Friday, January 16, 2009

Rob Sheffield: Love is a Mix Tape

If I had written this book, which of course I haven't, it would be called "Life is a Mix Tape." But since Rob Sheffield wrote it, and his life is the story of a tragic love, I guess the title fits. The premise of this book is lovely, and it's a short book, so I finished it, but it did drag a little while Sheffield's tragedy gets, well, a little tragic. It's a good thing I'm such a nerd about music and mix tapes, or I probably would have ditched this book. How cool to read about someone else's mixes, though, and to hear the stories behind the song choices, and the roads that they traveled, and the top 40 selections that snuck in? Really, I should post more of my mixes.

Sheffield is a little older than me, but we are both products of the 90s. And Sheffield describes the 90s so well:

1991. The year punk broke. The palindrome year... We knew it would e a big deal, and it was. The next few years were a rush. It was a glorious time for pop culture, the decade of Nirvana and Lollapalooza and Clueless and My So-Called Life and Sassy and Pulp Fiction and Greg Maddux and Garth Brooks and Green Day and Drew and Dre and Snoop and Wayne's World. It was the decade Johnny Depp got his Winona Forever tattoo, the decade Beavis and Butthead got butt-shaped tattoos on their butts. It was the decade of Kurt Cobain and Shania Twain and Taylor Dayne and Brandy Chastain. The boundaries of American culture were exploding, and music was leading the way.
Really, can't you hear Beavis and Butthead going "huh huh huh huh, he said 'butt'?" And I think I was at the second Lollapalooza, and Green Day was my first show, and how many hundreds of times did we watch Clueless at sleepovers? Greg Maddux and all of the Braves rotations were the men I grew up watching (even Canseco gets a mention in this book)- I mean, this quote was from page 7 and 8, so I was hooked. Sleater-Kinney is discussed, as are many others of my favorites. If you're into music, like baseball, tend towards the lovelorn, and maybe the dorky, this is worth a read.