Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Make Me A Mix Tape


Okay, I'm actually not looking for a mix tape...but how about a mix CD?

I've got an idea for a fun supremely interactive new feature that involves each and everyone of you reading this right now. I'll tell you about it in a second, but first I want to share a story or two with you.

Growing up, I always loved making mix tapes of my favorite songs. I wish I still had some of them, because some of them were really cool. But cassette tapes and I didn't have the best relationship going. I would lose the case for the cassette first, and not too long after that, I would lose the actual cassette. Sometimes I would find the cassette months later, buried under the seat of my car, but often times, they were gone forever.

I'm not sure why I made my first mix tape - living in the sticks of New Mexico, there was no internet to let you know how much fun it was to make a mix tape. The friends that I had weren't really the mix tape making types. I suppose that I was probably in a record store at some point, saw blank cassettes, and got the idea to put a bunch of my favorite songs on them. That was apparently some real forward thinking on my part.

A couple of years later, I was visiting my aunt and uncle, and found out that they had a younger friend named Charlie Detweiler (99% sure that was his name) that would send them the occasional mix tape of new music that he thought that they should hear. My uncle gave me a particular tape that he had just gotten from Charlie, and said that he thought I would really appreciate Charlie's taste in music.

It was on this tape that I heard Run DMC for the first time, with "You Be Illin'."

From that point, I've always loved to hear other people's mix tapes.

When I was working at the radio station, I began to make an entirely new kind of mix tape. With access to a full production studio, I could go in there with a stack of CDs from the control room, and because there were two CD players in the production room, I could segue the songs together without having to pause to change CDs.

This opened up a whole new door in my mix tape loving world, and also had an interesting twist: Since I was mixing live directly to tape, I was completely committed - there was no turning back if I suddenly decided that I wanted to have a different song than the one I had just put down on tape. There was no rewinding to make that swap, which added a certain level of excitement to the process. Once the tape was completed, I would pop it out of the recorder, put the CDs back in the studio, and head to the car to give it a listen to see if it held up. For the tapes that really hit it, it was a big victory - the feeling that "man, I can really make a helluva good mix tape."

Although I swear that I never said the above sentence out loud, because that would be really lame!

Mix tapes were therapeutic too - If I was bumming out about life or a particular relationship at that moment, I would head into that same production studio to make my mix of appropriately bummed-out music. Often, I didn't even listen to these tapes after I made them - it was good enough therapy to submerge myself in tunes for those 90 minutes, while trying to work past the current feelings that were bringing me down.

A curious way to cheer one's self up? Perhaps.

And then there were the collaborative mix tapes: My friend Spoony and I worked at the radio station together, and he was one of the first people to really reach out and make me feel welcome as the new guy at the radio station. We shared a love for Aerosmith, Motley Crue, and all of the various bands that you would term as "hair bands." Since the radio station had gone "alternative" at this point, all of the mainstream rock titles were shelved in a closet outside of the control room. Spoony had a key for that closet, and on a particular night when both of us had been working late at the radio station, we would grab a stack of the most rockin' tunes that we could compile and set our aim to make the most bitchin' tapes that anyone had ever heard.

That was the 90s, and man it was fun - so many great mixes, and so many great memories attached to them.

So here is where you fit in:

I want you to make me a mix CD. I want to hear the tunes that you are into, new or old. And I want to feature your mix on this site!

You can mail your CD to the following address:

Addicted to Vinyl
P.O. Box 771685
Lakewood, OH 44107

Include track listing, song notes (if you want to) and any particular notes that you want to share about the mix. For the real mix tape feel, feel free to hand write your song titles, draw artistic drawings on the "label," etc - I can scan them in using my handy dandy color scanner. Go nuts!

And if you're feeling particularly daring, give your mix a clever title!

I'll feature your mixes and stories here on the site, and send you something cool from the Addicted to Vinyl prize closet, so please include your address (legibly please!) with your mix notes.

Got it?

I'm looking forward to hearing your mixes!

  • Mel

    Ooooh, I STILL have my mix tapes!! Well, most… I just HAD to keep some of the good ones! And I have no way to listen to them at all.

    But I’ll try to scan the tape jackets when I get back from vacation.

  • Pete

    I talked about mix tapes at Blogness a while back:

    I may have to make a new one now that you’ve asked, though!

  • Stacy

    Excellent. I have some “Themed” ones I play and some that I made to be traded when I was in a mix club. The mix club was great but it got out of hand for the guy to keep up with. He would make a mix of the month and if you sent him yours he would send you his. If you sent 2 he would also include someone else’s back to you. Like I said it got crazy after a while but I was introduced to music I never would have been otherwise.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Mel – I think I will have a way soon to transfer tapes – would be cool to do some actual retro ones from tape, for sure!

    Pete – Wow, that is great. And an interesting look into your musical taste, which is why mix tapes/CDs are great. I liked that period of BNL a lot as well – I think I probably stayed tuned in to what they were doing a little bit longer than you did, but I definitely know what you mean by being “annoyed” by them. Great line on the Soul Asylum tune!

    Stacy – I’ve kind of had a similar “mix club” floating in my head for a while, for the site – just been trying to flesh it out. This seems like a good way to do that!

  • MRNot

    An invitation to provide mixes? Um.. You KNOW you’re in trouble now, right?

    Lessee…. Would you be more curious to hear the classic indie metal of the 80’s? ..the classic AOR of the 80’s? What AOR (radio) might have sounded like if I were programming it back in the day? Perhaps the “wrist-slitters” as I came to call them? Maybe some bluesy rock? What to do.. what to do..

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Paul – as many as you want!!

    I vote for classic indie metal, and “What AOR might have sounded like if I was programming it back in the day.”

  • Brian

    I will be having some fun with this. Now to find me some time to make it…

  • Jackie

    This is a great idea – I love making mix-CDs for people (even if they don’t want them) ! The only problem is I usually have too many songs to put on one CD! Can’t wait to get started!

  • Kelly

    Is the picture you used from “Love Is A Mix tape”?? Excellent book, btw :)

    Most definitely will make you a mix cd — it’s one of my (and Jose’s) favorite kind of gifts to give*

  • Bridget

    I am absolutely doing this.

    My first mix tapes were when I was 8 or 9 and I would record oldies off 105.7. I kinda miss the indestructability of the tape. CDs are so much more fragile it seems.

  • Gary

    Stacy – I believe that I was in the same mix of the month club you were in. The interesting thing about that concept was that if you sent two, the one from the guy who ran it was usually excellent. But, the random one you got in return was very much hit or miss. One time I got one that had nothing but French Ska on it. Mon Dieu!!!

    Matt – I’m sure I’ll be sending you a few…

  • Stacy

    Gary-French Ska! Yeah you never knew what you would get.Maybe I’ll send some of those too! In fact the guy who ran it is on twitter. Josh Benton. He was a reporter at The Dallas News at the time. Also spent some time in Toledo. He’s now in Boston. Sounds like I know him–nope just have read his blog for a long time–

  • Gary

    I used to be addicted to, and felt like I knew him as well. But, there is hardly any music discussion any more so I don’t check it out all that often. Josh did introduce me to a lot of new music though…

  • Stacy

    Gary– Yeah he’s all political now. and doesn’t post much, just twitters.

    Matt– sorry I’m using your blog to talk with someone else!

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  • Whyte Oktober

    Just click here:

    & listen,

    you know you want to.

  • Feed Your Robot

    This mixtape is called the

    “Psychedelic Sex Tape”


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