To celebrate two days until tech, here’s a classic “growing up” song from Ben Folds. The bittersweet tone of the song juxtaposed with the happy “home video”-esque shots perfectly capture the tone of EDITH, I think.
Though modern technology has all but done away with the cassette tape, making a mixtape for your crush remains a serious endeavour. The maker must put his or her heart on the line and, even though one is couching his feelings in song, there’s still a level of vulnerability inherent in the act. What if your crush has different music taste then you? How many love songs are too many? And what about tone? Upbeat and funky? Sweet and romantic? Punk rock or bubblegum pop?
For Benji, making a mixtape for Kenny is meant to be a gesture comparable to Kenny sharing the story about his mother’s death and why he must lie about it to his sister. We think Benji probably spent a whole afternoon rocking out to George Michael and creating a mixtape for Kenny. But never fear, audiophiles and philia-philes! If you don’t have the time or 8-track technology to make a cassette mixtape, this article from Complex.com will walk you through “How to Make the Perfect Mixtape in the Digital Age” in ten easy steps.
For those of us who grew up in the cassette era, “mixtape” isn’t just a backronym; we can actually remember listening to music that was encoded on a spool of tape inside a plastic case. And all the tactile sensations, hissing analog sound textures, and technological limitations that went along with it stay with us—even as we drag-and-drop song titles into a playlist. But it’s been a long time since the music industry lost the “home taping is killing music” battle, and recordable media readily available to the public has exploded in the decades since then.
Keeping these pointers in mind, what does your mixtape sound like?
And while Benji doesn’t actually show Kenny his George Michael impression, if you’re really brave, you can always take a cue from the John Hughes’ guide to impressing your love and act out your mixtape. (We’ll forgive him the wrong decade because you can never go wrong with a little Otis Redding.)
Benji has us thinking about mixtapes this week and what might be on a list of songs about “not knowing how somebody feels.” Here’s some inspiration from Assistant Director Josh, featuring more classic George Michael and living legend Aretha Franklin:
What other songs might be on Benji’s mixtape? Stay tuned for more ’90s-inspired playlists!
…Faith, that is!
In the play, Benji has an amazing scene where he rocks out to “Faith” while writing a mash-note to his crush, Kenny.
Children of the late 1980s and early 90s remember — keenly, viscerally — the video and album cover for George Michael’s landmark hit and 1989 Album of the Year. George Michael wasn’t just totally boss, he was sexy as hell, and while his videos were full of supermodels, it was unspoken but generally suspected that he was gay (this was confirmed in 1989 with a public arrest for lewd behavior).
The hips, the moves, the tight jeans, the popped collar, the curled lip: he had it all. For everyone.
Of course, all this was long after he went by his birth name, Yorgos Panayiotou, and was an awkward teenager, just like Kenny, Benji, and Edith.