“The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”
- High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
I am obsessed with mix tapes and I take the art of making one very seriously. You can’t just slump a bunch of songs together and call it a mix– you’ve got to think of who it’s for, think of what songs they might like (specifically by artists they may not be familiar with), or if it has a theme. Everyone has their own rules to making mixes. One of mine is that if you have the same artist on there twice, the songs can’t be from the same album and they can’t be placed back to back. See? I told you I’m serious about this shit.
For Valentine’s Day I made Tim a mix with songs that remind me of him (:barf: I’m sorry, I can’t help it if we’re so cute we make you sick), and I found that making a mixtape that’s strictly all love songs is quite difficult because you’re also using someone elses’ words to convey your thoughts and feelings for someone. So… yeah. I spent hours in front of my computer shuffling songs around to see how they flowed after one another. It took forever for me to come up with the final track list. Some of the songs I chose also relate to our mutual love of Ryan Gosling as 3 songs on the mix have been in movies he’s been in (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Remember the Titans, “You and Me” – Blue Valentine, “Under Your Spell” – Drive).
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
- My Love – The Bird and the Bee
- Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
- Islands – The xx
- Lovers Rock – Sade
- You Are My Favourite – Sophie Madeleine
- Maps – Rogue Wave
- Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
- Hand With Care – Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins
- You and Me – Penny & the Quarters
- Trying My Best to Love You – Jenny Lewis
- La Valse D’Amelie – Yann Tiersen
- If I Came Back As A Song – Barnaby Bright
- One And Only – Adele
- Make It Wit Chu – Queens of the Stone Age
- Here In My Room – Incubus
- Secret Heart – Feist
- Under Your Spell – Desire
- I Wanna Be Where You Are – Michael Jackson
- Hysteric – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I don’t just stop at perfecting the mix — I’m all about presentation too! I like taking old jewel cases and use scrapbook paper to create the cover. For this particular one, I made little cartoony versions of myself and Tim by using the Hipster Dress-Up Game for girls and boys, then Photoshop’d them to stand by one another and added little details to make the girly one look a bit more like me (darker hair, freckles, olive glasses). For the back of the CD I found a little picture of Mickey playing the piano with Minnie looking at him adoringly that I snipped out of a Disney catalog years ago. It was too perfect as we both love Disney, and Tim plays the piano, and I like watching him play. And for the inside part of the cover sleeve, I found a quote about love by Dr. Seuss which pretty much sums us up.
I’m pretty effing proud of this mix. I always put a lot of thought and effort to every one I make, but this is the one I’m most proud of to date.