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    aught music : 2003 : "ps" by the books

    Here's my contribution to the roundtable on the Books' fine album The Lemon of Pink, currently being discussed over at Aught Music:

    Thinking about mixtapes again. Back in the days when my mixtapes were actually tapes, I took obsessive pleasure in making sure that the mix "fit" precisely in the alloted space. No cutting songs off in the middle. No long stretches of emptiness that the recipient would need to fast-forward through before reaching the end of the side. It had to be perfect: if there was more than say, a minute of blank space left over, then there was room to fit in another song. Over time I developed pretty good mental repetoire of short songs, but I had also collected a library of other interesting fragments that could serve the same purpose: snippets of movie dialogue, sound effects, snatches of poetry, little pieces of radio dada, whatever.

    I made a couple of mixes on audio tape in 2002 (I still have my roadtrip mix from that year) but by 2003 I think I'd switched to making mixes on CD-Rs for good. Which is kind of a shame, because "PS" from The Lemon of Pink would have made a great mix-ender.

    It lasts for fifty-six seconds and it's not a song. It may once have been a fairly tender conversation, but the guys in the Books edited it down and then edited it down again until only uncomfortable interstitial bits remain—false starts, baffled laughter. In its final form, it's a model of yearning. It's a pure balance of the initmate and the awkward. And if that doesn't describe every single mixtape I ever made...

    Listen: The Books >> "PS"

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    Monday, August 03, 2009
    10:14 PM


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