What you may be about to read was written in 2012. Before I returned to vinyl, when our house still contained hundreds of CDs, and various digital things were still in their infancy. Anyway, I was reminded of it, here in November 2017, when I almost wrote it again. Here’s how it happened.
I’m sat in a café reading a Colm Toíbín novel, it’s a hard life, when a friend walks in. Let’s call him Paul, that being his name. Paul’s come in to do some writing about sociology, that being his job. But before he goes off to his own table to settle down with his laptop and latté we naturally, and I can’t remember how, engage in a conversational topic of top sociological importance. Namely ‘Compilation tapes and their role in getting to know girls when we were younger.’
I’m inspired and, this being how blog posts get started, start to compose one that’s more or less a transcript of our conversation on my way home. Until I remember I’ve already written more or less the same thing.
So here it is, fresh from 2012. With loads of Pandora and Spotify links taken out. Because one no longer exists, I’ve long stopped paying for the other, I don’t have a car or a CD player to my name any more and, besides, I’m now longing for the return of cassettes so I can make proper compilation tapes from my LPs again. Enjoy, if you can.
What are you listening to? iTunes, Spotify, Pandora maybe, in the United States? Or mainly CDs? We’ve got hundreds of CDs, and the only place we ever listen to any of them is in the car. Because we mostly listen to music that streams through our computers and iPods. And most of that music is on permanent ‘shuffle’ so we don’t know what’s coming next. It’s like we’re listening to massive compilation tapes. Compiled by me. Because I’ve been making compilation tapes for most of my life.
At first it was done using a hand held microphone plugged in to a cheap little cassette recorder. Later on the machinery got more sophisticated, but the cassettes really didn’t. Continue reading