June 19, 2002

Kiwi Madness 4 Sale!

most-played mix tapeA couple of entries ago I mentioned mix tapes as one of the things I decided to recreate as playlists in my iPod. While I haven't gotten much farther than those two mixes, tonight I looked in the tape box marked "Personal Compilations" once more to pick another to add to the "to-do" list.

I zeroed in on what is easily my most-played tape (mix or otherwise) ever, the cover for which is adjacent to this text here. Quite frankly, I'm surprised the tape didn't snap eons ago given the number of times I've played it (hundreds, I'm sure) and the abuse to which it has been subjected throughout the years (a series of crummy walkmans, the clay-encrusted boom box in my old high school's ceramics studio).

The tape was made for me by my pal Bob, who I was to join behind the counter of the record store where he worked just a few months later. He'd made me one or two previous mix tapes, but I was clamoring for more early Go-Betweens, having heard "Cattle & Cane" and been completely smitten by its ability to evoke a certain sense of place, the melody picked out and carried along by a slightly waltzing, off-kilter rhythm.

So onto Side A he put the entirety of the band's second album, Before Hollywood, the centerpiece of which is "Cattle & Cane." Side B was filled with the first Verlaines EP plus a few songs from their Hallelujah All the Way Home album, to satisfy my desire for more music from New Zealand's Flying Nun label. Rounding out both sides were a few odd, one-off tracks. (Les Paul, Mary Ford, the Monkees and Third Bass, together at last!)

While I took to the Go-Betweens instantly -- it became, and remains, my favorite album -- I took awhile to warm to the Verlaines. But you know when you've got a tape where you really like one side and not the other, but you get sick of fast-forwarding every time to hear the good stuff that you start to just keep it on auto-tape-flip and listen to the whole thing, and then it kind of starts to grow on you...? Yeah. That Verlaines EP is now one of my favorites too.

Since I'm driving up to Boston on Friday, I may just break this tape out for one more play in my car's tape deck, as that's the only time I really listen to cassettes anymore. (And I haven't yet gotten a car/tape adapter kit for my iPod.) Cross your fingers for me that the tape doesn't break.

Posted by nstop at June 19, 2002 10:28 PM


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