I still make mix tapes.
Actually, I make “playlists” on my mp3 player nowadays, but same difference.
It’s a topic I think about quite a bit. Music mattered to me for years and years and most songs and CDs are tied to some sort of memory or milestone. Then I graduated college and it seems like music stopped. Some of my college friends will tell you, indeed, music did stop right about the mid-90s and everything since is over-produced, commercialized crap.
That’s what old curmudgeons tend to say.
But I’m still makin’ mix tapes, and I have lots of music that’s tied to major milestones, and I suspect you do, too …you just might not realize it. No, I’m not makin’ mix tapes for girls I’m hoping to impress, carefully choosing a playlist that includes songs with lyrics that tell a story and simultaneously prove how cool and hip and intellectual I am. Instead, I’m makin’ mix tapes for girls who ride in car seats in the back of my SUV I can’t afford, and the mini-van I never dreamed I’d own (lease). I make mix tapes (playlists) for my kids and their friends whom I drive to school every morning. I carefully monitor Radio Disney, Top-40 stations, Disney Channel, and So Random! for the perfect blend of lyrically appropriate hits that keep my kids on the cutting edge of Top-40 shlock, but without crossing the line lyrically into a place where I’ll have to explain what certain things mean.
Like, as catchy as the song “Moves Like Jagger” is, I don’t want my 5, 7, and 8-year old singing these lyrics.
“Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you;
Kiss me till you’re drunk
And I’ll show you.”
I’m just sayin’ …if you are in your 30s, chances are you think all music sucks. There’s a never-ending cycle of musical phases and the older generation is genetically coded to hate all music that didn’t happen during their own puberty. And chances are you romantically hold dear certain songs that are tied to certain eras and moments in your life, but don’t live in the past. Open your ears and listen to the music around you and realize this horrible modern music is the music that you’ll dance to at this year’s Daddy Daughter Dance, that your kids will ask you to turn up when it comes on the radio, and someday when we’re all empty-nesters in our 50s and 60s and we somehow hear a song from Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Hot Chale Rae, and the “High School Musical” soundtracks, we’re going to have to wipe some tears from our eyes and we’ll wish they still made music like that.
Listen to some bad, awful music today. Dance with your kids. Press ‘play’ below and turn it up …tonight (tonight).