Is this playlist safe for work?


1 comment on TDK


I fell into bed after a long, brain-swelling, feet-aching day. I've got this long playlist designed to help give tempo to my contemplations of late. Last night i did some work on the tracks, adding a few, deleting some that had worn out there welcome. A lot of this is shooting from the hip, letting my old memories of some songs just say, 'yeah, you'd like to hear that one again.'

Laying there tonight i heard Mainstreet by Bob Seger for the first time in...ages? As if i wasn't retrospective and melancholy enough. That song started to play and i was back in my old bunk-bed, back home. I was 14 years old again. Secretly taping songs off of the radio with the old mechanical cha-chunk of a single-tape cassette recorder, pirating from the FM airwaves. I was scanning the channels for classic rock, and the new stuff that would prove so forgettable after the 90's grew up.

A long time ago, before so much. Before Smokie smuggled Aerosmith and NOFX to school for me to listen to. Before Lukas inspired me to see live shows. Before Josh Moore nearly smashed my skull in with his thermonuclear bass playing The Chemical Bros. Before i had friends and gurus, i had the radio.

I had a little boom box, and a handful of cassettes (TDK brand) that i'd scratched enough money together to buy. I used the stickers in the pack to decorate the holders. I tried to arrange my work according to theme, emotion, and luck. Most of those mixes were chopped up half-songs, barely captured in the middle of the middle, right as i'd gently twist the dial and find a cut i loved already burned up. But to me it was professional work. I imagined my own Record Label. I branded the lot. It was young love.

Now there's Pandora, a perfect alchemy for the seeker. And there's nothing you can't find on iTunes or through a good torrent site. There's more music than any of us will ever get to. Sometimes i feel lost in it all. I hear people talk about it like i'm doing it wrong, or not quick enough, or just uncool. But then i remember that music is such a blessing. It's a thing i've never, ever been able to deconstruct or analyze. It's a thing i've never been able to create, not with instrument or with my voice. Music is as beyond me as magic. All i have to do is love it, look through it, collect it, and enjoy my little arrangements. If the art of a mixtape can be called 'art' then i'd like to think that's my one way of giving back to Music. But i know it's a silly concept. What sticks is the oldest memories, the CDs my parents allowed me to own, the secret tapes i sieved from the radio, and the connections i made when the audiomancers of my youth first found me and took me under their wings.