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Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture Hardcover – 1 Nov 2004

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Universe Publishing; First Edition edition (1 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789311992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789311993
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 1.4 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 965,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like the editor of this book, I grew of age in the thick of the mix-tape era, and to a certain extent, mourn its passing. And like many of the contributors to this celebration of "cassette culture," I spent hundreds of hours obsessing over track selection, sequencing, fade-ins, the overt and subtextual messages embedded in each mix, liner notes, cover art, etc. So, I tend to gravitate toward books that invoke that lost world (sorry folks, the mix CD is similar, and I do make 'em, but it's not the same) -- books like Nick Hornby's High Fidelity and Songbook, or Rob Sheffield's memoir of grief, Love is a Mix Tape.

This book is a kind of interesting and frustrating document of the mix tape, limited in many ways by the relatively insular world from which its contributors are drawn. Moore is a legendary underground musician (with Sonic Youth) and for this book, he seems to have fired off emails to all his hipsterati friends in the art and music world, asking for contributions. The resulting hodgepodge of stuff is nicely packaged in a book mimicking the dimensions of a cassette tape, but it's all pretty insular. Page after page of random track listings, homemade covers, etc. from people you're unlikely to have heard of, featuring music you're unlikely to have heard. A few bits and pieces capture the possibility of the mixtape, such as Allison Anders explanation of one made for her, since returned in anger, and forever mourned.

What gets lost in all this is that for every obscurity-laden, collage-covered, mix-tape-as-art piece, the bedrooms of the Western world spawned 1,000 more mainstream "hits of 1983" type mix tapes.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have ever hovered over the pause button on a rainy saturday afternoon you need this book. A bittersweet and intelligent memoir/art book about the art of mixing tapes for friends and lovers. tHE SHEER JOY IN SCOURING THE BOOK FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACKS/ARTISTS. I found my guys Nick Cave, Tindersticks, leonard Cohen and Belle & Sebastian but missed Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

What is missing? The ettiquette of mixing. Never double tracks, always start with a drum intro etc...

I read it in a sitting and then went off to make a mix tape.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Exactly as described in the blurb. Husband enjoyed his gift. Arrived quickly, would be happy to make this purchase again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e5cf06c) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e3dcc78) out of 5 stars Driving in Cars While Smoking 16 Aug. 2005
By matthewslaughter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This neat little curio--along with sections of Hornby's "High Fidelity" [1995]--is a great artifact for those of us old enough to have shared music with friends via the cassette tape. Before mix-CDs, cassette tapes were a great way to hip your friends to new bands or to write a love letter to your latest crush without having to rely on your own bad poetry. Instead, you had to create a track list that would be impressionable on the recipient, and come up with some cool titles for each side of the cassette. Also, the more Scotch tape to make ex-cellent collage-cover-art with, the merrier! You also had to record the tape in real time, and make sure you could fit everything on the 45 minute side without the songs cutting off. This book captures all of that, including brief notes by the people who submitted some of their mix tapes to Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth), editor of the project. There is plenty of cool tape art and great track lists on display here. I like the tape Jim O'Rourke (of everyband, including Sonic Youth, Loose Fur, Gastr del Sol) makes a tape for a female love-interest thats Side One ends with the apocalyptic "Ambulance Blues" by Neil Young. It's these kind of details that make this book so fascinating and fun to flip through. It is an anthropological artifact, documenting the fact that these "unauthorized" tapes, at one point considered threats to the music industry as CDRs and online sharing are now, were really important sentimental, formative and foundational items to many people during the 80s and 90s. Bravo Thurston! Great idea.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a8727c) out of 5 stars Thurston throws a book together at the last minute 14 Jun. 2006
By S Platz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had really high hopes for this book.

Being one of the last people I know that still makes mix tapes on a regular basis I was excited for that feeling of togetherness and validation that occurs only when you find a network of people "out there" that see something the same way you do. I was distinctly dissapointed. I am a huge fan of Thurston Moore and I will say that his pieces of writing are the only moments of this book worth reading (and they are deffinately worth reading). However, it feels like Moore emailed a bunch of people and asked them to contribute track lists/art work/essays of/on mix tapes they'd made or recieved. More than half of the contributions feel thrown together or hardly considered and many are of mix cds and not tapes at all. I was hoping for a tribute/document of a unique mode of communication between people where the time and effort put in to the TAPE stands as a testament to the intensity of feelings being felt. Instead of buying this book I recomend buying a tape deck and either busting out those old mixes or make new ones of your own. It will be far more satisfying and true to feeling your looking for (but won't find) in this book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e75dc30) out of 5 stars a limited mix 30 Dec. 2008
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Like the editor of this book, I grew of age in the thick of the mix-tape era, and to a certain extent, mourn its passing. And like many of the contributors to this celebration of "cassette culture," I spent hundreds of hours obsessing over track selection, sequencing, fade-ins, the overt and subtextual messages embedded in each mix, liner notes, cover art, etc. So, I tend to gravitate toward books that invoke that lost world (sorry folks, the mix CD is similar, and I do make 'em, but it's not the same) -- books like Nick Hornby's High Fidelity and Songbook, or Rob Sheffield's memoir of grief, Love Is a Mix Tape.

This book is a kind of interesting and frustrating document of the mix tape, limited in many ways by the relatively insular world from which its contributors are drawn. Moore is a legendary underground musician (with Sonic Youth) and for this book, he seems to have fired off emails to all his hipsterati friends in the art and music world, asking for contributions. The resulting hodgepodge of stuff is nicely packaged in a book mimicking the dimensions of a cassette tape, but it's all pretty insular. Page after page of random track listings, homemade covers, etc. from people you're unlikely to have heard of, featuring music you're unlikely to have heard. A few bits and pieces capture the possibility of the mixtape, such as Allison Anders explanation of one made for her, since returned in anger, and forever mourned.

What gets lost in all this is that for every obscurity-laden, collage-covered, mix-tape-as-art piece, the bedrooms of the Western world spawned 1,000 more mainstream "hits of 1983" type mix tapes. There's zero evidence of the prevalence of the pop mix tape here, with probably the most mainstream example being Kate Spade's (yes, that Kate Spade) wonderfully banal mix of the usual Dylan/Beatles/Van Morrison/Elton John tracks. It's important to remember that DIY culture can encompass a wide range of participants, and not just the cool kids, and that's something that gets lost in this particular "celebration."

Still, if you were ever into making mix tapes, this is a book that will bring back the memories and make you want to dig into that box of tapes in the basement and find a tape deck.
HASH(0xa5a87594) out of 5 stars cassette mixes, indeed a dissappearing art form! 18 Aug. 2012
By Dee Dee Tee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I remember having my cool little set-up even as recently as 2006, in the old play room. And still listening to cassettes even just six years ago! am i weird! or just old and was i just unwilling to make the transition back then? hmm...Anyway I like the book and the interviews with New York No Wave scenesters/musicians like Lydia Lunch.
By H. Shelton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting. I love the front graphics (i HAD Compact Cassette tapes, they were cheep!) and the inside is great. His viewpoint on the subject is right-on. I stil do mix tapes and have a player in my vehicle and all over my house. Tapes will never go OUT w/me.
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