The Blonde One Was Called Freedom

Ode to the Cassette Tape

I just watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this past week, and Joel throwing a Beck cassette out of his window into the rain is stuck in my mind.

Why are cassette tapes so poetic? Is it because I grew up with cassettes so there’s sentimental value for me? Or does it have something to do with the blood, sweat, and tears that are required to make a mix tape?

Do you remember making yours back in the day? You’d have to sit by your radio, making mental notes of the station’s hot clock, which you probably didn’t know was the name of a radio schedule, but it is and now you know (yay, my degree in Radio has officially not been wasted). You’d come in at the end of the damn song 3 days straight and realize that that song, that song you needed next on the tape, was on around the same time everyday.

Or if you were a particularly crafty individual you’d figure out just how long the song was and then you’d leave blank space between songs to get the tape done faster.

Speaking of being crafty with cassettes, click on this picture for crazy artwork. It's amazing.

Cassettes are just fun to me. I swear this isn’t a hipster’s ode to cassette tapes. I’m not competitive about music, nor am I looking for cool points. I’m not out there sticking my finger in my mouth and touching it to everything around me in case something becomes cool again down the line, so I get a mental claim over it. I’m just saying I get nostalgic over my old Maxell tapes.

I had pretty sub-par taste in music as a gawky pre-teen (not a tween, it was a pre-teen in the 90s). Some of the cassettes I remember listening to religiously?

I Can Change the World – Eric Clapton

Clearly sobriety-inspired artwork

A fantastic choice for a middle-aged mom (I remember my mom liking this song, so I asked for the single). I still really like this song today. I believe it was from the Phenomenon soundtrack, but I’m not even going to comment on that.

Now in a Minute – Donna Lewis

I love you, always forever … Don’t lie. Unless you had control of the radio in the car as a child or lived under a rock, you know that single.

Come With Me – Puff Daddy (not P. Diddy yet), ft. some fellow named Jimmy Page?

You could view this as a display of poor musical taste, but I firmly believe this shows how destined I was to be a Classic Rock fan.

My best friend at the time bought me that single for my birthday and I played it so much my little  6- or 7-year-old cousin Joey memorized the song. Needless to say, later in life when my obsession with Led Zeppelin began I was baffled that I seemed to know the song Kashmir… but I felt it was missing some dragon roars.

And last, but not least – Christafari

My aunt came home from missionary work with this Christian reggae band and I was hooked. This was much to Emily’s dismay, since we were already sharing a room at that point.

But anyway, some bands are going back to cassette releases, like these guys.

And I am totally all right with that.

This entry was published on November 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm and is filed under Life. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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