Friday, November 16, 2007

For you.

Princess cards she sends me with her regards
Barroom eyes shine vacancy, to see her you gotta look hard
Wounded deep in battle, I stand stuffed like some soldier undaunted
To her Cheshire smile, I'll stand on file, she's all I ever wanted
But you let your blue walls get in the way of these facts
Honey, get your carpetbaggers off my back
You wouldn't even give me time to cover my tracks
You said, "Here's your mirror and your ball and jacks"
But they're not what I came for, and I'm sure you see that too
--Bruce Springsteen, "For You," Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (1973)

To conclude: 5 very special mix tapes I didn't make


The Romantic Shakespeare Tapes compiled by Jeff Erickson

Jeffrey Paul Erickson was my cohortmate and best friend and procurer of two of "my favorite things"—an official Warner Bros. Marvin Martian "tea" mug and an inflatable Munch's The Scream figurine doll— during 10 glorious years in the Bay Area. We made it through grad school, travelled far and wide together from Santa Cruz through Sutter Creek to Volcano stopping at many highbrow joints along the way like Ken's Wagon Wheel in Mountain View, the late Alain Rondelli in the Inner Richmond, Boulevard under the shadow of the Bay Bridge, and Perko's Koffe Kup just outside Stockton on California 88 just off US 99 and south of Lodi for all the CCR fans out there—Jeff never met a breakfast he couldn't eat "Night and Day"!— and from the side of Mt. Shasta through the Rogue River Gulch past Crater Lake by Ashland and on to Eugene returning via Mendocino, and Boonville and so forth, were joint founding members of the Guttersnipes bowling team, saw Solti conduct the Cleveland Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall, and shared a profound love for the Oakland Athletics (my "other" American League team not currently World Champions: PSYCHE! You can take the Boy outta Boston, but you can't take Boston et cetera). We've been out of touch too long.


Romantic Shakespeare I: Overtures/Incidental Music 10/5/89

Side A
King Lear Overture
Sir Colin Davis
London Symphony
Romeo and Juliet
Riccardo Muti
Philadelphia Orch.
Hamlet Overture
Geoffrey Simon
London Symphony

Side B
A Midsummer Night's
Overture; Scherzo
Intermezzo; Nocturne
James Levine
Chicago Symphony
Othello Overture
Vernon Handley
Ulster Orchestra


Romantic Shakespeare II: ROMEO AND JULIET symphony/ballet

Side A
Berlioz, Romeo et Juliette:
Romeo alone/the Ball
Love Scene
Queen Mab Scherzo

Riccardo Muti
Phildelpphia Orchestra

Side B
Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet:
I.ii Dance of the Knights'Mercurtio
Balcony Scene
II.iii Tybalt & Mercutio
Mercutio Dies
Death of Tybalt

III.i. Introduction
Morning Serenade
Juliet's Funeral
Death of Juliet

Lorin Maazel
Cleveland Orchestra


the tape of GEL compiled by Joey Pensak

Side A
idaho-a sound awake
kelly wingate-awake (demo)
[Joey was the drummer for Starkville's sole slowcore band Kelly Wingate, as it's a rare demo we won't make a snide comment about compiling yourself]
red house painters-shock me/sundays and holidays
belle + sebastian-expectations
those bastard souls-dirty looks
jeff buckley-so real
galaxie 500-forth of july
[double bonus points to Joey a late 90s era pupil for discovering my college classmates' band!]
natalie merchant-special oddity
red house painters-three legged cat

Side B
bjork-army of me/hyperballad
lisa germano-victoria's secret
massive attack-teardrop
gbv-a salty salute
[Long Live Rockathon!]
tortoise-glass museum
morphine-the night
[I once stood in a queue outside the Great American Music Hall for a benefit performance of A Live Supreme by a host of Bay Area saxophone giants right next to Dana Colley; he was a pleasant fellow]



selected $WINGIN' UTTER$ compiler: Dane Johnson

Side A
from The streets of SF
Teenage Genoice
Storybook Disease
tied down, spit on
no place in the run
No Eager Men
Soldier Boy
All Laced Up
Expletive deleted

* + * + * + * + * +

Bonus Tracks

Side B
from A juvenile product of the working class
Windspitting Punk
no time to play
Nowhere Fast
One in All
Sign it Away
Almost Brave
Londo Drunk
The Black Pint
Bigot's Barrel
a stop to go
The Next in Line

time tells time
* + * + * + * + * +

Bonus Tracks


Bulb's Light bulb on the water Zipede Doo Dah/The Glowbugs Uncle remos mix tape compilers: The Redondo children (Chris and Rachel) with production assistance from Donna J. Lee

Donna was a former student of mine who became a close friend after graduation. Following a lifelong interest in working with children—she partially paid for law school by working at the campus day care center—she spent one summer babysitting some kids. They wanted to make a "mix tape" for me; now of course they probably have virtual iTunes playlists. Still, The children are our future. This is by far the shortest mix tape discussed, but in many ways it is the truest to the ethos of cassette culture—totally homemade and completely unexpected, arriving out of the blue in the mail. It's also one of the few cassette letters I have ever received and certainly the nicest.

Side A
Intro-"Hello G.E. I've got an idea let's do 'Lightbulb on the water'"
The Glowbugs (aka Rachel and Chris)-Lightbulb on the water
[track sung Karaoke-style to the tune "Candle on the Water" from Pete's Dragon]
The Glowbugs-Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Song of the South
[1947 Academy Award for Best Original Song]
Chopsticks on synthesizer interlude
Personal message and farewell

Side B
30:00 (of tape hum, buzz, and assorted other "white noises")
[A precocious homage to John Cage]
Here endeth the "Nine Lessons and Carols" on the Art of the Mix/Cassette Culture!

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