Memory #13: Mix Tapes

Wait…it’s June 1st and I’m still posting memories? That’s right, I received a resounding “yay” from everyone I polled on whether or not I should continue this challenge, so it’s official—Memory Lane is a twofer! Now back to the mems…

In high school, if we were friends, if we were related, if I had a crush on you, or really, if we had any sort of relationship—no matter how distant or seemingly insignificant, you most likely received a custom Danne Dzenawagis mix tape. Mix tapes were my specialty (not to mention my pride and joy), and I loved nothing more than toiling for hours in front of my Aiwa stereo over which songs to select and the best way to arrange them for the ultimate listening experience.

I started out making them for myself but soon began to branch out and craft mixes for anyone and everyone once I got the hang of it. The typical Danne mix tape was oddly eclectic, going anywhere from Oasis, to Bjork, to Abba, to the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (ha!), to Silverchair (obvi), to the Dixie Chicks, and generally finishing up with some bizarre audio clip I found on an Ultra Lounge compilation. Oh, and they almost always came with a 3-page minimum handwritten note detailing why I loved each and every song that I had painstakingly selected.

I made theme mixes—I just found one yesterday called “Another Cocktail Anyone? Princess Daniela Presents: Loungin’ to the Laid Back Lingo”, mixes for special occasions—like the one I designed specifically for the drive home from the RMV after I got my drivers license, and one time I even made a “non-mix” of a single Descendents song on repeat for the entire 90-minute tape so I could wallow in my boy-induced teenage misery in the car (listening to songs on repeat was much more difficult in cassette days).

The best was when one year for my birthday, I asked everyone I knew to make me a mix tape—and they did. That year I was showered in an amazing array of new-to-me music that perfectly reflected the person who made it for me and still serves as an amazing memento of our friendship. And while I’m notorious for getting rid of almost everything, these tapes are something I’ll tote around from apartment to apartment with me forever.

When cassettes became obsolete and mix CDs became the new norm, I jumped on the bandwagon because I had to, but really, the magic of a real mix tape is unable to be replicated on a CD—and don’t even get me started on playlists…

Thank God my car (which is a 2002, mind you) has a cassette player so I can still listen to all these gems:

Fanne photo-bombed my mix tape photo shoot yesterday...

Fanne photo-bombed my mix tape photo shoot yesterday, big surprise…


One thought on “Memory #13: Mix Tapes

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