TapeDeckTuesday

Zooropa

U2 – Zooropa

The other day my daughter asked me what people wore in the 90s since it’s school spirit week and her class is supposed to dress in that style for one day. I looked at her in jeans, a plaid button down shirt over a t-shirt, and a pair of Chuck’s, and said, “like that only, baggy.” We sure didn’t go for skinny jeans back then. I tried to think of other looks that she might be able to scrounge together. There was the baby doll dress with the clunky black shoes but she turned up her nose at the couple of flowery short dresses I found in storage.

I pulled up some videos hoping for inspiration. We checked out a couple of Nirvana videos, Sonic Youth, Bikini Kill (thinking she might fancy a riot grrrl look), L7. She wasn’t biting. I found a couple of Lush videos, maybe she would favor a more British take on things. The only thing she took away was a whole lot of black eye makeup.

The more I thought about it, the more I had a hard time putting my finger on a 90s look. Personally, I went from being an occasionally employed college grad who sported thrift store chic, to someone hoping to be hip while working at a museum in DC, then a cubicle farm at an insurance company up in Maine (ever the home of function over form), a year as a grad student overseas, and I closed it out working on the 30th floor at a publishing company in midtown Manhattan. Not a lot of crossover.

After looking at the videos, I hauled out some CDs to see if the cover art and liner notes might be of more help. My daughter lost interest and settled on her usual clothes; she’d just try to do something different with her hair. But once I started flipping through my music I got sucked in. I picked up a tape I’d made and was transported back to the early 90s.

Perhaps surprisingly, I went through a small U2 phase back then. Let’s call it their Berlin period. It’s a little strange that the height of their fame would be the moment when I would sit up and take notice, especially since I’d had friends that were on board from day one who had tried repeatedly to get me to fall for them and I had always remained more of a casual observer. It wasn’t that I disliked them, I just felt like they didn’t need me as a fan.

They certainly didn’t need me in the early 90s either as Achtung Baby took over the world. Blame it on Berlin. I’d been so swept up in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the huge and swift changes that took place all over eastern Europe in its wake. I also had it bad for the Wim Wenders film, Until the End of the World. I saw it in the movie theater four or five times and had the soundtrack on regular rotation. In that context, the U2 song became a favorite and I wanted more. I bought Achtung Baby and listened to it almost in secret. Of course I was going to love “Zoo Station.” Berlin. Trains. What’s not to love? But I found myself liking most of the album, in spite of the radio saturation.

We had an intern at work who came from Berlin. I rented old Wim Wenders films and peppered him with questions. 1993 brought Zooropa from U2 and Faraway, So Close! from Wim Wenders. By that time, living in DC and my job were starting to get to me. I wanted a big change. I decided I was going to quit my job and go to Europe. Though my plan was to make it to Prague and try to find a job (something that didn’t seem that far-fetched at the time), I was going to start my trip in Berlin. Before I could do it though, I needed to save up money so I got a second job working part-time at a bakery and I tried to cut down on costs wherever I could.

Riding my bike to work was something I did a fair amount but once it got dark and cold, I generally took the Metro. I decided I could at least walk home from the museum job if I didn’t have to be at the bakery right after and not spend as much on fare cards. I needed music for the walk though so I made a U2 tape with what I had available; Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and I borrowed The Joshua Tree from one of my housemates. I wanted the songs that made that Berlin connection but I also wanted it to be a companion once I was over there. If my plan worked and I’d stayed over there, I was going to just have the handful of tapes I’d managed to bring with me for who knew how long. I brought it along in the car today with my Walkman/FM transmitter combo for a rare Tape Deck Tuesday appearance.

Side A:
Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
In God’s Country
Some Days Are Better Than Others
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
Where the Streets Have No Name
Mysterious Ways
Lemon
Running to Stand Still

Side B:
Zooropa
Zoo Station
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Until the End of the World
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
So Cruel
Re Hill Mining Town
One
With or Without You
One Tree Hill

I took the tape with me when I finally made it to Berlin in February of 1994. Listening to it is a little bit of time travel for me.

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Know How

Young M.C. – Know How

It was hard to get back into the groove of the work week after a long weekend (I started early, taking Friday off too), so I thought I’d try to help myself out by bringing along a tape for the commute. That’s right, Young M.C., Stone Cold Rhymin’. Go ahead. I can feel you smirking at me through the screen. It’s ok, I’m not above admitting I have this tape in my collection.

Honestly, it’s a classic. Who doesn’t know “Bust a Move“? Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah just did a version of it on his show about a week ago. Or “Principal’s Office“. Did you know Flea played bass on those two tracks? I was wondering if you could still detach the little Delicious Vinyl order form that’s part of the cassette insert and order a t-shirt but it looks like you can order it online and it’s actually cheaper now than it was 26 years ago.

I bought this tape while working at the record store the fall after graduating from college. Even with the employee discount, I didn’t shell out the big bucks for a CD unless I felt certain that the album would be one I’d play over and over, forever and ever, amen. If I bought the tape it meant I liked it enough to want to hear it on demand, but probably mostly in the car or for the Walkman.

It’s strange the way the format pecking order has shifted over time. The record store I mentioned opened selling only tapes and CDs. Vinyl was on the way out. Now vinyl is commanding top dollar and CDs are on the way out. Cassettes are rarely produced anymore and usually only as a novelty item. MP3s have replaced them as the cheaper, easier, more portable option – if you’re going in for ownership at all.

I like the ability to listen to music online and I’m paying for a monthly streaming service, but my preference to really dive in to some music means I am always going to want to buy some physical format for the albums I like the most. I want the liner notes, the artwork, the whole package. You know what I’m saying?

Opportunity

The Charlatans (UK) – Opportunity

I forget what took us to one of those dollar store places a week or so ago but while the kids were looking around for whatever it was, I found myself looking at the cheap phone chargers and other iPod accessories. I decided to pick up a different fm transmitter adapter thingy, not Bluetooth, just plugs into your headphone jack. My daughter warned me that it would break, and soon, the way cheap plastic crap always does. It’s true, I don’t expect it to last long, on the other hand, if I can use my iPod in the car for a couple of months, the $5 will probably be worth it.

It works with my iPod decently. I hung the cord around the hands-free holder where I put my phone, both the iPod and the transmitter dangling down near the radio for the best results. Then it dawned on me that this might work with my old Walkman. I needed to find some working AA batteries first and hanging it off the phone holder wasn’t an option but I set in the passenger seat and fired it up.

And that’s how we have a new installment of Tape Deck Tuesday. Today’s tape was The Charlatans Some Friendly. I’m still not confident about putting my better tapes through the ringer here so I took one I wasn’t especially worried about losing if something went wrong. I kind of think I have this on CD too, though maybe that’s their second album I’m thinking of. I know I have the tape and CD for one of their early releases because I found the tape super cheap at the Goodwill or someplace like that.

This album makes me think of commuting on the Metro in DC back in the early 90s. When I first arrived there I was staying with my uncle in Georgetown and I would get off at Dupont Circle and go into Olsson’s or Kramerbooks to check out the latest NME and Melody Maker before making my way over to his house. Later I had a sublet up in Adams Morgan so I had every excuse to saunter slowly up Connecticut Avenue stopping into stores to get a blast of air conditioning. When I found a place up in Mt. Pleasant, if I was taking the Metro home from work by myself, I still kept my habit of walking up from Dupont Circle, through Adams Morgan and up to the house I shared with three other people. I always wished I lived in those cooler (and more expensive) neighborhoods but walking through them at least kept me from feeling like I was totally out of it.

There were lots of things I loved about living in DC but in the end there were slightly more things I hated about living there or I wouldn’t have left. I mostly think about the good parts and skim over the bad, now that 21 years have passed since I moved away. It’s all the cool shops, museums, and great bands at clubs I loved, that have stuck with me. I’m sure it’s best that way.

Dead Sound

The Raveonettes – Dead Sound

I’m afraid the tape deck in my car is dead.

At first I chalked it up to the cold weather, after all, I don’t function well in below freezing temperatures either. It was working fine and then suddenly not at all. However it didn’t make a difference if the car was warm or the tapes were warm, if they were in the middle or ready to play a full side. I would put the tape in and it would play for a few seconds then auto-reverse to the other side, then flip back, and after flipping back and forth a few times, it would spit the tape out.

I have one of those cassette adapter things that you stick in the tape deck and then plug into the headphone jack of an iPod or your phone. When I didn’t have a tape I wanted to listen to and the radio wasn’t interesting, I’d connect my iPod. Like so many of my things, my iPod isn’t the latest and greatest. It was a replacement Apple sent me for my first iPod (a 4GB Nano, the tall skinny ones) which had some kind of battery issue. I never had a problem with it but they were offering to replace it for free so I took them up on it. I got a newer Nano, 8GB this time, the little square one with a clip. No Bluetooth, no connecting to WiFi. It was good enough for the gym or the occasional plane or train ride though.

When I had new music I wanted to hear in the car, I’d download it to the iPod and then I could pop in the adapter and listen to it. I could listen to playlists that I’d made for friends or family and burned to CDs so I could test them out in my last car (that had a CD player, no tape deck). It was sort of like having the best of all car stereo options, even if it took a little juggling to make it work. There was definitely some primitive family charm about it too.

For a couple of days this past week I didn’t drive my car because of the various snow storms causing school cancellations. When I got in today, I crossed my fingers and tried a regular cassette (a full album purchased new back in the day). It sucked it in and I could see it wasn’t lying flat like it ought to be. Nothing I tried worked. I tried the cassette adapter, which it spat out immediately. I didn’t dare to try one of my homemade tapes because I didn’t want to risk it getting stuck in there forever or eaten. I gave up and listened to the radio. I pouted.

This leaves me with the regular radio and the various music and radio apps on my phone. I have a Bluetooth FM transmitter so I can stream stuff through the car radio. It works pretty well but I don’t keep my music on my phone and my iPod doesn’t have Bluetooth. If you have any radio stations you like, pass that info along and I’ll look for them in one of those apps.

Sigh. People have long asked me how I can stand my long commute and do I listen to audiobooks or something to pass the time. I have only really minded the drive when traffic or weather makes it take much longer than usual or if I have to be at work or home by a certain time and there’s nothing I can do to shave any time off of it. Usually, I have used that time as my indulgent blast the tunes and sing along as loudly as I want to time.

I can limp along with the phone and the Bluetooth set up but if I want to get to a place where I can really listen to what I want in the car, I’m going to need to upgrade something. Either I’ll have to upgrade my Rdio subscription (I currently pay for the web only version – it assuages my guilt of using a streaming service and I don’t have to hear ads when I listen at work) to include mobile or upgrade the stereo. I don’t think you can get a new stereo with a tape deck these days.

It also means Tape Deck Tuesday is on hiatus until I can figure this out. I haven’t completely given up hope of it fixing itself or me tinkering with it in my usual way, but neither of those things is going to happen when there’s all this snow everywhere. I have really enjoyed those little strolls down memory lane and I’ll miss the fun I had sharing the back story of some of these treasures. Fingers crossed that it’s just a temporary problem.

Modern Love

David Bowie – Modern Love

My brother was a huge David Bowie fan and my mother hated David Bowie. But my mother also worked full-time so my brother took advantage of her not being home in the afternoons and my other two sisters and I received a daily education in all of David Bowie’s great achievements. We were schooled on Ziggy Stardust, we looked at the cover of Diamond Dogs unsure of what to make of it, we sang along to “Queen Bitch”, I did a report for 9th grade English class on “Kooks.”

My brother went off to college in 1982. In 1983 David Bowie released Let’s Dance. This was not my brother’s David Bowie. This was more like my older sister’s David Bowie. In fact, the cassette I listened to in the car today is the original 1983 copy that my sister bought, complete with a little sticker with her initials on it to identify it as hers in her college dorm room. This was dance-y Bowie, and not in a “John, I’m Only Dancing” way. It was produced with Nile Rodgers, after all. For my brother, worshipper of punk, hater of disco, this was a step too far.

Listening to it now, some of the songs are not really that far of a departure from some of his previous work, but the hits were really big hits. If you’ve been a fan of a band or musician when they’ve been less adored by the general public and then they suddenly become everyone’s favorite, especially if the album they’re now getting all the attention for is one you don’t like, it puts a real strain on your relationship with that band. I know a little something about that. So in hindsight, I’m sympathetic to my brother’s plight. At the time, though, we little sisters thought it was pretty cool that David Bowie had made an album you could dance to with your friends.

Last week was David Bowie’s birthday and I presume my brother has long since forgiven the now 68-year-old for Let’s Dance, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to know that he doesn’t own it. Judging by the fact that this tape was abandoned by everyone and found by me in my mother’s basement when we were there recently, I’d say it’s no one’s favorite. That and no one has a tape deck anymore. Long live my car’s tape deck and Tape Deck Tuesday for these trips down memory lane!

 

Pit Viper

 

10,000 Maniacs – Pit Viper

This is a curious tape I listened to on my way home from work for Tape Deck Tuesday. I had obviously whited out the track listing but the title (or spine? what would you call the part you can read when they’re all stacked up?) retained the original for side A but whited out side B. It now reads: “Secrets of the I Ching” with “Human Conflict Number 5” underneath that then a bracket spanning both and “Hope Chest” at the end.

Secrets of the I Ching and Human Conflict Number 5 are both very early recordings by 10,000 Maniacs. Even back in college in the 80s these were sort of lost albums. But a CD came out in 1990 called Hope Chest, which combined the two. I have a copy, a reissue, of Secrets of the I Ching from 1988. This was a really difficult album to get a hold of. I have a very vague memory of having to send away for it through the radio station in college or something like that. I just pulled it out and inside was a purple piece of paper with information about “an Evening in Torpor.”

wpid-wp-1417584955438.jpegWow. Here’s where the internet is a weird and fantastic thing. My memories of the Evening in Torpor recording are soooo vague and I don’t have the album. Maybe my best friend has it? We often used to split things up and tape them for each other. But I have the piece of paper with the track listings for it and somewhere I must have a tape because I knew all those songs. Maybe I’ll find it but until then, there’s always YouTube.

Here’s what I figure I must have done, as I have no recollection of doing this. I must have taped Secrets of the I Ching off of the album, then a couple years later, Hope Chest was released which contained that album plus the EP Human Conflict Number 5, so I taped over the original recording and whited out the track listing in favor of what was on the CD. Why I didn’t just tape the songs I didn’t have and leave the original recording alone I have no idea. CDs were thought of as being “better” so that probably factored into it somehow.

Side A:
Planned Obsolescence
The Latin One
Katrina’s Fair
Poor De Chirico
Grey Victory
National Education Week
Death of Manolete
Orange
(unlisted but Wildwood Flower is tacked on the end here)

Side B:
Tension
Anthem for Doomed Youth
Daktari
Groove Dub
Pit Viper
My Mother the War
(lots of dead space)

There’s another video for Pit Viper with Natalie Merchant, John Lombardo, and Steve Gustafson in Dennis Drew’s student film made in Jamestown in 1982 that you should totally check out if you’re remotely curious to see how they all looked way back when.

Some of this early stuff sounds really different from what people normally associate with 10,000 Maniacs. I have to give them credit for introducing me to De Chirico and the metaphysical art movement with this album. Back in those pre-internet days, if bands I liked mentioned things in interviews or if I figured out some lyrics, I’d head over to the library to learn more. No, I didn’t have much of a social life, why do you ask? I sometimes think I learned more during those four years of college by following my curiosity about what influenced the bands I loved, than I did in the classroom.

Hi-Hi-Whooppee

The Method Actors – Hi-Hi-Whooppee

I went up to the storage area to get a tape for the drive this morning. I wouldn’t say I’m running out of tapes but there are fewer mixes and more that have one album on each side. Those seem a little less interesting to write up for Tape Deck Tuesday. Then there’s all the bootlegs that I’ll probably never write up. For today I grabbed one that my best friend taped for me at the tail end of August in 1986 or 87, the year isn’t listed, but I can tell it’s from that vintage.

Side A: Concrete Blonde/ The Method Actors: Little Figures
True
Your Haunted Head
Dance Along the Edge
Still in Hollywood
Song for Kim (She Said)
Beware of Darkness
Over Your Shoulder
Little Sister
(You’re the Only One) Can Make Me Cry
Cold Part of Town
True (Instrumental)
————–
Halloween
Hi-Hi Whooppee

Side B: Gang of Four: Songs of the Free
Call Me Up
I Love a Man in a Uniform
We Live as We Dream, Alone
It Is Not Enough
Life! It’s a Shame
I Will Be a Good Boy
The History of the World
Muscle for Brains
Of the Instant

I had a hard time getting the tape out of the box, it was really wedged in there. Once I did, I could see it was because there was a little slip of paper inside the folded over part of the label. I unfolded it to find this:

Gof4

wpid-wp-1415766967407.jpegThat’s my friend’s rendition of the illustration on the back of the album, which is itself a drawing of the front of the album. Of course I didn’t have the record then (which is why she taped it for me) but I bought it sometime after that and now you can see, she did a pretty good job (click the pictures to enlarge). These things were very important. They’re still important to me. It’s one of the reasons why I still don’t really like downloading albums. I do it, especially when I want something quickly or it’s much cheaper that way and I don’t really want a physical copy, but nine times out of ten, I will still want to at least see the cover and any liner notes, etc. Recently I downloaded an album but then discovered there was a copy at the library so I borrowed the library’s copy just so I could read everything inside and made a copy of the insert to keep. I will never understand why all digital downloads don’t include a copy of the CD insert. It’s a simple file they could easily include if you buy the whole album. Do they just assume, hmph, you’re downloading it, you must not really care.

I popped it into the tape deck without rewinding it, catching the end of the instrumental version of True. This was Concrete Blonde’s self-titled album, their first LP. Then there was some crackling and popping, tell-tale signs of the needle touching down on the record. There must only have been room for two songs by the Method Actors. They were one of those bands we’d heard lots about but they’d already broken up and, let’s be serious, the people we knew at college were decidedly not people who would know anything about them.

After those two songs, the tape reversed itself and started playing Gang of Four. I originally thought about posting I Love a Man in a Uniform, seeing as how it’s Veterans’ Day, then I thought, Life! It’s a Shame was perfect (look up the lyrics and ask yourself how is it they’re still relevant 32 years later!?). I miss music like this. Thought-provoking in both sound and lyrics, and you can even dance to it. People make songs of substance still but, it’s not like this. Tucked in at the end of side B was a live recording of the Everly Brothers doing All I Have to Do is Dream.

On the way home I caught the rest of the Concrete Blonde album and thought, hmm, maybe Still in Hollywood will be the winner for the video today, but in the end, the tape made it all the way to the end of side A again and I decided, it has to be the Method Actors. I mean, come on. And somehow, this video was only uploaded four days ago and I was the first person to watch it. It was meant to be. Hi-Hi-Whooppee!

 

Golden Thing

Throwing Muses – Golden Thing

Squeaking it in under the wire for Tape Deck Tuesday, today’s tape was another one-album-on-each-side tape. Recorded in March of 1991, side A was The Real Ramona by Throwing Muses and side B was Gold Mother by James.

I first heard Throwing Muses back in college from my friend who loved 4AD bands. She was from Rhode Island so they were like home town heroes to her. I’ll admit, I didn’t love them right away, but I really liked that they were different and some of Kristin Hersh’s lyrics struck a chord with me from the very beginning. I wound up listening to their first album quite a bit because of that friend and eventually I bought the Chains Changed EP, The Fat Skier (pretty cool, 45rpm on one side and 33 1/3 on the other), and House Tornado. I’m pretty sure I have the CD of Hunkpapa in a box someplace too.

This tape is the only copy I have of The Real Ramona though and consequently, it had been a really long time since I’d listened to it. I’d forgotten how good it was. Part of the reason I’m posting this so late is because I had a hard time deciding what song to pick. Counting Backwards and Not Too Soon were the “big hits” but I like a lot of the other songs better. I think I’ll be keeping this tape in the car with me for a while.

So Sad About Us

Back in the beginning of the summer when we went up to visit my mother and I found those boxes full of old letters, I came across the letter that came with the tape I listened to today for Tape Deck Tuesday. I’d lost this tape at one point. I hadn’t realized it had fallen down below the cover that went over the spare tire in my first car. I sold that car when I left Maine to go to grad school in Wales and most of my stuff was at my mother’s house in storage so I just assumed the tape was there. It was a few years later when the guy I’d sold the car to had a flat tire and found three tapes hanging out there in the compartment with the spare. He dropped them off at my mother’s office and the next time I visited my mother, I reclaimed them.

The tape itself is like a time capsule but finding the letter is even better. Who could have predicted that the friend who made the tape for me would tell me a story in this letter about missing the sold out Breeders show and then continuing on to another classmates house which happened to be in the town where I now live. He describes meeting up with this friend who worked at a movie theater nearby and got them in to see Singles for free. I know exactly where this is, though 22 years ago, when he wrote it down, I had no idea. I was living in DC at the time and he was finishing up his senior year of college.

I also would not have remembered that the tape was a belated birthday present. He included a playlist from the college radio station where he was one of the music directors. It was for the week that began on September 20, 1992 and contains many of the albums the songs on this tape came from. He had taped some cut out words, ransom note style, to serve as the title of the tape and for both sides. I had a hard time deciding on a single video so while I was cycling through the videos, I decided to just make a playlist. I couldn’t find two of the songs and one or two are either different versions but without further ado I present:

Not as Fattening as Tuna Tacos

Brach’s Perkies Circus Peanuts (Side A)
PJ Harvey – Dress
Buffalo Tom – Velvet Roof
Tom Waits – Cold Cold Ground
Billy Bragg – She’s Got a New Spell (Peel Sessions)
Mark Eitzel – Western Sky
The Breeders – So Sad About Us
Blake Babies – Temptation Eyes
Action Swingers – Watch Out
Seam – Look Back in Anger
Yo La Tengo – Upside Down
Juliana Hatfield – I See You
Superchunk – Slack Motherfucker
John Zorn – Phonecall
The Stairs – Weed Bus
Seaweed – Squint
Drop Nineteens – My Aquarium
Spiritualized – 200 Bars

BonTon Electric Orange-Colored Cheese Popcorn (Side B)
Miracle Legion – Little Blue Light
3Ds – Dreams of Herge
Revolver – Since Yesterday
Polvo – Channel Changer
Shrimp Boat – River of Wine
Big Star – Nightime
The Golden Palominos – Alive & Living Now
Nick Drake – Time Has Told Me
Pale Saints – Kinky Love
Madder Rose – Baby Gets High
Verve – All in the Mind
Sonic Youth – Nic Fit
The Vaselines – Son of a Gun
The Leatherwoods – Happy Ain’t Comin’ Home

It was a tough choice but I decided to go with the Breeders track for the connection with the letter. I hope you take the time to check out the playlist, especially if you’re not familiar with any of the songs.

Boogie Oogie Oogie

A Taste of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie

Seeing as how my last post was in reference to my first child turning thirteen, I decided that for Tape Deck Tuesday I would listen to the pre-natal exercise tape I have from a class I took when I was pregnant with her.

It’s pretty common for expectant first-time parents to do everything they can to make sure their baby will be healthy and that they’re ready for his or her arrival. We were fairly typical in taking a childbirth class, which I think was useful even if it only served to mentally check a box, rather than actually teach us something. I also took a couple of other classes offered through the hospital where our daughter was born, including a pre-natal exercise class.

I’ve never been one to go in for group exercise but I recognized that I probably wasn’t going to do any exercise on my own and I was nervous that if I tried, I would do something I shouldn’t. Better to have someone who knows a thing or two tell me what some good exercises would be and make sure I did them correctly.

The class was held in a physical therapy room in a medical office building next door to the hospital and was led by one of the physical therapists. I think it met twice a week but I can’t really remember now. There were usually two or three other women besides me and the instructor. We did work up a sweat but partly just because we were moving around an extra 10-25 pounds, depending upon how far along we were. Plenty of time was allotted for switching to exercises done on the floor. Here we go.

Side A
Nat King Cole – Love
The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe in Magic
There She Goes – The La’s
Never Let You Go – Jakaranda
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
Dream Come True – Ta-Gana
Let’s Get Together – Nobody’s Angel
Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey
some disco hit Shazam didn’t know and I couldn’t remember enough of to successfully Google it

Side B
Tom Petty – Time to Move On
Billy Joel – You’re Only Human (Second Wind)
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Easy Skanking
Grateful Dead – Truckin’
Grateful Dead – Sugar Magnolia

Side A was the get your heart rate moving side and Side B was the cool down, leg lifts side. I remember we walked back and forth at a brisk pace during the La’s song, with maybe a “grapevine” thrown in for good measure. And in trying to identify some of the songs on Side A, I can tell now that the instructor must have had the soundtrack from the Lindsey Lohan version of the Parent Trap. She was probably about 7-10 years older than me and she drove a Volvo station wagon with a Grateful Dead bumper sticker. Her tape reminded me a little of the kind of weirdly all over the place mixes that my oldest sister (probably about the same age) used to make.

After my daughter was born, I attended the post-natal exercise class, which overlapped a little with the pre-natal exercise class. The daycare we had our daughter in was just around the corner so it was pretty convenient and she added a lot of ab exercises for the new moms to try and get back to your pre-baby shape. Eventually the physical therapist found a new job that meant she wasn’t going to be able to lead the class anymore and the hospital decided not to keep offering it. I happened to be the only person at the last session once the pregnant moms left so she gave the tape to me, along with one of those stretchy resistance bands, so I could do the whole routine myself at home. I actually did do it a few times but then I felt like I could also just choose my own tunes and dance around the house and get as good a work out.

That said, I don’t think I ever knew that this song featured two women tearing it up on the guitar and bass. Nice work! Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. Takes you back, doesn’t it?