Thursday, October 18, 2007

Feeling October

I actually really like the feel of October as a month. It's not quite winter, but the weather's cooled down and you get to break out the long sleeved casual-wear. Right now, I'm listening to Type O Negative's "Bloody Kisses" album, not because it's particularly good, but because it feels very Octoberish. For the past couple of days, I've been watching, off and on, one of my favorite October movies: Donnie Darko. This is like the sixth time that I've seen this flick, and I think I'm finally starting to understand what it's about. As cryptic as it is, it's got a real earnest appeal to it, and I have loved it since the first time I ever watched it. Among the best parts of the movie is its awesome soundtrack.

Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," is on the soundtrack, and I hadn't listened to it in a while, but it's on a mixtape t
hat a girl made for me like seven years ago. I started thinking about how cool it used to be to make and give a mixtape to someone back in the day. Or what it felt like when somebody gave one to you. I mean, making a mixtape took thought, and effort, and planning. To quote Nick Hornby's High Fidelity:

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with "Got to Get You Off My Mind," but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules.

I used to go all out with the mixes that I'd make, with ornate liner notes, and everything. I compiled my last for a girlfriend back in January of 2003. I had a truck back then, and she had a car, and both still had tape decks in them. I don't think they even make vehicles with tape decks anymore. Women of my generation will someday have collections of mixtapes that boys made for them in high school and college and they won't be able to listen to them because technology will have forsaken us.

I sort of mourn the passing of the mixtape, even though I would never give up my iPod, or the playlists on it. I was inspired to find the aforementioned mixtape and to download those songs that I didn't already have on the 'pod, in order to make a playlist of the songs on the tape. Took me about fifteen minutes to do.


Andi said...

Ahh, mixtapes really take me back! My husband made dozens of them for me when we were dating!

And before I got an iPod hubby would make me CDs for the car and he'd still label them with titles like "October mix tape"!

Jamm-o-rama said...

I haven't seen Donnie Darko but the soundtrack looks like a good one. Oh yes, the old mixtapes. I don't think anyone actually ever made me one or vice versa. I made a bunch for myself though.

Anonymous said...

ahhh.. i miss the mixtape... total control over the mood and atmosphere depending on what you pick. each track has to finish in continuity with the set... skipping around on a mixCD pickles that up.