I just announced it in public via my twitter: I would rather make mixtapes than study.
Because it’s a tweet, it’s honest. That’s because my tweets are usually spur of the moment thoughts. I mean, really, can you consciously construct a statement using 140 characters? I’m not a copywriter. That said, you can totally derive my personality based on my tweets; Facebook can be a little deceptive you know? With its privacy settings and unlimited space for playing psycho-games with people you barely know.
But this is not what I originally set to write about. I was meaning to write about music. My fondness for making mixtapes, actually.
It all started in 2000. I watched High Fidelity and in between laughing at Jack Black’s ass and wondering why would Rob would actually trade Charlie for Laura, the idea of making a mixtape like Rob did settled in my mind.
I finally made my mixtape when I was in highschool. It’s not romantic like Rob’s. It was functional. I never had a portable CD player but I had a cassette Walkman though. So in order for me to have my favorite CD music with me everywhere, I transferred it on tape. To take it a notch higher, I selected the songs that would go in my tape, not just a whole CD album. I would select songs that would go with my daily life. This would go handy since I commuted daily. My playlist would include songs from Rough Trade, mostly, and they were a bit sad. Sadness and commuting actually go hand in hand.
I made several of them. I don’t know if I had given some to my close friends (I think I did; 2 of them) but I clearly remember transferring my Arcane CD to cassette and mixing it up with Club 8 songs “for the rain”. I don’t know about you but music, for me, has always been a soundtrack device. Soundtrack to my life, anyway (damn you Kid Cudi).
I don’t know if you have noticed this too but Toto’s Africa, Scorpions’ Wind of Change and Yes’ (is it actually Yes?) Owner of the Lonely Heart plays every 5:30 pm in all radio stations in all areas of the Philippines. It’s like the uwian songs. So now, if I’m in a jeep/bus going home at those times, hearing them would totally make me comfortable, even homey, even if I’m stuck in Baclaran traffic, far from my real home.
Soundtracking is a big deal for me. For example, I am stuck in my father’s decrepit, barrio barbershop. There is a chance that I would hear Ke$ha in there, of course, being the fact that the barbershop is listening to Campus Radio or something. But if I had a choice, if I had my music library at that point, I would pop out a Bob Dylan song or maybe a Ry Cooder song. Okay maybe Ry Cooder or Muddy Waters would be appropriate? See? I am soundtracking once again.
This has been witnessed by a friend lately. I was in transit to Bicol. You know how the roads are to Bicol: they’re practically in the jungle. I had my music player with me. It was playing Foster the People’s Torches album. It was sooooo not appropriate. Pumped up Kicks is not for banana trees. It did not fit. For some reason, Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass did. Maybe the boombadoom did it. That, and an Up Dharma Down song. Don’t ask me why, it just did.
I think it’s a subtle skill, choosing songs that blend well with the scenario you are present at. That’s the beauty of soundtracks. I admire The Darjeeling Ltd’s soundtrack for that, as well as Garden State’s, The OC’s and LOTR’s. I have fun choosing songs that go well with scenarios, imagined or not. This is one of the games I play with my cousin Nin. I play a song, then we think of scenes where it can fit. Or look at people who can be in the video. The latest casualty being Lana del Rey’s Video Games. We were in a friend’s house and I played it. We looked at a girl on a bike. She was long haired. It was 4 pm, golden afternoon. The place was full of flowers and grasses. Nin never saw the video of the song but, heck, it was fitting.
It also figures well when I drive. I’m telling you, driving music is important. NIN is never safe when I am driving, as well as Fatboy Slim. Just don’t. Dangerous.
I like it when people like how my mind works. How my mind compartmentalizes stuff to appropriate and not. Like Paz. I like the fact that he liked my suggestion and put it in his mixtape (yes, Paz, I love you too). Or Maria Sharapova. I have actually won something because of this mixing skill. Surreal, I know. So now I am blaming my bias to Sony Ericsson products because of my soundtrack/mixtape thing. Hah.
I’ll leave you with a little piece concerning that mix I made for Sharapova. The winning piece that I hope to replicate (the win, I mean).
Judging from her diverse music, I think Sharapova is
an adventurous girl and I wouldn’t mind recommending
her other “eclectic” (read:un-mainstream) titles. I’m
sure she’d be eager to listen to new sounds; she’s the
type to try anything and everything. Here is my list:
1. So What by Miles Davis
2. Midnight In A Perfect World by DJ Shadow
3. God Given by Nine Inch Nails
There. I picked a song from Miles Davis’ seminal album,
Kind of Blue, So What, to amp her day up. I know,
you probably think, “Jazz? What the..” Wait up. This
song may be the best companion to some court action.
Picture this: a graceful athlete swinging some powerful,
elegant moves on court and a smooth, kickass song that
would remind everyone that cool is subjective and not
telling the world would be the best way to be, would be
the kind of music video Mark Romanek would do. =)
Then that DJ Shadow song, Midnight In A Perfect World:
that’s the best downtime song. When you listen to it,
everything in the midst just mellows and you get immensely
relaxed. And seeing the she likes Andrew Bird, who made a
cute little song called Lull, I think she’d dig this too.
Then the last, but definitely not the least, is a NIN song
from its newest album, Year Zero. Like its ancestor, Closer,
this song has catchy hooks and clever beats but unlike Closer,
the song is sanitized (but not so much to be a dumb backgrounder
for parties). This musically sexy song is a must for parties,
especially those who have sexy people in it. Like Maria.