What Is a Mix Tape?

“When I first saw you, I saw love.”

“All you need is love.”

“Love is a battlefield.”

“I’m not going to write you a love song.”

“I’m all out of love.”

From famed music critic and contributing editor at Rolling Stone Magazine, Rob Sheffield’s book Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time will grab the heart and ears of any music lover no matter how young or old they might be. Although I-pods have come to replace mix CDs and mix CDs have long replaced mix tapes there is nothing like a good mixture of songs to connect a person to someone else’s life or emotion at the time. Mix tapes have been linked to break-ups, the infamous road trips, and of course as a way to communicate to someone when you have no words.

Rob does just that while explaining his early years as an awkward geek growing up and the music he listened to. It was the path of music that would lead him to his future wife Renee. It was their love of music that kept them together and even after the tragic loss of Renee it was music that continued to keep Rob going. With each chapter beginning with the songs from fifteen of his own mix tapes we follow the soundtrack of his life…and even a couple from our own.

If you have ever wanted a radio station to play the soundtrack to your life check out the Pandora Radio website where you can create your own personal radio stations. Using the Music Genome Project, Pandora will find selections that are musically similar to add to your stations for free. Also, if you have a friend who signs up to use Pandora you can share your stations with one another; just like your own online mix tape.

This entry was posted in BOOKS, CULTURE, History and Biography, MUSIC, Nonfiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What Is a Mix Tape?

  1. Anne says:

    A think Pandora must be the site a friend mentioned to me a while back — I’d been trying to remember what it was. Thank you! How interesting.

  2. Abby says:

    Pandora is a great service — unfortunately it may not be around for much longer because of a steep increase in per-song royalty fees. See this recent article in the Seattle Times for more details:


    If you are an avid mixtaper like me, you may be interested in joining a mixtape trading club, like the International Mixtape Project. For a small fee, you sign up to receive a monthly assignment to make and send a mix to a stranger somewhere else in the world. In return, you will also receive in your mailbox a homemade mixtape every month. It’s a great way to discover new music & connect with other mixtape maniacs around the world. Check out their site for more details


  3. ahniwa says:

    Pandora is great, but there are some great “mixtape” sites out there too, where people create and share online “mix tapes”.

    8tracks.com is one I just found and so far is right on the money.

    muxtape.com was the other, but seems to be offline at the moment sorting out a problem with the RIAA.

    Other music sites like thesixtyone and imeem allow user playlist creation and sharing, which is sort of the same idea. It’s neat to live in a time when it’s so easy to share the music that moves you.

  4. Kris says:

    Thanks for the book suggestion, my partner who tragically died two years ago had so much music that I still have shelves of it even after selling albums and cds. I just tossed two boxes of his mix tapes, although I kept a box. I haven’t been able to listen to music at all until recently, so all of that music is hidden away.
    I am really interested how this fellow survived the loss of his love and was still able to listen to music, so thanks for the suggestion, Kara!

  5. seadevi says:

    Another great book for those who love mixtapes is Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity

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