July 5, 2014

Mix Tape Shuffle: Party Playlist for Summer

My girl Mari and my new girl Marisa have challenged me to post my summer playlist. The minute they called it Mix Tape Shuffle, I became all nostalgic, so bare with me.

I feel like I have to explain that I'm in a very weird place right now. I'm not just saying that because I'm sitting in a strapless sundress on my couch without a bra and without a brush touching my hair for about twenty-four hours. I'm feeling very, very nostalgic.

For starters, the whole "mix tape" concept takes me to a place where cassettes were clear with colorful accents and made by Memorex.



It also takes me to a time when I would wait in my bedroom, my shaking finger poised over the record button on my boom box, waiting for the latest Richard Marx or GoGos song to come on the radio and praying that the DJ wouldn't jabber right up until the time the lyrics started.

It seemed that I spent my summers making mix tapes from the radio so I could lug my fifty-pound boom box outside and listen to it while I tried my best to catch that savage tan using only baby oil as a buffer between me and skin cancer.

So, my party playlist for summer is giving a distinct nod to my former self--that fourteen year old who wanted nothing more than to be tan, learn to drive, and marry Kirk Cameron. With a little bit of my current self, who longs for simpler days, mixed it.

1. "Endless Summer Nights" by Richard Marx. He had a wavy mullet and promised to remember how I loved him.

2. "Head Over Heels" by The GoGos. I bought this cassingle with my babysitting money. I blasted it as we left TG&Y and asked my mom why the whole world would be in the sink anyway.

3. "Peek A Boo" by Siouxsie and the Banshees. What the hell is this song about? I think it's literally about eyes. But who cares because it's cool. That was pretty much my philosophy for 1989.

4. "The Promise" by When In Rome. Great cruising song for the end of the night when you drove through McGaggles forty-two times hoping to catch a glimpse of him but he wasn't there.

5. "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna. I never took Spanish in high school; I took German. Thanks to Madonna, I could now claim to be tri-lingual.

6. "Ninety Nine Red Balloons" by Nena. Two years of German, and I still only understood  "neun und neunsig luftballoons." The rest is lost in translation--or lack thereof.

7. "The Hook" by Blues Traveler. I was out of college and feeling like an old maid. I just knew that I had some sort of hook that would bring any of my college mistakes back to me. Thank the powers that brought us Milli Vanilli, I did not have a hook.

8. And speaking of Milli Vanilli, "I'm Gonna Miss You."  No special reason except that I was pretty devastated when I found out they were frauds. I told me friends that trashed my cassettes, but the truth is I kept them and listened to them secretly until they broke.

9. "Personal Jesus" by DePeche Mode. I tried really hard to be dark and deep. This was a far as I got.

10. Because you cannot be dark and deep when you love Paula Abdul and car-jammed every single time "Straight Up" played. Still know every single word and can jam just as good as any other forty-year old woman.

11. "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns and Roses. I don't care if it was about a kid and I was only 16 when it came out and scared to death of catching AIDS from a toilet seat, this song rocked my world.

12. "I Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon. When I was 14, I decided that this song had special powers because every single time I heard it on the radio, he called or wrote me a note (a note, y'all!). I tried playing it repeatedly once right before a big dance and got nothing. Thanks for the disappointment, REO.

13. "The Chair" by George Straight. How clever is this song? I used to imagine some fine-looking cowboy coming up to me at the club telling me that I took his chair. If it had actually happened, I would have said, "Oh, sorry" and walked away because that's the way I roll in social situations.

14. "I Want Your Sex" by George Michael. I described the music video--which was way racy for the day--by telling a friend who hadn't seen the video that he wrote "mono-game-ee" on his lover's thigh. Then we debated for three hours about how to properly pronounce monogamy.

15. "Funky Cold Medina" by Tone Loc. I have no idea what a medina is, but this song? It makes me smile.

Finally, because I love him, my playlist would not be complete without my boyfriend, Jon:

16. "Living On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi. Because. Simply because. 

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