I'm in mixtape mode again. Despite what contentious things other people have been saying about playlists and such, I return to this, my favorite archival activity, with much excitement. Mixtapes are little teeny microcosms of a greater universe. What universe that is depends, of course, on the maker, and her intentions.
I truly believe that there is a science to making a good mixtape. Not only must the songs be carefully chosen for sound, lyrics, instrumentation, release date, gender, production quality, tempo, rhythm, past associations, and album cover art, but also they have to be placed in the right order, tell a story, or otherwise express meaning directly through their juxtaposition. They have to be fun, they have to be novel, and they have to be curated like the best dj sets. (As a sort of side note, I wonder how applicable this is to people who grow up less in the world of albums and more in the world of single downloads. Hmm. Well. Too bad for them.)
Mixtapes are like apple pie. The stuff that's inside is all mushed together, but the best kinds of pie have apple slices that are nice and whole – they blend in but they stand out. I'm not sure that image works well for me. Mixtapes are like a warm bath. Mixtapes are like a warm bath? Mixtapes are like photo albums, yes that's good. Mixtapes are like poetry anthologies. I could keep going but I need to eat breakfast.