Love Is A Mix Tape

Love Is A Mix Tape

Book - 2007 | 1st ed.
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What Is love? Great minds have been grappling with this question throughout the ages, and in the modern era, they have come up with many different answers. According to Western philosopher Pat Benatar, love is a battlefield. Her paisan Frank Sinatra would add the corollary that love is a tender trap. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love bites, love bleeds, love is the drug. The troubadours of our times agree: They want to know what love is, and they want you to show them. But the answer is simple: Love is a mix tape. In the 1990s, when " alternative" was suddenly mainstream, bands like Pearl Jam and Pavement, Nirvana and R.E.M.-- bands that a year before would have been too weird for MTV- were MTV. It was the decade of Kurt Cobain and Shania Twain and Taylor Dayne, a time that ended all too soon. The boundaries of American culture were exploding, and music was leading the way. It was also when a shy music geek named Rob Sheffield met a hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl named Renee, who was way too cool for him but fell in love with him anyway. He was tall. She was short. He was shy. She was a social butterfly. She was the only one who laughed at his jokes when they were so bad, and they were always bad. They had nothing in common except that they both loved music. Music brought them together and kept them together. And it was music that would help Rob through a sudden, unfathomable loss. In Love Is a Mix Tape, Rob, now a writer for "Rolling Stone," uses the songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell the story of his brief time with Rene e. From Elvis to Missy Elliott, the Rolling Stones to Yo La Tengo, the songs on these tapes make up the soundtrack totheir lives. Rob Sheffield isn't a musician, he's a writer, and Love Is a Mix Tape isn't a love song- but it might as well be. This is Rob's tribute to music, to the decade that shaped him, but most of all to one unforgettable woman.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishing, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400083022
Branch Call Number: 781.64092 S542s
Characteristics: 224 p. : ill.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Friday, March 3: LOVE IS A MIX TAPE: LIFE AND LOSS, ONE SONG AT A TIME, by Rob Sheffield (Random House, 2007). Nothing brings back memories like a good mix tape. Married music critics Rob Sheffield and Renée Crist had mix tapes for all occasions—dancing, making out, and even falling asleep. When ... Read More »


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IanDalziel
Sep 12, 2016

A fine book - also great to see to that several Flying Nun bands made it on to some of the eerily familiar mix tape selections:
The Bats ('Sir Queen' from Daddy's Highway); The Verlaines (Death and the Maiden); The Chills (Part Past, Part fiction'); and The Dead C 'Scarey New' & 'Phantom Power').

A note to the Brit-centric pedant who as added an 'oo' in blue biro to every mention of the duo 'Yaz' in the copy I am reading - Yazoo were known as 'Yaz' in North America - having to change their name there due to legal wrangles with Yazoo Records - so you aren't correcting anything that is wrong (context is everything) - I suspect you'd probably Anglicise the World Trade Center to 'Centre', and you'd be wrong again.

Speaking as one pedant to another.
:- )

p
PurelyKaraSPL
Dec 31, 2014

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.

v
vholda225
Oct 05, 2014

I enjoyed this book...but there were times when I felt like I was reading two different books - I felt as though there were occasionally times when he would talk about music a lot more than Renee and even though I remember all of the music, I wanted to read more about their relationship.

k
kimshay
Apr 30, 2014

Who doesn't remember making and receiving mix tapes? If you can remember listening to the perfect song and falling in love, then I highly recommend this book.

JCLMELODYK May 14, 2013

Ah, he who hasn't received a mix tape from a lover has not lived! Sheffield lurches through the grief of losing his beloved, accompanied by his memories and his mix tapes.

e
EricaReynolds
Mar 03, 2013

Loved this book for everything--the music, the writing, the love, the time, and the too-familiar world of grief. Highly recommended.

rocknrollphilip Feb 21, 2012

As a music fanatic who, like the author, found himself widowed at a relatively early age, I found practically every page to be beautiful, harrowing, searing, reassuring, and self-validating. I most appreciated his referring to the age-old saying, "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger", as the lie that it is.

n
nutmeggish
Sep 28, 2011

This book was touching. Rob Sheffield is an elegant writer with an eye for detail. I liked the way the memoir was framed within the context of mix tapes that entered and shaped his life. It made the memoir seem more original and relatable. What really comes across in this book is his ability to use music as a touchstone, evoking sympathy from the reader. The ending could have been quicker, and there is a section towards the end that drags. Besides that, it is an interesting look at the relationship between music and life.

FearlessReader Apr 01, 2011

TDK v. Memorex. 60 minutes v. 90 minutes. I remembered the details of making mix tapes in the 80's and 90's. Songs that just wouldn't fit on the A side of a perfect songlist drove me nuts. Sheffield really brings back years of memories associated with my own mix tapes. The author's story belongs to so many of us whose mix tapes became the score of our lives.

r
redwallflower
Dec 20, 2010

Like most people who read this book, I too made boxes full of mix tapes in the 90's and it's true, there were mix tapes made for every occasion and named the most random of names.

This memoir was touching, funny, heartbreaking and real. Sheffield perfectly captures music's ability to affect our leaves. Relationships are built because of it, grow because of it and even fail because of it. Hearing a particular song can instantly transport you to another time and place, with memories good and bad.

I really liked this book and would recommend it to those friends of mine who appreciate music, have a lost-love for mix tapes, or who have ever lost someone who made their world a brighter place.

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EricaReynolds
Dec 23, 2013

"I now get scared of forgetting anything about Renee, even the tiniest detail, even the bands on this tape I can't stand--if she touched them, I want to hear her fingerprints. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, my heart pounding, trying to remember: What was Renee's shoe size? What color were her eyes? What was her birthday, her grandparents' first names, that Willie Nelson song we heard on the radio in Atlanta?...Nothing connects to the moment like music. I count on the music to bring me back--or, more precisely, to bring her forward."

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EricaReynolds
Dec 23, 2013

“I believe that when you're making a mix, you're making history. You ransack the vaults...zero in on that one moment that makes you want to jump and dance and smoke bats and bite the heads off drugs. And then you play that one moment over and over. A mix tape steals these moments from all over the musical cosmos, and splices them into a whole new groove."

e
EricaReynolds
Dec 23, 2013

"It was a painful night, but I got the message: Let the dancing girls dance. That's the one ironclad rule of pop muzik, whether in New York, London, Paris, or Munich, and I'm just lucky I learned it so early. I had always been taught to fear disco, and to fear the disco inside me. But by the second verse of 'Bad Girls,' it was obvious everything I knew was wrong. 'Toot toot, beep beep' was meaningful on a much deeper level than I could have fathomed."

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