Notes From a Walkman Junkie: Mixed Tapes
As of late, I find myself reminiscing about ‘mixed tapes’ and the cute boys that made them for me (ok, they weren’t all cute..one was a dead ringer for Charles Manson). I will always associate certain songs with those boys. One particular song that comes to mind is Bad Brains’ (featuring Henry Rollins) version of ‘Kick Out the Jams‘.
This song was on my first mixed tape gifted to me by my first boyfriend and first love (ironically, he dumped me for not having another ‘first’ experience with him ). I loved that tape and played it until it was tragically murdered (see: the great ‘big gulp’ disaster of 1991 in previous article). The memory I have of this song however, has less to do with the boy and more to do with the incident of me leaving the tape playing in my mother’s car when she was picking up my younger brother from his (Catholic) grade school.
Most of the songs on the tape were pretty mellow but, with spectacularly mortifying timing….”KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FUCKERS!!” came blaring from the speakers just as she had rolled down the window to speak with another parent. My mother frantically tried to turn the music off, but in her state of embarrassment and panic….continued to blast it. The roaring echoes of ‘MOTHER FUCKERS’ permeated throughout the parking lot of Immaculate Conception (yes, actual name of the school) as all eyes looked scornfully upon my mother with disgust and disapproval. I can still hear my mother relaying the story to me in her indignant high pitched voice….”and they yelled, “kick out the jams, mother fuckers!!” Who would not want to hear their mother use that sentence? The story was also accompanied by her unique flailing pantomiming skills. For that irreplaceable moment, I would like to thank Bad Brains and the boy who made the tape from the bottom of my heart.
After a brief mourning period ( five years) that boy who broke my heart years ago is but a mere distant memory but, damn….I miss that tape. The only solution, I find for the jonesing of music past is to dig into the music present. I have been thoroughly enjoying Metronomy, an English electronic band which in the past was mostly instrumental, but have recently added vocals to the mix. A friend of mine described them this way, “It’s as if The Talking Heads and Flight of the Conchords had a baby.” To which I say, delightful and….spot-on.