A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention[...], and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs, and . . . oh, there are loads of rules.
– Rob Fleming – High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Rob’s right. There are loads of rules for making mix tapes. This probably won’t surprise those of you who know me, but I’ve spent many many hours trying to make the perfect mix tape. For friends, for people who became exes, for my husband and for myself. One of the things I hated the most was finding the perfect songs in the perfect order, then losing that person in my life so I no longer had access to that brief moment of musical perfection.
I’m pretty sure that’s why I started dubbing all mix tapes I made for myself and keeping a notebook with track lists.
You know who won’t ever take the mix tapes and run? Fictional characters. Unless you subscribe to a Nextian BookWorld (see Jasper Fforde for more information), the characters we love in books will pretty much always be there waiting for us. If I make a mix tape for them, they won’t be going anywhere – and with the loveliness that is YouTube, I can create a playlist for a character then share it with everyone. That’s what I’m doing today (and hopefully, in the future). A playlist for someone that only really exists in the minds of the readers, along with a Top Five list to continue to honour the inaugural playlistee.
Today’s mix tape is (obviously) for Rob Fleming (or Gordon if you’ve only seen the movie) of High Fidelity. Rob listens to a lot of pop music, but also sneers at things that are too mainstream. Kind of early hipster, I guess? Anyway, for Rob I tried to make a mix tape that was full of pop sensibilities, but that wasn’t necessarily full of popular music. I hope that makes sense to someone other than myself. I’m pretty sure Rob would get it.
Rob’s mix tape can be found here on YouTube. Go give it a listen and be my first commenter/subscriber/liker (shut up, I’m making those work). I’ll be your new best friend.
Was Rob miserable because he listened to pop music? Or did he listen to pop music because he was miserable? Doesn’t matter, really. Today’s Top Five will be based on Rob’s first Top Five in the book – his Top Five Breakups.
Top Five Breakup Songs
- Ben Folds Five – Song for the Dumped
- The Steinways – Dear Girl
- Matt Skiba – Good Fucking Bye
- Rilo Kiley – Breakin’ Up
- Ridel High – Self Destructive
I know, I know – I missed a lot of them. Obviously, there are as many broken heart songs as there are love songs (probably more). What’s the worst thing I left off the list? Seriously, I want to know.