NAME & DATE:
April 28, 1998
So a little note about these dates– they’re estimates. I never wrote a date on any of these tapes. So in order to put these into some sort of chronological order, I scanned the song selections and Google searched discographies to figure out which track was released the latest. With that information, and my fading memory, I assigned the tape a date. More than likely, I did not put this mix together on April 28, 1998, but I most certainly couldn’t have made it any earlier.
So cut me some slack.
- Outtasite (Outta Mind) – Wilco
- Sick of Myself – Matthew Sweet
- Lie Detector – Sleeper
- Jumpin’ at the Green Mill – The Mighty Blue Kings
- Wrong Way – Sublime
- Roots Radicals – Rancid
- Step Back – Letters to Cleo
- Magic Pie – Oasis
- Leave the Biker – Fountains of Wayne
- Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
- Rapunzel – Dave Matthews Band
- Lump – Presidents of the United States of America
- Car Song – Elastica
- *Oasis Radio Bits
- Song 2 – Blur
- Free – Phish
- Lewis (Mistreated) – Radiohead
- If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself) – Pete Droge
- I Hope I Think I Know – Oasis
- Jack-Ass – Beck
- All I Want to Do is Rock – Travis
- Congratulations – Juliana Hatfield
- King For a Day – Green Day
- Queue – Sean Lennon
- All Those Yesterdays – Pearl Jam
- Dick Lips – Blink 182
- Married With Children – Oasis
- Julianne (live) – Ben Folds Five
- Going Down Slow – Huey Lewis and the News
- *Oasis Radio Bits
THE LINER NOTES:
I was listening to this tape through the summer of 1998. I had recently abandoned my dreams of superstardom in Hollywood and returned to my hometown in Central New York. And though I didn’t mention it my last post, one of the factors in my decision to come home was, of course, true love.
I met Melissa my senior year of high school. Before her, I had only had crushes and sweaty palms. She was my first girlfriend. My first everything. We stayed together through most of college, sharing letters and phone calls, taking interstate bus trips to make out in each other’s dorm rooms. In the summer months, I wanted nothing more than to live every moment with her. I would spend more time with her family than my own. My heart blocked out all other things. Life was Melissa.
But time apart at separate colleges was changing things, and at some point during my senior year we agreed to take a break. I was moving to California and she had another year of school left in Vermont. I kept the letters and phone calls going, of course, because in my mind, this break was simply a pause in our relationship. We would be hitting play again when our lives met up on the other side. And somewhere in my confused little head, moving back home after that short stint in L.A. would get us to the other side sooner rather than later.
I didn’t really have much of a plan when I moved into my aunt’s basement, but it felt right to be home and within hand-holding distance of the woman I was likely going to spend the rest of my life with. It was time to regroup and figure things out. In no time, I was working two jobs to replenish my funding. During the day, I was your friendly neighborhood Blockbuster Video guy, and overnight I manned the main drag convenience store/gas station. Melissa and I were still trying to figure out what we were to each other, but at least I was close to her again. Until, suddenly, I wasn’t.
The details are fuzzy now, and the timeline is all jumbled, but the goodbye moment has stuck with me. She had graduated and was applying for several teaching jobs, locally and otherwise. One that looked promising was in Maryland. I guess I figured there’d be a lengthy hiring process involved or something, because I never felt like I was running out of time with her. But then suddenly, everything was happening for her. This sounds incorrect, but if memory serves, she got the job offer in Maryland and had to be there immediately. Maybe it was for the job, maybe to find a place to live. Whatever it was, with no warning she’d be leaving me. Well, with two jobs and no notice, I didn’t have time for proper goodbye or to talk about OUR future.
I remember she pulled into the convenience store parking lot on her way out of town. I took a quick break to go outside, still wearing my puke green store-appointed apron. I don’t remember what we said, except that she would be in touch soon. Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t even have time to be sad. We hugged goodbye. I don’t remember kissing her. I probably didn’t.
And that was it. I had stopped following my dream to come back home for her, and she left home to follow hers.
It was a shitty summer.
THAT’S GREAT, BUT HOW’S THE MIX?:
I know I made mixtapes in college– heck I probably made a dozen or so for the lady name-checked above– but I don’t have any left to write about here. If I did still have one, it would probably sound a lot like For My Listening and Viewing Pleasure. (Perhaps with more Hootie.) I wasn’t buying a lot of new music at this time, so I was recycling tunes from my existing collection. I think there’s a nice variety here, even with my limited choices.
It’s nice to have some American bands finally getting some play, and Wilco kicks things off nicely. This was the first Wilco song I heard… actually, I saw the video on MTV if you can believe it.
Matthew Sweet, Fountains of Wayne and Ben Folds Five show off my affinity for power pop. You’ll find my musical taste leans towards all things power pop and Beatles-esque, though not exclusively. This mix adds some swing, punk, jam bands and oldies. The flow of the tape isn’t great (there’s still THREE Oasis songs on here!), but it was nice to listen through the history of it. There’s even a few tracks on here from albums I don’t even own anymore– see below.
PLEASED TO MEET YOU:
You know how a smell can sometimes bring you back to a time and place? For me, it’s the same with music. I’ll never forget lying sleepless on my cot in the basement, depressed and anxious about how my life was changing in so many different ways, listening to a DJ interviewing Sean Lennon. It was a pleasant enough interview which I recall avoided talking about John. Then they debuted the song “Queue.” The opening keyboard bit had me won over from the start, but then the lyrics dug in, telling me to “get in line” because I may be up this time, and “If it ever gets too rough, don’t give up, just be tough.”
Well timed, Radio. Well timed.
I SHOULD BE A DJ:
Well… with this mix I should probably be a random button. Aside from two great opening tracks, the songs jump around a bit too much for any cohesiveness.
WAIT. WHAT? WHY?:
I completely forgot that I once owned a Blink 182 CD. Or that I picked one of there songs for any mixtape. When”Dick Lips” started playing I couldn’t even place which band it was… until the nasally drone… er, singing started. This is one of the albums I no longer own. (And that Pete Droge one.)
THE SUPER ULTRA MEGA SONG:
Some may say it’s sacrilege to pick a peppy Huey Lewis and the News cover of lowdown dirty blues song, but I couldn’t care less. I love this version. Mind you, I’ve always had a thing for Huey Lewis and the News. They were my first Oasis, if you will. Their covers album, Four Chords and Several Years Ago, still gets heavy rotation around here. This song, with its short two-minute runtime, shows up on a lot of mixes I made, usually as the closing number. And for me, it has soundtracked many a made-up montage to the life in my head.
(And as a bonus, here’s the original for comparison):