The Art of the Mix CD

You know what is no fun about everyone just using digital downloads and playlists? The art of the perfectly crafted, thinking-of-you-in-these-songs Mix CD is disappearing. Remember back in middle school (maybe high school for some) when you showed someone you really got them by making them that perfect CD of songs that you knew would make them smile or think of you, or think of some funny experience the two of you shared? Or what about when you make a CD full of songs by bands they haven’t heard? Or theme CDs that follow certain genres or have a common subject. And then there’s the designing of the CD label or even case insert if you were really trying to get creative. It was a fun way to get in that person’s head by showing them how well you knew them through music.

Well today my friend made me a batch of mix CDs, and I just can’t help smiling as I go from song to song thinking about why she would have picked that one for me, or the stories behind why that song matters to our friendship. It’s fun to remember a moment in music. I’m a strong believer that there is a song for every moment, occasion, or mood in your life. Mix CDs are like snippets of the Soundtrack of Your Life. They capture your tastes, interests, or mood at that moment in life. Music has helped me get through some of the hardest times in my life, and being able to just pop in the CD that matches or identifies with what I’m feeling is one of the greatest medicines.

On a day when you just have free time to relax, it’s always great to go through your old mix CDs and just reminisce and remember who you were at that point in your life. I still have my very first mix CD. I didn’t have a CD burner on my computer yet so I just dreamed up the perfect mix in my head, wrote down the songs and put them in an order that flowed (very important) and gave the list to my friend. It’s funny to look back and see that bands like Smile Empty Soul, Taproot, and Papa Roach are on it, and refreshing to see Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flaming Lips, and Hot Hot Heat. Oh, how my music library has grown since then.

So I dedicate this entry to anyone who has ever received or made a mix CD or tape. It’s a great gift and keepsake. Treasure the musical memories.

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