your locker.

The cool thing about a mixed-tape is that no two are alike. Peter Gabriel is going to be on at least one that you receive in your life-time, but each mix is going to be unique, if not always exactly what you were hoping for.

There are a few approaches you can take when developing the mixed-tape. First, the actual tape; an old-school device you had to slam into your radio and hit record to capture what was essentially an illegal down load of the 80’s. The neat thing about tapes was you could record messages before, after and over the top of songs if you had a microphone. Then comes the hard part. Do you put music they like, or take a gamble and introduce them to all the weird stuff you are into? Do you write blurbs about what each song means to you and how it applies to your relationship?

Second, there are the new-fangled CDs that the kids think are all the rage; they’ll never catch on! The age of digital music has made the mixed-tape media amazingly simple, with every song you could ever want just sitting there, waiting to be netted and plastered on a disc for the enjoyment of your sweetie. The capability to embarrass yourself is more likely than the chances you will blow your significant other’s mind, but if you do manage to completely dazzle them, that’s it. That’s true love. Or, in any case, you will be renowned as that special someone with the amazing tunes.

Finally, the digital age has created several services to allow the sharing of playlists. That’s right, there isn’t a hard-copy; the music just exists. For many people, the physical piece of plastic is an important piece of the mixed-tape experience because if you break-up or stop being friends, what do you do? You can’t break a playlist in half, there is only that little trash symbol that you drag and drop to. That’s why nothing man comes up with in terms of digital music will ever be as good as the original mixed-tape.