Monday, April 07, 2003

i'm at the laundromat, burning cd compilations.
it's such a tricky, delicate task.

you know, i'm a kassettenmaedchen as defined by benjamin von stuckrad-barre in the short story of the same name from 1996. have always been, will always be.
however, every once in a while i've been on the other side of the tape making thing, too, and made attempts at doing bait-type mixes to lure boys i liked. frank is in posession of the best one i ever made. and thorsten just taped mine over, the idiot.
however, generally speaking, while i enjoy mixing stuff for people i like, i'm far more comfortable at the receiving end, being a true kassettenmaedchen.

it's so stressful, preparing a cd or tape for someone, especially for a perfectionist like me.

song selection! song order! the eternal question: are two songs by one artist on one compilation okay? is there an exception from the rule if they are from different albums? is there an exception when two songs are sung by the same singer, but were published solo and with band? what message does this thing have? do i want this to have a message at all? what should the ratio between comfortably old and possibly known (and maybe hated?) and fresh new stuff be? will the recipient be able to handle a song by serge gainsbourg? is this whole thing not terribly boring? don't those songs all sound the same? isn't this more about me then about finding music the recipient will like? what if the recipient hates this?

compiling a cd or a tape is very personal.
a bit like undressing in front of a soon to be bed partner for the first time, when you're not sure (s)he's loving you enough already to not care about the not so perfect body bits. or like telling a deep dark secret in a very fresh friendship.
the scary part is, that i won't be even in the room (or on the same continent, for that matter) when this cd is being listened to, and i won't see first hand whether any songs will be fast forwarded or skipped or whether there'll be cringing action at the serge gainsbourg song or maybe even at something for kate or whether this will make the recipient smile and interested in more of this.

when undressing, you can at least prepare the scene, with good lightning and easy to get out clothing and a generous amount of alcohol to be consumed before and during. with secret telling, you get both verbal and non-verbal clues from the person you're talking to, and can pull the handbrake, when you realise it's not the right time yet. but this cd compiling is one way communication, with time delay. once it's burned and send off, there's no way to change it.