Monday, July 2, 2012

The Mix Tape Offer

Was once a time, and younger readers will just have to trust me on this, when it made sense to keep a stock of blank cassette tapes on hand.  They were a sort of file-sharing system without the files.  One would use them to... well... you know... make backup copies of copyrighted musical products that one had purchased in another medium.  That sort of thing.

During the five years from 1997 to 2002, however, the use of cassette tapes plunged as they ceased being the legacy format being supplanted by CDs, and CDs became the legacy format being supplanted by aether.  The end of  this period found me with quite a number of blank tapes on hand -- and they have sat there on the shelf ever since, patiently wondering whether they will ever be called up to fulfill their function.

Up to 15 mix tapes, just waiting to happen!
Now, many members will recall the phenomenon of the "Mix Tape."  Aptly named, a Mix Tape was a "tape" on which a "mix" of music had been compiled.  Sometimes these were assembled by an individual  for his or her own benefit, marshaling a selection of music that would suit a certain mood or situation, in the same way that a modern music lover will create a playlist or curate a Pandora station, for instance.  At least as often, though, a Mix Tape would be a carefully considered, laboriously conceived gift from one person to another, an earnest, heartfelt, and generous offering of music that the giver really enjoyed a lot.  The recipient would not generally like the songs nearly so much as the giver, of course, and would be blind to the careful subtleties of their sequencing.  But, they would feel obliged to pretend that the tape was an intensely meaningful artifact, and this traditional form of exchange was well established in the range of passive-aggressive rituals in which most friendships are firmly rooted.

I Think You See Where This Is Going 

Gentle Reader, I have the capacity and the will to make you a Mix Tape.  Naturally, such a tape would be a mere temporary sampler which you would use in deciding whether or not to make purchases -- anything else would be cold-blooded intellectual property theft!  But, attending always with remorseless vigor to that proviso, the sky is more or less the limit.

You could request, for instance:

  • Classical music of a particular era, date, form, instrumentation, nationality, key, or freakin' conductor for that matter -- my classical collection is fairly vast.
  • In particular, I've long thought it would be fun to make a compilation of classical songs, properly speaking -- as in, music in the song form, composed by a recognized composer dude, sung with an orchestra or piano accompaniment.
  • I am, as you may know, gradually exploring the world of jazz.  Making you a jazz Mix Tape could only help me in this endeavor.
  • Naturally I have idiosyncratic but excellent taste in rock and popular music.
  • You could always appeal to my well-developed vanity by pretending to want a compilation of my own musical recordings.
  • You could challenge me to provide you with the most esoteric possible collection of music, stipulating whether or not listenability was an issue.
  • You could suggest a general mood or theme.
  • You could pose me some sort of arbitrary puzzle (eg. "music related to maps", "music in 3/4 time," "music by people named John," etc.)
  • Or whatever.

If you are interested, I encourage you to send me your address through the post at InfiniteArtTournament, gmail.  This protects your privacy, and protects me from embarrassment if no one bites: there may be no comments on this post, but I encourage you to assume that requests are just pouring in via email.

Please allow 6-8 weeks for compilation and delivery, unless a lot of people throw down, in which case 2-6 months, and please don't be silly about the trivial cost of postage for a cassette tape.

Note: Cassette Tapes require a specialized Cassette Tape Player (not included) in order to produce audible music.  To fully benefit from this offer, please check to make sure you still have one lying around somewhere.

What If I Don't Want a Mix Tape?

Then here's a picture that I took yesterday morning of a pale young apple bedewed by late spring rains.  I thought it was pretty.


Ben said...

Thanks for the great history lesson. You may look for my mix tape request soon! I could even provide the cassette, seeing as I have a few of these lying around in their original wrappers as well.

Dug said...

Wow! I'm on your bookshelf next to an Impulse! tape or CD and near Dave Brubeck! Interesting timing cause I was just digging out some old tapes that I haven't listened to in like 20 years to see if they still sound OK.
Hip hoppers make "mixtapes" these days but I wonder how many of their fans really know what that means.

margaret said...

aewsome apple, awesome offer! (for the record, I not only have one a those cassette tape machines in the house, it's in the car, too!)

Jenners said...

You know, I still have an awesome mix tape that you made me in college but, sadly, no place to play it. I have steadily acquired some of the songs via other (digital) means but I do owe you a big thank you for turning me on to some new to me artists back in the day.