I really don’t believe in coincidences. I think everything is running on some parallel reel that the Master Himself mixed up for us. I also recently joined a creative cluster that spoke of moments of synchronicity. Last week I said, “I’ve been meaning to make music mixes for my friends.” I was helping out at a branch library and found High Fidelity on VHS. I always knew I should watch it but for some reason hadn’t yet.
So tonight I found myself, Reisling in hand and Turkey Hill 1/2 fat Pretzel ice cream (yeah that’s rockin’) at my side watching the movie. Considering some of the musical lifestyle changes I’ve undergone in the last year I sat feeling a looming sense of deja vu. I looked to the tapes (yes, cassettes. But c’mon. I already told you I was watching High Fidelity on VHS) beneath my turntable and realized I’ve had four in mind but hadn’t scripted them yet. But a mix tape takes a lot of thought and effort and time. I haven’t had much time. “Not enough time…” (thanks, INXS.)
It’s time. I kept saying, “yes, but who has a tape player anymore?” Does it matter? If they really like the mix they can put it on disc, right? Besides, I’d feel a bubble of nostalgia taping vinyl to cassette anyway…
So does anyone have a top 5? I found myself empathizing with Rob (played by John Cusack.) There’s always some stipulations. My top 5 of the moment. My top 5 for the road. My top 5 for Friday night. Ah, maybe that’s where I’ll start.
Splayed across my desk is an array of Jane’s Addiction, Pearl Jam’s vs. (from the bass lesson), and a sleeve of stuff to take to work. I haven’t changed that out in forever. It consists of Dinosaur Jr., Pearl Jam (big surprise, right?) the Replacements, Foo Fighters, G n R, Paul Westerberg, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Counting Crows, Ani Difranco (but I haven’t REALLY listened to her in ages.)
R.E.M.’s Document is getting to know Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers and Billy Corgan in the bathroom. Last week it was Soundgarden. Nothing quite like blow-drying to “Outshined.”
But what’s on turntable at 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night? U2’s Unforgettable Fire, of course. On repeat. When a friend of mine asked me what the Top 5 was for me over a year ago I couldn’t narrow it down. My choices didn’t vary too much from the aforementioned array of musicians that follow me around the efficiency:
Last June I wrote: Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, INXS, Tool, Toad the Wet Sprocket and R.E.M. I know, it’s six. All Gray did was ask me a simple question and it sparked a musical revolution that’s carried into another year. Susan even told me her daughter Abbey’s favorites (and she was two.) To this day every time I hear Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” I feel sunshine because I think of her darling little girl.
So, I suppose it’s time to bust out the reels again and give people music. What’s better than free music? But it can’t be over-thought. A mix should be a repertoire from your own collection that you think the other person would like. My problem is who I should make one for first! I think of Zach and Tiff and I my Beatles collection seems woefully incomplete. I think of Jen and I hear “Monday, Monday” that I played on a Tuesday and enjoyed the irony. I think of Lindsey and know it will be all too easy to make hers.
I’m guilty of walking past Gallery of Sound and daydreaming about the 45 of remastered Big Star I didn’t buy. I’m broke! I whine and then realize I’ve robbed the change jar of that exact amount for the coffee I’m holding as the record store bores holes into my sunglasses. I’ve only stared at the store front four times this week, neck craned like some idiot getting his fix on car-wreck drama. Latte foam is less sweet when you forfeit the 45.
So what’s your Top 5? Of all time? Of the moment? For the week of St. Patrick’s Day? Make me a mix. It’s time for side B of Unforgettable…
Have a groovy weekend,