March 5th, 2010


CD-a-Day: Mix-Tape Angst Edition

Brad: Shame

I used to be heavily into Pearl Jam when I was in High School. I also used to be heavily into girls. Not that I dated a lot. I just obsessed over them and thought they meant something beautiful and lovely, and that absence of their affection meant I was less beautiful and loved. Stone Gossard, of Pearl Jam, was in Brad. The songs on this album were nothing like Pearl Jam. Much more melancholy and pretty. They made me think about girls, and still do, which surprised me, popping the disc in this morning.

Do you know what I mean when I say that? I'm a happily married man. My wife is the best, and I love her. And, I had a life of obsessions before her that left scars on my heart, because I thrashed myself over girls as ideas I should've been clearer about. I'm clearer now, so the scars don't hurt. I was just reminded of them.

Have you ever made a mix-tape? That was a thing to do for people when I was younger. Record your favorite songs, or songs in a theme, and give the recording (usually on tape) to someone you wanted to express something to without saying anything yourself. I wasn't very good at making mix-tapes. I was never into popular music, or songs that had something to say other than teaching a history lesson about ancient conquerors. (I'm looking at you, Iron Maiden...) But I got kinda better at it around the time this album came out. I gave a tape to a girl with songs on this, and thought the songs would express my sincere and melancholy heart, and show I was a sensitive guy who would be sensitive.

Here's the thing about that "sensitivity". It turns out I wasn't really sensitive, but sappy and self-absorbed. Turns out people (girls included) don't really want to depend on self-absorbed people, because those people only really think about themselves. Which is true. I thought about myself a lot. How would I express myself through other's music, for example. How would I. Me.

If you kids ever make a mix-tape (I guess it'd be a playlist now), try making it to express what you know about the person you're making it for. If you get it right, that's more impressive than spilling your musical guts on the floor. And if you get it wrong, don't be so sensitive.