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Date: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 at 01:22
Headline: Stone Knives & Bearskins

Greetings & Salutations!

I've always been a mix-tape nut. As a kid, soon as I realized that I could use a double-deck casette recorder to create my own "Best Of" a certain artist, or a combination of...well, of whatever in the world I wanted...I was off and running, and the proclivity has only grown as technology has advanced through the years, giving me even greater power to mold the media around me.

I digitized all my music a few years ago, and said goodbye to cassettes forever...except the mix tapes. Although I never really planned to listen to them again, they made for interesting time capsules, containing whatever music was tickling my fancy at the time.

As it happens, my mp3 player has had to go in for repairs -- twice -- this summer, and the vehicle that I drive only has a cassette player in it, so I have been pulling out the mix tapes over the past few weeks and taking some trips into the past, distant and otherwise. Been kinda fun so far.

A sample, you ask? Why sure...

Donde Esta La Biblioteca (Oct 1999)

Side A
Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight Tonight
Yes - Open Your Eyes
Live - Selling The Drama
John Fogerty - Walkin' In A Hurricane
Tom Waits - Hold On
Days Of The New - Phobics Of Tragedy
Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Break So Easily
Primus - Tommy The Cat (live)
Fleetwood Mac - Oh Well (live)
Oasis - The Masterplan

Side B
Tom Waits - Big In Japan
Oasis - Underneath The Sky
Kiss - Sure Know Something (live)
Collective Soul - The World I Know
Barenaked Ladies - It's All Been Done
REM - Bittersweet Me
Pearl Jam - Given To Fly
Joan Osbourne - Spider Web
Yes - Homeworld

I was shooting off in a number of different directions at that time, as well as experiencing an on-again phase with a few artists that I had lost track of over the years.

Another exmaple, from further back:

Collection #5 (May 1990 - hadn't got 'round to giving them silly titles yet)

Side A
Joe Satriani - Back To Shalla-Bal
Cinderella - Falling Apart At The Seams
Van Halen - Best Of Both Worlds
Rush - Distant Early Warning
Living Colour - Cult Of Personality
Def Leppard - Gods Of War
Yes - Shoot High Aim Low
Damn Yankees - Come Again
Queensryche - Eyes Of A Stranger

Side B
Mr Big - Addicted To That Rush
Steve Vai - Blue Powder
Alan Parsons Project - Games People Play
Aerosmith - Voodoo Medicine Man
Bon Jovi - Stick To Your Guns
Queensryche - Breaking The Silence
Rush - Prime Mover
Van Halen - Little Guitars
Guns N Roses - Paradise City

I have very distinct memories of putting this one together just a few days before I graduated High School, and I remember it was the first time that I used a 4-channel mixer to segue one song to another. Definitely some straddling of the fence here between the 80s hair-band stuff which had been the genre du jour for most of my teenage years, and the more artsy, progressive stuff that would shortly become my new (and longer-lasting) obsession.

Later that year, in an odd collision of the forms, I would see Mr Big open for Rush at the Salt Palace, closing with the above-cited song, and asking the audience during the breakdown, "Are you guys addicted to....Rush?"

(hold for applause)

Allrighty, then.

Bit of an odd mix of popular and more obscure tunes, too. GNR's "Paradise City," for example, was already considered a classic at that time despite only being a year or two old, but "Voodoo Medicine Man" never saw the light or day on radio, even though the album it comes from is generally held to be Aerosmith's commercial and critical zenith. What can I say? I like what I like.

Coming up, more pointless personal history, and maybe even a play-by-play of this week's Colorado run. Stay Tuned!