March 13, 2014

The Collection Vol. 23 (Fall 1999)

Side A
Radiohead-Subterranean Homesick Alien
Led Zeppelin-Stairway To Heaven
Fiona Apple-Never Is A Promise
Sugar Ray-Falls Apart
Stroke 9-Little Black Backpack
Limp Bizkit-Nobody Like You

Side B
Save Ferris-Mistaken
The Offspring-She's Got Issues
Santana feat. Product G&B-Maria Maria
Hole-Miss World
Macy Gray-Do Something
Metallica-No Leaf Clover
Will Smith-Will 2K
Maxwell-Whenever, Wherever, Whatever
Hole-Asking For It
Eightball & MJG feat. Cee-Lo-Paid Dues

Once again, the influence of my growing CD library made itself known on The Collection. Based on what songs I'd included since the beginning of the year, I would say the number of CDs I owned at this point was somewhere around 14. While the pace at which I was acquiring albums was not as quickly as my brother's, whose own hip hop collection was still an influence on my tapes, the scales were starting to tip in my favor. The first four songs on Side A were actually from CDs that I owned (the Led Zeppelin track was actually from a mix CD that a friend found and thought I might like and they were right). That was the first time I ever did that mainly because I now had the assets to pull it off and set the template for future mixtapes.

November 01, 2013

The Collection Vol. 22 (Fall 1999)

Side A
Ricky Martin-Shake Your Bon Bon
Fiona Apple-Fast As You Can
Eve-Gotta Man
Beastie Boys-Alive
Smash Mouth-Then The Morning Comes
Limp Bizkit-Rearranged
Jimmie's Chicken Shack-Do Right
Q-Tip-Vivrant Thing
Santana feat. Everlast-Put Your Lights On
Marvin Gaye-What's Going On?
Radiohead-Paranoid Android

Side B
The Beatles-Good Morning, Good Morning
Limp Bizkit-N2gether Now
Santana feat. Lauryn Hill and Cee-Lo-Do You Like The Way
Red Hot Chili Peppers-Californication
Smashing Pumpkins-Jellybelly
Fiona Apple-Slow Like Honey
Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg-Still D.R.E.
Static-X-Push It
Foo Fighters-Learn To Fly
Blink 182-All The Small Things
Korn-Falling Away From Me

When it comes to The Collection, I've always counted Vol. 6Vol. 9 and Vol. 19 among some of my best. When I went back to those tapes, there was a warm sense of familiarity, as if I had just checked back in with an old friend. All my tapes are friends in one or another, but some you just remember more fondly.

I knew going into this project to expect good things from the mixtapes I just mentioned, but it had completely slipped my mind just how much I had enjoyed Vol. 22. Over these past few volumes, I had increasingly more control over the sound and direction of my mixes and now it had gotten to the point where more than one-half of a side was dictated by my CD collection instead of the radio (That run on Side B from The Beatles to Fiona? All me). All in all, I have to say there weren't any embarrassing moments on this one.

May 30, 2013

The Collection Vol. 21 (Summer 1999)

Side A

Juvenile-Back That Thang Up
Alanis Morrisette-So Pure
Chris Gaines-Right Now
Missy Elliott feat. Big Boi-All N My Grill
Red Hot Chili Peppers-All Around The World
Jamiroquai-Canned Heat
Metallica-Nothing Else Matters
Long Beach Dub All-Stars-Trailer Ras
LFO-Summer Girls
Mariah Carey feat. Jay-Z-Heartbreaker
Britney Spears-(You Drive Me) Crazy
Beck-Sing It Again

Side B

Sublime-Garden Grove
The Beatles-Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
DMX-No Love 4 Me
The Roots-Table of Contents 1 & 2
Nine Inch Nails-We're In This Together
Lou Bega-Mambo No. 5
311-Come Original
Traffic-Dear Mr. Fantasy
Chemical Brothers-Music: Response
Limp Bizkit-Rearranged

I can easily tell this tape was made some time in August. With my birthday money, I went to North Riverside Mall and bought three CDs: Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication, Sublime's self-titled album and Radiohead's OK Computer. Along with Beck's Mutations, Jamiroquai's Synkronized, The Chemical Brothers' Surrender, Limp Bizkit's Significant Other (which I didn't purchase, mind you) and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, my CD collection was starting to grow. This became apparent in a big way, starting with Vol. 21 of The Collection.

April 23, 2013

The Collection Vol. 20 (Spring 1999)

Side A
The Beatles-Getting Better
Fastball-Out Of My Head
Redman-Let Da Monkey Out
Smashing Pumpkins-Muzzle
Sly & The Family Stone-Everyday People
The Jackson Five-ABC
Shawn Colvin-Sunny Came Home
Kid Rock-Bawitdaba
Live-The Dolphins Cry
Buckcherry-For The Movies
snippet of Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing"
Santana feat. Rob Thomas-Smooth
Smashing Pumpkins-Lily (My One & Only)

Side B
Mary J. Blige-All That I Can Say
The Cranberries-Linger
Sheryl Crow-My Favorite Mistake
Nine Inch Nails-Starfuckers Inc.
Blink 182-What's My Age Again?
Garbage-#1 Crush
Foo Fighters-Big Me
Christina Aguilera-Genie In A Bottle
Chris Isaak-Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
Len-Steal My Sunshine
U2-Mysterious Ways
Kid Rock-Cowboy
The Beatles-A Day In The Life

I remember being in physics class and letting my lab partner look at one of the tracklists for my tapes (Vol. 9, to be exact) and her playfully giving her approval and disapproval one song at a time. To give you an idea of how our relationship worked, we sometimes flipped each other the bird in the hallways with straight faces initially and laughed about it right after. Her critique went something like this: "That's a cool one. That's cool. You put that on here? Hate that. They're cool. They're cool."

The one criticism she gave me that stood out was how random it was. "You can't follow up Cake with Barry White." Of course I can, I thought to myself! Only a passionate, open-minded, music-loving fanatic with taste as diverse as mine could stomach having genres crash into each other with very little care and gather enjoyment from it. My lab partner didn't know what she was talking about. I was being a typical defiant adolescent and just brushed it off.

Her words came back to me when I revisited this volume in the present day,

March 22, 2013

The Collection Vol. 19 (Summer 1999)

Side A
Jordan Knight-Give It To You
Crystal Method-Busy Child
Paul McCartney & Wings-Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
The Chemical Brothers feat. Noel Gallagher-Let Forever Be
The Guess Who-No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
Whitney Houston-It's Not Right (But It's Okay)
Trick Daddy feat. Trina-Nann
Rammstein-Du Hast
Busta Rhymes-Gimme Some More
Busta Rhymes-Party Is Goin' On In Here

Side B
Outkast-Rosa Parks
Dave Matthews Band-Crash Into Me
Chamber Brothers-Time
The Beatles-Within You Without You
Rob Zombie-Dragula
Beastie Boys-Hey Ladies
Robbie Williams-Millennium
Limp Bizkit-Nookie
Sugar Ray-Someday
Bree Sharp-David Duchovny

I get a warm feeling whenever I look at the tracklist for The Collection Vol. 19, and not because of the season it was created in. It feels and sounds like home. My mind is so in sync with these tapes that whenever I hear one of these songs today outside of this context, I'm expecting the next tune on a certain mixtape to follow. Having said that, there were few surprised as I listened to this one because it was that big a part of me. The previous summer was defined for me by Vol. 6 and just by going off memory alone, I think this volume might have reigned over the summer of 1999 for me.

March 06, 2013

An update on the blog

Greetings to everyone. It has been a while since I've made a post on Mixed Reaction, mainly because I was busy with my other blog Hectic But Eclectic working on year end stuff for 2012, which I usually start preparing for in the fall. Along with life happenings in general, it was unfortunate that I had to keep putting off this blog. With things starting to slow down a bit, I should be able to update here at least once a month from here on out. There are way too many tapes in my possession to stop now and I look forward to sharing them all with you. Look for the first new post soon.

September 04, 2012

The Collection Vol. 18 (Summer 1999)

Side A

Dave Matthews Band-What Would You Say
The Roots-The Next Movement
D'Angelo-Brown Sugar
Stevie Wonder-Isn't She Lovely?
Beck-Cold Brains
Beastie Boys-Threw MCs & One DJ
Beastie Boys-Song For The Man
Soundgarden-Burden In My Hand
Led Zeppelin-D'yer Ma'ker
Jamiroquai-Use The Force
Pearl Jam-Last Kiss
Beck-Nobody's Fault But My Own

Side B

Jamiroquai-Virtual Insanity
Red Hot Chili Peppers-Scar Tissue
snippet of John Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane"
Lauryn Hill-Everything Is Everything
Madonna-Candy Perfume Girl
Lenny Kravitz-American Woman
Ricky Martin-Livin'La Vida Loca
Stone Temple Pilots-Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart
Madonna-Beautiful Stranger
The Who-Eminence Front
Hole-Doll Parts
snippet of Portishead's "Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me)"

There are a few repeats on this volume, not because I had started running out of songs, but I just wanted to improve on the quality of some I had recorded before. Some of the beneficiaries of this were "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart," "Virtual Insanity," and "Burden In My Hand", where I didn't catch the songs in their entirety the first time around. In the case of Jamiroquai, I used the album version since I had recently bought Travelling Without Moving and saw this as my chance at retribution.

My CD collection (not counting my brother's) was now at a total of five with the addition of Beck's Mutations as well. One of the tendencies I had when I was younger was my anxiety about going into stores or restaurants I had never been into before, which would partly explain why I started so late in buying my own music. I became more comfortable with the K-Mart by our place, which naturally led to a few new CDs per month, as you'll probably pick up on as these posts go on.

The biggest change now was that my mixtapes also included album tracks from genres outside of hip hop and I like to think that it gave things a more intimate appeal. No longer was The Collection just solely dominated by radio, but it would also include little heard favorites from albums I bought with my own money. There were times I couldn't believe that I had as many five CDs in my collection. Every time I looked at them, I felt like a rich man.

June 28, 2012

The Collection Vol. 17 (Spring 1999)

Side A

Korn-Freak On A Leash
DMX-The Prayer
Redman-Da Da DaHHH!
Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase-Mo' Money Mo' Problems
The Lox-Not To Be Fucked Wit
Madonna-Drowned World/Substitute For Love
Barenaked Ladies-Call and Answer
Lauryn Hill-Every Ghetto, Every City
Beastie Boys-The Negotiation Limerick File
Madonna-Little Star

Side B
Slick Rick-Bedtime Story
New Radicals-Someday We'll Know
Busta Rhymes feat. Janet Jackson-What's It Gonna Be?
Fatboy Slim-The Rockafella Skank
En Vogue-Giving Him Something He Can Feel
The Allman Brothers Band-In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
Jimi Hendrix Experience-The Wind Cries Mary
Underworld-Push Upstairs
Metallica-The Unforgiven

For the most part, my mixtapes were enjoyed in a solitary fashion, which probably explains why I was always so eager to share them at a moment's notice. It's a habit that still sticks with me today, but I do it more out of necessity now. Back then, it was more opportunistic and anticipatory. If I knew there was going to be a gathering of some sort, I would bring at least a few tapes in my pocket, regardless of how bulky they made my pants look.

On this occasion, my friends went to a party that one of their classmates was throwing. I remember being quite fond of this classmate because she knew who Sublime were and had the Hooverphonic album on cassette nestled in the back of her car. I thought we had an instant connection. It didn't take much to impress me back then.

Growing up on the West Side, I always cherished those moments whenever I found someone who listened to music outside of the normal hip hop and R&B that dominated the neighborhood. This was rare territory and I was instantly smitten.

I would have loved to have been able to sit down with her while one of my mixtapes played and just find out more about her, but that never became a reality at the party. I mostly stuck with my friends and when there was a desire for a change of pace in the music, I brought up my mixtape, which I had already queued up ready to go starting with DMX and ending with The Lox.

The hosts allowed me to play my tape and my friends felt more comfortable that they were listening to music that they recognized. Of course, I ran like hell to stop the tape once the opening of the Madonna song came on, but overall, no one complained since the crowd got some Biggie out of it.

May 29, 2012

The Collection Vol. 16 (Spring 1999)

Side A

Eric Clapton-Layla (Unplugged)
Beastie Boys-The Move
Lauryn Hill-Forgive Them Father
Madonna-Ray Of Light
Lit-My Own Worst Enemy
Pearl Jam-Yellow Ledbetter
Beastie Boys-I Don't Know
Monica-Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)
Monica-Forever Always

Side B

Madonna-Nothing Really Matters
A Tribe Called Quest-Electric Relaxation
Lauryn Hill-Final Hour
Eurtyhmics-Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)
Beastie Boys-Sure Shot
TLC-No Scrubs
Marilyn Manson-The Beautiful People
Nicole-Make It Hot
Brandy-Almost Doesn't Count
Edwin Starr-War
Orgy-Blue Monday

With Vol. 16, my CD collection grew from one to three with the addition of Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty and Madonna's Ray Of Light. Since I spent most of the allowance I got from my mother on comic books, magazines and blank tapes, I didn't have the funds to buy CDs on a regular basis until my brother decided to throw me an extra $20 every two weeks when he got paid. Like clockwork, I would walk to the K-Mart in our neighborhood sometime during that weekend and buy a CD. It's where I bought The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and many more that followed.

Not only would I be able to use my brother's CDs, but I was now starting to add even more of my myself into The Collection with selections of album tracks from CDs that I purchased. It may not seem like much, but it meant a world of difference since I wasn't able to do the same with my cassettes, which I had for years. The rest of Vol. 16 was business as usual, with an assortment of radio favorites and selected songs from my brother's CDs.

April 16, 2012

The Collection Vol. 15 (Spring 1999)

Side A

Lauryn Hill-Superstar
Nas-It Ain't Hard To Tell
Phil Collins-In The Air Tonight
New Radicals-You Get What You Give
Nirvava-Come As You Are
The Prodigy-Firestarter
Poe-Angry Johnny
Primus-My Name Is Mud

Side B

Infamous Syndicate-Here I Go
Lauryn Hill-Lost Ones
2 Skinnee J's-Riot Nrrrd
Korn-Got The Life
House of Pain-Jump Around
The Beatles-Come Together
Isaac Hayes-Theme From Shaft
Ricky Martin-Cup Of Life
Toni Braxton-I Don't Want To
Sixpence None The Richer-Kiss Me
Jay-Z feat. DMX-Money, Cash, Hoes
Lauryn Hill-Tell Him

Once a week in Spanish class at school, we would go to the audio room in the Foreign Language department. We had several rows of cubicles and in each one was a cassette player with headphones attached, which had an intended purpose for exercises and such. During these weekly trips, I often let some of my classmates listen to my mixtapes, mainly because when you're a teenager, you want to do anything besides pay attention in class. I would always have at least a few on me at a given time, so it became a bit of regular thing for people to expecting me to have music. I think they mostly fast forwarded to the album tracks I had from some of the hip hop albums of the day, but it was still gratifying in a way to have my peers come to me for music.

March 28, 2012

The Collection Vol. 14 (Winter 1999)

Side A

Beastie Boys-Remote Control
Sarah McLachlan-Angel
Underworld-Born Slippy
R. Kelly-When A Woman's Fed Up
The Living End-Prisoner of Society
Tamia-You Put A Move On My Heart
Kid Rock-I Am The Bullgod
Vallejo-Snake In The Grass
The Roots feat. Erykah Badu-You Got Me
Santana-All I Ever Wanted
Green Day-Nice Guys Finish Last

Side B

snippet of Spencer Davis Group's "I'm A Man"
snippet of Al Green's "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)"
Beastie Boys-Brass Monkey
Beastie Boys-Girls
Redman-I Got A Seecret!
Jay-Z-Nigga What, Nigga Who
Toni Braxton-Un-break My Heart
Semisonic-Secret Smiles
snippet of New Radicals' "You Only Get What You Give"
Mary J. Blige-Real Love
Local H-Bound For The Floor

By the time I got to Vol. 14, I was pretty much a robot when it came to making mixtapes. The process itself had become like a ceremony: I'd sit on this can in my room, headphones plugged in with the volume cranked up high and furiously switch from station to station until I found something that pleased me. I know I've described this before, but only now I had become so accustomed to the ritual that I would be in a trance, alert without even being aware of how alert I was.

One of the things I absolutely hated was being bothered whenever I was recording or scouring through the stations. It could have been as simple as my folks asking what I wanted for dinner. No matter what it was, it made my blood boil because it took me out of whatever groove I was in. I was creating art, magic and history all in one. If everyone understood this, I would have had fewer frustrating moments. Such is the power of a trance.

March 07, 2012

The Collection Vol. 13 (Winter 1999)

Side A

Metallica-Enter Sandman
Lisa Loeb-I Do
Everclear-One-Hit Wonder
Ginuwine-What's So Different
Stray Cats-Rock This Turn
Chaka Khan-Ain't Nobody
Sublime-Date Rape
Will Smith-Miami
Alanis Morissette-Unsent
snippet of Ace of Base's "The Sign"
Cardigans-My Favourite Game
DMX-The Omen

Side B

Smashing Pumpkins-Today
Lenny Kravitz-Are U Gonna Go My Way?
Lauryn Hill-Ex-Factor
Britney Spears-...Baby One More Time
Limp Bizkit-Faith
Brandy & Monica-The Boy Is Mine
Lo-Fidelity All Stars-Battleflag
Redman-I'll Bee Dat!
Redman-Da Goodness
Beastie Boys-Root Down
Jay-Z-You Must Love Me

Around the time that this volume was recorded, I don't think there were too many current songs on the radio catching my attention. I never thought about doing stats for previous tapes, but it's very telling that 56% of the songs here were not tracks that were in heavy rotation on radio stations in Chicago. With me buying 90-minute blank cassettes on a regular basis, it would only be a matter of time before I sapped the landscape dry of all the songs I desired within a certain period. In the past, this could have resulted in a weaker edition of The Collection, but with my new CD player, I had a wider palette to work with and I could afford to be more selective for once.

February 23, 2012

The Collection Vol. 12 (Winter 1999)

Side A

K.P. & Envyi-Swing My Way
Stone Temple Pilots-Sex Type Thing
snippet of Toni Basil's "Mickey"
Metallica-Turn The Page
Zhane-Off My Mind
Lauryn Hill-Can't Take My Eyes Off You
The Offspring-Why Don't You Get A Job?
TLC-Silly Ho
Celine Dion-My Heart Will Go On
John Mellencamp-Not Running Anymore
Blues Traveler-But Anyway
Primus-Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver

Side B

Crucial Conflict-To The Left
Boyz II Men-Water Runs Dry
Dave Matthews Band-So Much To Say
Metallica-When It Sleeps
TLC feat. Outkast-Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes
Redman-Whateva Man
Red Hot Chili Peppers-Soul To Squeeze
Stone Temple Pilots-Creep
Placebo-Pure Morning
Monifah-Touch It
Live-I Alone

One of the luxuries of having a CD player was that I now had more control over my mixtapes. If nothing good came on the radio for a while, there was no need to fret since I could select a number of tracks from the albums that my brother had. A lot of my earlier mixes had some filler due to me just being thrilled with being able to record and own songs. With the CD player, there was a higher probability that I would enjoy future volumes of The Collection.

As precise as I had become with recording songs in their entirety from the radio, I would still resort to snippets here and there, usually if they were older songs. My patience in waiting to capture a song from beginning to end paid off with a better quality of mixtapes, but whenever I heard something from the '80s or earlier, I became reckless and disregarded any caution by quickly hitting record. Back in 1999, you never knew the next time you would hear Toni Basil's "Mickey" on the air. Other than that, things kept rolling along smoothly for Vol. 12.

February 07, 2012

The Collection Vol. 11 (Early Winter 1999)

Side A

Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz-Deja Vu (Uptown Anthem)
Jay-Z feat. Amil & Ja Rule-Can I Get A...
Marvin Gaye-Sexual Healing
M. Doc feat. Cristina-Free
Citizen King-Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)
Nirvana-Rape Me
U2-Sweetest Thing
Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey-When You Believe
The Roots-Datskat
The Roots-Swept Away
Seal-Dreaming In Metaphors

Side B

Beastie Boys-She's Crafty
BLACKstreet feat. Mya, Mase and Blinky Blink-Take Me There
Lil' Kim feat. Puff Daddy-No Time
Seal-Fast Changes
The Offspring-Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) (Remix)
Soul Coughing-Circles
Lauryn Hill-To Zion
Neutral Milk Hotel-King Of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1
Led Zeppelin-Kashmir

Thanks to my brother's hip hop collection, I could pretty much have any song I wanted in its unedited form. I had yet to even consider buying my own CDs since it already took enough for me as a jobless kid to buy $1 blank cassettes. If he left his CD case laying around, I would try to record as many songs as I could because there was no telling when he would grab it for his own use, which explains why hip hop tracks will sometimes be bunched together for at least the next few volumes.

January 18, 2012

The Collection Vol. 10 (Winter 1998)

Side A

snippet of Labelle's "Lady Marmalade"
Aretha Franklin-Respect
Fastball-Fire Escape
George Michael & Mary J. Blige-As
Toni Braxton-Breathe Again
Notorious B.I.G.-Hypnotize
Seal-Kiss From A Rose
Goodie Mob-Cell Therapy
Hootie & The Blowfish-Goodbye
Jay-Z-Lucky Me

Side B

Whitney Houston feat. Faith Evans & Kelly Price-Heartbreak Hotel
Donna Lewis-I Love You Always Forever
'N SYNC-God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You
Goodie Mob-Guess Who?
Bruce Springsteen-Secret Garden
U2-With Or Without You
snippet of Barenaked Ladies' "It's All Been Done"
The Proclaimers-500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be)
The Braids-Bohemian Rhapsody
The Cranberries-Linger
Dave Matthews Band-Crush
The Flys-Got You (Where I Want You)

If you take a good look at the tracklist, you'll notice that some of the songs on there were never radio hits. That's simply because Vol. 10 marked a new era for me in making mixes as I got a three-disc CD player that Christmas and I could now record songs beyond the dial. I'm not exactly sure how soon after I got the CD player that this mix was completed since stuff like the Jay-Z, Goodie Mob and Hootie CDs belonged to my brother and it would have taken time for me to develop my favorites when it came to non-singles. I do distinctly remember recording "Daysleeper" a day or two after Christmas, but for me to put a song like "Guess Who?" or "Goodbye" on The Collection would have taken a week or two of familiarity with those albums.