It's the tenth year anniversary of this cassette, El's Formal Tape and although I cringe when I am reminded of the unbelievable hype that accompanied this event, I cannot help but feel slightly warmed by the memory of its construction. After all, it was all done at the request of my date, TAFKATC, who insisted it was my task for the evening.
It was an exceedingly important task, preparing a selection of songs for that 15-minute car ride together. On the scarce occasions when we did speak, we only ever bonded over 1980s synth pop... but they were terribly significant conversations and I had the tendency to retain them, as I had the tendency to retain everything.
Again, both myself and my best friend, Missy Laur had to deal with this problem, this scarcity of time issue that tended to pervade every aspect of this absurd (and thoroughly implausible) partnership. Missy Laur and I whinced and made endless lists. We aggressively crossed out song names and with every strike-through came three new "consequential additions". It was a list that was impossible to cull.
Perhaps if the car-ride had been 1,115 minutes long instead of 15, I could have included all the songs TAFKATC was responsible for. All that New Order, Erasure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths and The Cure. But this was my task and my challenge. It was an ordeal to deal with the technological restraints of his feeble MiniDisc and my rickety 90-minute cassette, but I loved it. I would have made more: The Formal Mixes - Volumes 1 to 250.
But now when I drive and listen to this cassette, I am baffled by some of my song choices. Paul Van Dyk's For an Angel? Basement Jaxx's Bingo Bango? Really? Some other song inclusions make more sense, such as the brilliant New Order megamix and Erasure's I Love Saturday from their 1994 album, I Say, I Say, I Say.
It was TAFKATC's objection to the degenerated sound quality of I Love Saturday that sticks out most in my memory of that whole car-ride. You see, Missy Laur and I had dubbed that song from my mix-tape to her mix-tape to my mix-tape (and so forth). It was emblematic, it somehow signified the love and reverence both she and I shared for this song.
Perhaps I was naive in thinking that this kind of connection could have existed for both him and I? Was I mad in imagining such a thing?
Nothing in this world can touch the music that I heard...
If only I could have imagined what would follow, some ten years later. TAFKATC sent me an email with the subject line, FAC, requesting my company to see New Order at Festival Hall. My 15 minutes had been extended to a full 90 minute set and I couldn't help but giggle as we sent texts to each other, dreaming of what songs they should play (and what cover band we'd inevitably form when Barney fails to meet our expectations).
I tend to let my memories slip by when I think of TAFKATC. I am far too embarrassed to acknowledge the youthful flirtatiousness I once had... but then I can't help but feel it still when he looks at me, when he entertains my musings. I don't care to ever forget the moment before the band even started, when he handed me his plastic cup of beer to sip: "You're still 17." He smiled. I could hardly disguise my grin in response. "I'll always be 17."
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Funk & Soul Podcast #41
Munk - Kick out the Chairs
Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes - Love Letter
Billy Paul - Am I Black Enough For You
John Legend - Used To Love U
India Arie - Video
Colonel Abrams - Trapped
Stevie Wonder - Part-Time Lover
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers - Why Do Fools Fall In Love?
Download (51.5 MB)