To start, I have to prepare to be savaged by Afistaface, Andey DeLesDernier, because my mixtapes long ago ceased to be rendered on actual cassettes. She is the only person I know who is more of a purist than I am.
Mixtapes are a very important subject to me. I’ve been thinking about them for as long as I can remember, even though I was never quite the savant that some of my friends were when they were younger. In fact, I don’t think I ever made a proper mix until recordable CDs were on the scene; I made a few tapes to play in my car or give as gifts, but I didn’t really use them properly back in their heyday, and it’s definitely a case now where “mixtape” is more the preferred nomenclature than any representation of the physical product.
As I tend to do in my life, I have over time evolved a set of rather draconian rules about what a mixtape is for me. Of course, as with most of my self-imposed rules, they apply only to me; I think someone else using them might even defeat the purpose.
(This gets into a whole other issue of why I give myself strict limitations for work on which I have historically failed entirely to follow through. But I think that might be an entirely different subject.)
This song made me cry over someone else once, someone who was lying right beside me when it happened.
That was over within a year. But it was still years before I could listen to the song without hurting.
When I started hanging around musicians all the time, one would have thought that my intense interest in music as well as whatever potential I’d shown in that direction would have manifested in me, you know, learning a fucking instrument. But I didn’t.
I admit right up front that I stole this particular usage for this song. It wasn’t my idea, but my best friend’s, and all due credit goes to her.
Still, it suits me, and I’ve been joking about it (SO not joking) for as long as I’ve been considering my own mortality enough to recognize that I will, in fact, someday have a funeral.
When Plans came out, I didn’t know what to expect, and wasn’t ready for what I got. I’d been put on to Death Cab for Cutie when a friend of mine put “We Looked Like Giants” on a mixtape for me. I’d ignored them until then, knowing their name, but not their music, laughing when my friend said he was going to start a parody emo band and call it Death Cab Confessional.
It turned around with that song. I bought Transatlanticism and got to know it like family. I wrote to it and about it. I loved it (save for the two terrible songs).