Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that rediscovered a mix tape carefully crafted by an old flame at the start of our um … friendship and was struck by the not-so-subtle subliminal message that we missed originally.
With cuts like Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” REM’s “Try Not to Breathe,” The Blessing’s “Delta Rain,” Sarah McLachlan’s “Fumbling Toward Ecstasy” and James’ “Laid,” we might have figured out that there was an attraction there.
Just the gift of a mix tape should have been a pretty good indication of this one’s intentions. And the creator was cute.
But it wasn’t until we were practically tackled a couple of weeks later that we realized that this one wanted something more than a platonic relationship.
How could we have been so dense?
The whole idea of a compilation tape is to pass on cool tunes, artfully arranged, so that the listener realizes how great you are (as expressed in your musical tastes) and wants to spend more time with you ” a form of seduction.
But you don’t give a mix tape to someone casually, even if the whole idea is to make it look like you’re passing it on casually.
“The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem,” said Rob (John Cusack) in the movie “High Fidelity.”
“You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”
It’s a fine line: Do you include John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Ain’t Even Done With the Night?” Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On?” The Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer?”
It all depends on what message you’re trying to send and the recipient’s tolerance for your particular palate.
Those crazy love-struck kids today, of course, still mix music for each other, although instead of a tape, the medium these days typically is a CD or an iPod playlist.
Fortunately (unless you’re a parent of a high-schooler), the message remains the same.
It’s Tuesday, and we’re grooving on the Notting Hillbillies’ “Bewildered.” Send us a list of a few of the tunes you’d include on a mix tape for the object of your desire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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