The other day, I found a set of 6 or 7 “mixed CDs” that I made back in college and I started listening to them. It is AMAZING!
I remember making the CDs and listening to them a lot, but I have no recollection of what songs are on them. I have no idea what song is going to come up next. But as each song comes on I do a fistpump and go, “AHHHHH THIS IS THE BEST SONG!”
Its a weird experience, both knowing and not knowing about these CDs. Not remembering what’s on them is like a stranger gave me a mixed tape, and that stranger has somehow PERFECTLY aligned with my taste in music. I feel like Past-Shane really knows me, you know? He really gets me.
There is something about a good mixed tape / CD that just drops you into that era. Listening to these CDs is like going on an archeological dig through my subconscious. You could learn a lot about me (or at least year-2000-ish me) by listening to these.
Current-me really appreciates the way that past-me transitioned from the Flecktones to No Doubt with the perfect Space Ghost quote. And what a delightfully unexpected appearance of One Night in Bangkok!
What was I like in 2000? What did I listen to? Dave Matthews? Check. Songs that were “current” at the time, like Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman, Everlast, and Santana’s Supernatural? Check. Songs from the Big Lebowski soundtrack? Check, check, and check.
I’m not sure kids today, with their iPods and their rap music, can appreciate the beauty of a mixtape. I know there are playlists and whatnot, but the problem is their storage is essentially unlimited. In this case, the limitation of the tape or CD medium is actually an advantage: if you can only fit 14 songs, the selection of those 14 songs is key. What you choose, how you arrange them, tells a lot about you. The thought put into shows through. Given these 7 CDs, you could rebuild my personality (…as it existed in 2001. Hint: it had a goatee.)
When I’m famous, these CDs should go in the Smithsonian.
Last will and testament.