Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Greatest Mixtape Ever Made

By Josh Lamkin
My senior year of high school Melissa Metts gave me the best mixtape I had, and still have, ever heard. I was in love with Melissa Metts all year long and I never told her. She still doesn't know. We were in the same AP Calculus class, and she sat two rows over from me. The person who sat between us was my friend Kevin.

I mean I guess Kevin was my friend. We both played on the varsity soccer team and always cracked each other up in Calculus by doing impressions of our teacher, Dr. Krueger, and I helped Kevin study for the AP Exam (I don't think he passed). But Kevin and I weren't like "real" friends. We didn't hang out much outside of school, or call each other, or tell each other we were in love with Melissa Metts. So Kevin's sitting there was definitely an inconvenience for me.

Melissa was about 5'3" with brown, sort of wavy, short-ish hair. She was undeniably "cute," which I don't think was necessarily something you tried to cultivate if you hung out with the people she hung out with. She was a total smart-ass and had the best smile ever. Something happened over the summer before my senior year and that whole Grunge/Seattle-Glorification thing started happening. It seemed like when we got back to school half the girls had gone out and bought striped knee-socks and mini-skirts and dyed their hair so it was darker--and less innocent-looking maybe. Melissa hung with that group of people. They all tried to act hardcore and hardly any of them really were.

Melissa's best friend was Lindsay. Lindsay really was hardcore. She had black hair, wore big "I will totally fuck you up" boots and ripped jeans, drew fake tattoos on her arms with ballpoint pens, had a pierced nose, and made her own t-shirts by taking white undershirts and a Sharpie marker and writing something on the front like "think for yr self." Lindsay did not approve of my soccer-playing, cornfed whiteboy ass. She sat behind Melissa, which was also hugely inconvenient for me.

Somehow during the school year Melissa and I started passing notes across the room. We inevitably got on the subject of music, which led her to realize I didn't know any of the bands she liked. She offered to make me a mixtape. Having this girl that I was obsessed with make me a mixtape was obviously a huge coup and a great sign, and if I'd had any skills or any clue about how to act with girls I would've immediately made her my little grunge lovergirl. But no. All I got was a mixtape. But it was, as I have said, the best mixtape I've ever heard.

I'm going to list the songs and let that be the end of this blog (by the way, it might be obvioius, but I still have this mixtape after all this time). The songs are great, and this tape was how I got interested to a bunch of great bands (most prominently The Pixies, which changed my life...seriously) that were totally different than anything I listened to at time, but the best thing about the tape was that in between every other song or so Melissa had recorded herself talking and making little jokes and being just about as cute as a person can stand to listen to. I know, I it seems obvious how into me she was, but if you can believe it, I had absolutely no clue then. You can slap me the next time we meet.

Here Comes Your Man - Pixies
Broken Face - Pixies
Time For Livin' - Beastie Boys
Allison's Starting To Happen - Lemonheads
I'm Waiting For The Man - Velvet Underground
Head On - Pixies
Suggestion - Fugazi
Jane Says (Live in Japan) - Jane's Addiction
Sunday Morning - Velvet Underground

Lightening - Ultra Vivid Scene
Caribou - Pixies
I Been Tired - Pixies
Dollar Bill - Screaming Trees
We Are Each Other - Beautiful South
Bone Machine - Pixies
Waiting Room - Fugazi
Sweet Misery Blues - Violent Femmes
Black Girls - Violent Femmes


Blogger Sophie T. Mishap said...

Every mixtape I ever made was for a guy I liked. That's the rule, not the exception.

This girl practically gave you a roadmap to her heart! Seriously. She even emphasised which bands would get you extra points by including them more than once.

There's always your 10 year. ;)

12:34 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger d-mac said...

As Lamkini probably already knows, I'm usually a stickler about mixtapes not including more than one track from any particular artist, but despite this minor infraction I have to admit this is a pretty solid mix. I didn't even go to this school or grow up in the same town as Lamkini, but now I think I'm in love with Melissa Metts.

Excellent post man... and I'm so slapping you next time I see you.

12:47 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Lamkini said...

Sigh...I already feel bad about it, thanks.

Maybe I'll see her again one day when I'm a big rockstar and I'll make her a mixtape and she'll be all, "I've been waiting for this since senior year." And then we'll make little rockstar/former-grungegirl babies.

Or maybe this blog will be the end of it.

1:09 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger newwavegurly said...

Okay, so as much as I LOVE the fact that she made you this mixtape (though I tend to agree with d-mac on the "no repeat artist" rule, unless you're making a "twofer" tape or something), reading this made me feel a little old.

10:49 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger alannajoy said...

D- She must have been SOOOO into you if she 1. made you this mix tape and 2. made it a point to record her own voice in between songs!!


Pretty sweet you still have it, I love going back over old cassettes like that and reliving those sweet high school days...


6:33 AM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger d-mac said...

Although I wish I had written this post, Alanna, I must give credit to the Lamkini on this one. Reading this made me want to dig through my old mixtapes though. I wonder if even still play.

Good to have you back in the Blogosphere!

7:34 AM, April 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I randomly find this site and now at 31, I still remember the mixtape I made for you. It has been a long time. Too long. I am still the brown headed girl, only older and wiser, from calculus class back in '93. Currently, I am listening to Jawbreaker and really hoping that we can re-connect. Hope this post doesn't shock you!

7:21 PM, April 30, 2006  
Blogger Lamkini said...

Holy. Shit.

9:44 PM, April 30, 2006  
Blogger newwavegurly said...

Okay Lamkini, so was that really her that posted?

8:40 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Lamkini said...

I would NEVER do something as cheesy and dishonest as making up this whole thing. Things are unfolding. I will be posting a follow-up blog Monday-ish.

9:27 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger header5 said...

I've been waiting for the updated blog on this. What happened?

8:48 PM, May 17, 2006  
Blogger Lamkini said...

Well, I'll just do the update here. At first, when I thought I was anonymous I was fine doing the whole voyeuristic honesty thing, but now it feels weird.

Yes, that was the real girl. We talked a bunch and caught up with each other, even saw each other, and it was nice. What are the chances, right?

Sorry I don't have more for you than that. Read between the lines. If I were posting pictures of us in rapturous embrace, that would mean somehting. I think it's a pretty great story either way.

7:43 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger header5 said...

That is unreal! What are the odds? I can't imagine anyone I used to know finding my blog, or even for that matter wanting to. I am glad it wasn't a hoax, that would have been very uncool. Glad you were able to catch up.

12:13 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger mykr said...

HOLY CRAP...I used to write her and we exchanged mix tapes back in the day!!! I lived in Ann Arbor MI @ the time and then I moved to Chicago after school.

I've been cleaning up all my stuff in my parents' basement and came across all the letters/pics she she sent me. I googled her name and this blog came up.

Too funny...

2:51 AM, November 04, 2007  

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