Have you heard about Mixology? It’s a great big mix CD swop which you can sign up to on Tumblr or Facebook (I don’t know the person behind it and she hasn’t asked me to do this post; I just think it’s a cool idea and deserves a little publicity).
Actually, I’m a bit nervous about joining in. I love receiving handmade compilations – I still have every mix tape I’ve ever been given and I don’t even own a tape deck – but making one is a different matter.
It used to be I would spend hours making mix CDs for friends. I loved thinking about what sort of music they might enjoy but not have discovered for themselves yet. Mix CDs are so personal; my friend Simon and I even made a compilation of alternative love songs for some friends’ wedding present because we didn’t have the money to buy them any Spode.
But I’m not a music geek anymore.
I have about twenty go-to albums which I know will get me through my ironing but I hardly ever add anything new to the pile. In fact, in the last two years, I think I’ve bought five albums – and one of those was because I heard an interview in which David Tennant said he liked it.
As for the mountain of old albums, I’m a little scared to listen to some of them. Last time I decided to go on a musical nostalgia trip I made the mistake of listening to My Bloody Valentine. Perfect soundtrack to weird nineties indie films (something else I’m scared to revisit) but you’d have to be either stoned or insufferably pretentious to sit through the albums. And I sat through the albums many times. And would not have flunked a drugs test.
Yes, I used to be a proper music snob. I loved rifling under the counters in the damp, dusty old basement of Fopp. I claimed to like the crackle of vinyl. My blue haired boyfriend wrote a fanzine and let me be sarcastic all over the back page. I didn’t even mind hanging around outside the Lemon Tree in the rain because he was still busy interviewing Bis.
So making a compilation now… on the one hand, it’s daunting because my tastes are not comtemporary; whoever gets my disc will get a lesson in jingly jangly nineties cynicism. On the other, it’s a scary prospect; I don’t want to have to rethink my fondness for Sebadoh.
But, you know what? I’m going to give it a shot. If nothing else, the CD I receive might drag me a little bit into the modern music scene. And I can crinkle my nose up at it and make jibes about MySpace. Or whatever the kids are using these days. And who knows – perhaps I might even like it?