Art of the Mix Tape

A fellow music head posted a Sherman Alexie poem earlier today that got me. Oddly, this coincided with me dumping my next-to-last functional stereo cassette player last weekend. It had eaten its last Memorex sometime ago. It was carted away on the Salvation Army Truck just in time for the 2009 Form 1040. Seeing it go? Nostalgia isn’t even close to the right word.
A drummer friend of mine used to make sinewy mixtapes. They were full of thudding bass, churlish guitars and always thickets of exotic percussion. He’d leave them on my desk — among a pile of spread sheets and paper coffee cups. Instrumental mostly — Carla Bley, Holger Czukay, King Crimson, Ivan Lins. Heart-thudding stuff.
They worked.
All of them.
Here’s the posey:

“It was blue-collar work/ A great mix tape/ Was sculpture designed to seduce/ And let the hounds loose…/the last track / Was the vessel that contained/ The most devotion and pain/ And made promises that you couldn’t take back” (Sherman Alexie, “Ode To Mix Tapes“)


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