This Mix Tape is called Memoir Side A

(click here?)

You ever make a statement and while you're saying it you know it's definitely not gonna hold up? Well I felt that way when I typed out "I am presenting what what is arguably the most pretentious installment" in my writeup on my 2021 Mix Tape. Like, dude... know yourself. The fact that you're putting these mixes together and publishing them is perhaps assuming A LOT of things.

Whatever. No take backs.

Over the holiday times I went through and listened to every episode of the podcast Object Of Sound which I cannot recommend enough. This podcast led me back towards Mixcloud as that is the place where they post mixes from each episode of the show. A year or two earlier I had dabbled in Mixcloud because a friend pointed me toward a BritPop radio show that could be streamed from there. However, I generally was slightly confused as to where this service fit in the scope of things.

Digging more into Mixcloud as it pertains to Object Of Sound I found another podcast/mixtape/audio-thing called Mixtape Memoir which is simply fantastic. Please peruse the list of names and see if anyone jumps out and then listen to that episode. Then listen to some names you're maybe not familiar with yet.

Host of Mixtape Memoir Carmel Holt does an amazing job of walking us through a musician's relationship with music via an autobiographical playlist. It is truly mind blowing. It also led me to reflect on my own musical journey.

So let me introduce the current front runner for "the most pretentious installment" of my Mix Tape project. Also known as Season 2 Episode 1.

I am not going to interview myself but I am going to lay out a short mix of my relationship with music. I'm also going to write a little bit about each song.

So welcome to Season 2. It's gonna be a lot like Season 1 but there will maybe be more writing and I'm also working on understanding GarageBand better.

Thank you so much for being here. Please enjoy.

Peter, Paul & Mary - 500 Miles

My earliest memories of music are my parents singing and playing music. I spent my youth around many a campfire and often the entertainment included my parents and other attendees singing songs. Yea... it's some Wes Anderson shit I know...

We also owned Peter, Paul and Mary albums and I remember looking at the covers and seeing people that looked like my parents. At the time it all made sense.

For me this song is a lullaby. And like many traditional lullabies it is haunting.

This song for real fucks me up.

The Beach Boys - Wendy

I remember being at a buddies house around 3rd grade and he had a Beach Boys cassette. I was amazed that he had the ability to listen to these songs whenever he wanted and did not have to wait for his parents to put the album on. I wanted to feel this way too and so the first tape I ever bought was The Beach Boys Greatest Hits (I suppose I had my own tape playing capabilities at this time... possible clock radio tape deck situation?). It turned out to be a different tape than the one my buddy had but I was sold.

The storyline of this song intrigued me from a young age. I was into this passionate song but understood very little of the content. I pondered over the line "I never knew a guy could cry / till she made it with another guy". I knew there was something there but boy howdy was it out of reach.

At least it let me know that it was ok to cry. Now if I only knew what "making it" meant...

Bobby Brown - Every Little Step

I can only think I came across Bobby Brown from MTV. Once we got cable and I had access to MTV I was off to the races. By "races" I mean watching as 20-30 minutes of MTV before I had to leave for school (and whatever else I could sneak in elsewhere).

Bobby Brown was another early cassette purchase. I was also lightly familiar with New Edition (via MTV) but didn't' truly understand that he was related. I just knew I loved this song.

My favorite line has always been "And as a matter of fact, it blows my mind / You would even talk to me"

I still didn't know what "making it" meant but I understood how mind blowing it would be to have someone you like want to talk to you.

Firehouse - Don't Treat Me Bad

At this point I knew very little about Metal (Heavy or otherwise). From what I could tell is it included guitars and drums and a singer who rarely did either of those things. Also it was kinda scary. I remember being maybe 4th gradish and seeing a young woman who maybe 4 years my senior wearing a "Metallica: Metal Up Your Ass" t-shirt and feeling excited yet very uneasy.

When I first heard-this-song/saw-this-video I thought "oh! here's some heavy metal for me!". If you've never seen the video for this song (and it's likely you have not) you are in for a treat. Not only is this a perfect time capsule but you can also view it with the context that this is how Larson thought masculinity worked circa 5th/6th grade.

I have so much to say about this music video but I really want y'all to experience it on your own. Please do so...

U2 - A Sort Of Homecoming

I cannot pinpoint how U2 came into my life. I credit 1 part older sibling and 1 part MTV. Once I learned that U2 was a thing I could not get enough. I was also allowed to tag along with my sister and her friends to see U2 at the Oakland Coliseum making it my first legit concert. For this reason I should maybe credit 2 parts older sibling.

My sister and I collected as much of their music as possible and would watch a VHS of their ZooTV MTV special that we had recorded.

It was hard to pick a song but this one has always wrapped me up in a sonic blanket like none-other.

Excuse 17 - Designated Shotgun

In the mid-90s Santa Cruz felt like a musical island, however, if you looked hard enough you could find things. While our local record store scene paled in comparison to Berkeley or San Francisco there were house shows happening and if you were patient you could find a show on KZSC that offered more than some white kid with dreads discovering Peter Tosh. I would stay up late to listen to the Indie/Punk rock shows and occasionally even call in to request songs that had been played in previous weeks.

I started buying records from house shows and then writing letters to record labels such as Dischord, K Records and Kill Rock Stars to get catalogs. This is how I came to find Excuse 17. It was one of the first bands that I felt like I'd done the lion's share of the legwork to find.

Now I LOVE Sleater Kinney but I was always that dork that was like... "oh but have you heard Excuse 17"?

Still am that dork.

Joan Baez - Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

Music is pretty much always playing in my house. Growing up this was not always the case. Our stereo got used but not at the level my current stereo does. My mom was a teacher and once a year would go away for a week for Outdoor School (aka Science Camp). During high school this meant that just my dad and I were around the house.

During one of these times he put on Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and it blew my mind. Now I was already well versed in Bob but I remember sitting in the kitchen listening to this album while my dad washed the dishes. I was at the point in my life where I knew everything but somehow listening to this album reminded me that I actually knew nothing. This led me down a "hey let's re-raid my parents record collection to see what else we can find".

I could write more about this journey but the upshot was that amongst other things I found Joan Baez's "Any Day Now" (which is Joan Baez singing Bob Dylan songs) and was simultaneously confused, intrigued and maybe even a little embarrassed. This was not my first rendezvous with Joan but at this time I was trying to be a serious indie rocker. I felt like I was musically regressing by being entranced by this album.

What can I say... "My experience was limited and underfed".

Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot

Just yesterday I read the Wikipedia article for this song and saw this.

The song is about an alternate reality where J Mascis is president of the United States. In the liner notes accompanying the deluxe edition of Daydream Nation, Byron Coley quoted Thurston Moore on "Teen Age Riot": "It was actually about appointing J Mascis as our de facto alternative dream president".

Incredible...

Thanks for following along y'all. I highly recommend this excercise for everyone and if you do make a mix/list send it my way!

Happy New Year.

Sign up. I dare you.

Song
Album / Compilation
Timestamp
Peter, Paul & Mary - 500 Miles
Peter, Paul & Mary (1962)
00:00:00
The Beach Boys - Wendy
All Summer Long (1964)
00:02:41
Bobby Brown - Every Little Step
Don't Be Cruel (1988)
00:04:56
Firehouse - Don't Treat Me Bad
Firehouse (1991)
00:08:43
U2 - A Sort Of Homecoming
The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
00:12:37
Excuse 17 - Designated Shotgun
Such Friends Are Dangerous (1995)
00:17:58
Joan Baez - Love Is Just A Four Letter Word
Any Day Now (1968)
00:20:23
Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot
Daydream Nation (1988)
00:24:46
/
/
/