What I miss most about the evolution of how we listen to music, is the death of the mix-tape. Sure, people eventually got into making mix CDs, but it didn’t have the same charm of the plastic tape with a hand written title on it. It took hours to make a perfect mix-tape. There was all this rewinding and fast-forwarding to make sure there was a enough space between songs, and when you finally handed it over, it was like handing over a piece of yourself. It was you, but the music version of you put on display for the listener.
The last time I actually owned a tape was in college. I only had them then when I was training to be a DJ so I could listen to my shows after the fact to see how many “ums” I needed to cut down on whenever I spoke. Before that I hadn’t bought a tape since I was maybe 10, or even younger. My father bought the CD player practically the very second it became available, and there was no looking back after that.
This morning I got a package from my sister. She had come across a tape of a band that I like and thought it would be fun to send my way. This isn’t a tape of some band from the 80’s, but Cloud Nothings’ 2012 Attack on Memory that literally just came out a couple months ago — and there it was in tape format! I became so nostalgic I thought I might cry, but realized I had already cried today because it was Monday and I had to get out of bed. I should probably save my tears for something even more ridiculous that I’ll cry over later.
I went to Insound (my favorite music source) and confirmed that this is indeed a thing. From Of Montreal to Frightened Rabbit to so many others, it was a feast of tapes. A feast, I tell you! So breakout the walkmans — wherever one stores such a thing if you still have one — because I’m making mix-tapes again and it’s going to be awesome.