Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

CASSETTE FROM MY EXAh, the mixtape. A beautiful art form lost in today's digital madness. Mix CDs feel too disposable in the age of rewritable discs and iTunes, while Muxtape, for it's Web 2.0 coolness, doesn't translate the love and care that were required to give that special someone the perfect mix, a collection of songs that speaks to their soul. Nothing will ever replace the cassette tape in the hearts and minds of lovesick music nerds.

Which is why my new favorite site, Cassette From My Ex, is so super-rad. Created by Jason Bitner, the guy who started Found magazine, Cassette From My Ex is devoted to the stories behind these loved-but-obsolete mixes. Each tape has a personal story attached to it, nostalgic tales of love won and lost, set to the soundtrack of some excellent tunes.

My personal favorite comes from Claudia Gonson of The Magnetic Fields:

John was my boyfriend from age 15-19 or so, ie: my entire high school career. These of course are the years where music leaves a passionate, indelible mark on the core of your being. It’s hard for me to comment on these songs (or some of them, anyway) without wanting to shout “oh my god, this is the most amazing song EVER!!”

Most importantly, if the stories aren't enough for you, you can stream each tape at the bottom of the page. Just because we all rock iPods instead of Walkmans doesn't mean the mixes on these tapes have to die. Gonson's tape is a fantastic mix of genres that, as she puts it, is a "musical education." Leonard Cohen, Cheap Trick, and Dolly Parton? Right on.

Do you have any mixtape stories? Drop a comment and tell us about your favorite mixes, and more importantly, the people who gave them to you.