Harmonic Convergence: A Mixtape
And damn, how I miss mixtapes, which are pretty much defunct in the era of streaming music and digital playlists.
For the longest time, I was that music nerd you hated, the guy who spent countless hours sprawled out by the stereo making tapes for friends and family, but mainly for myself. Single artist collections; annual "best of" mixes; theme mixes (songs about dogs! songs with the names of cities! quiet songs! loud songs!); totally random mixes with nothing binding them together other than a bunch of songs I felt like hearing at a particular moment in time.
With computers and CDRs, it became much easier. You no longer had to record songs in real time, waiting for each song to play through before recording the next; you didn't have to agonize over picking a song of just the right length to squeeze in at the end of each side of the cassette, trying to avoid running out of tape but without leaving too much dead air before the flip. Given the ease of digitally mixing, I went crazy, burned myself tons of mixes, though they were admittedly a little too perfect, lacking the flawed magic of the cassette with a hand-written insert and the occasional mis-timed needle drop.
For a period of time, there was a nice online community, Art Of The Mix, where you could share your mixes (track list and notes only, no audio -- it predated an easily plugged-in streaming media app) and offer feedback on each other's mixes. Alas, the site got glitchy and fell into disrepair so most of the regulars dropped off; but it looks like a lot of the stuff I posted is still out there floating around the interwebs.
I persevered with mix CDs until a couple years ago, when most people with whom I might have shared them no longer even had CD players, most cars phasing them out in favor of iPhone auxiliary inputs. (My latest car still has a CD player, but it's inside the glove compartment, like they felt obligated to include one but put it where they knew you'd never use it.)
I still make some mixes for myself -- my annual "best of the year" mixes, single artist compilations -- mainly for the discipline of condensing everything down into 80 minutes (maybe 160 where needed); but I'll then rip that CD to my computer or try to recreate it on Spotify (song availability permitting). I enjoy the exercise, but it's just not the same.
Anyway, the artwork here is from one of my favorite home-made mixes, something I put together a few years ago. I'm a sucker for harmonies, so I tried to come up with a diverse group of songs highlighted by harmonic vocals.
Here's the Spotify playlist (missing a couple tracks not available on the service) if you'd like to give it a try: