Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mixed CDs

My brother is working night shift this week, so we switched cars yesterday and he took mine to get it inspected for me. On my commute home last night, I started scrolling through the music in his car and found a mixed CD in the changer that I had made him while I was in college. I must preface this by saying my brother has never like rap. I'm fairly certain the CD was only in there because his new car has a changer and he wanted to fill it up. I would be absolutely stunned if he actually listened to it. Let's just say, I was crying from laughter as I sped up the highway towards home. This CD is full of all of the rap songs I loved and drank to in college.

I started to really crave all of my "old" music, so in preparation for my road trip to Ann Arbor tomorrow, I've dug out the mixed CDs I still have so I have plenty of good music to keep me entertained on the trip. I also have a couple of audiobooks ready to go, but sometimes I get restless on the 300-mile trip.

Mixed CDs are like a time capsule or time machine. I can pop in an old mixed CD and know in a track or two what year I made it, what was going on in my life, and what sort of state my heart was in at the time. It is so much fun being able to reminisce with music like this, and I am very thankful that I've kept so many of them. When I listen to my old mixed CDs, I can be taken right back to Allegheny College, which means the world to me. Man, do I ever miss college.

The best mix I ever made was in the summer of 2003 and was for B., entitled "Non-Rap Mix". Back in those days, I listened to mostly rap and R&B, with a little country, and some pop mixed in. At that time, I was terrified of telling him how I felt, so I figured I'd let music do it for me. I pored over the tracklist for days until I got it just right; the message had to be very clear. I'm so glad I burned myself a copy of that mix, because some of my favorite songs are on it.

Comfortable - John Mayer
Let's Get It On (cover) - Gavin DeGraw
The Beauty of Who You Are - Marc Broussard
True - Ryan Cabrera
Follow Through - Gavin DeGraw
Everything - Fefe Dobson
Memory - Sugarcult
Over-Rated - Gavin DeGraw
On the Way Down - Ryan Cabrera
Amazing - Josh Kelley
I Could Not Ask For More - Edwin McCain
Dreams - Gavin DeGraw
Where You Are - Marc Broussard
Thankful - Kelly Clarkson
Everything - Lifehouse
Meaning (acoustic) - Gavin DeGraw
This Year's Love - David Gray
You & I Both - Jason Mraz

I have to wonder how he kept talking to me after that CD. He told me he "really liked it" and that the music "was really growing on" him. I'd end up off on a huge tangent if I got into it, but I have no idea how you listen to a tracklist like that, clearly hear what a person is trying to say, and just keep on like nothing has changed. That's a post for another day.

Mixed CDs were [still should be] such a great way to tell someone you loved them. I would make mixes for my friends who were off on road trips to big games, who needed to be cheered up, or just to show them how much they meant to me. Playlists just aren't the same. There's something special about having that disc that just means more, at least to me.

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