December 31, 1988

The Train Trip Mix

This is the earliest mix tape I made still in existence. I made this tape to listen to on a school trip by Amtrak from Boston to New York, circa 1988.

While I still like all the songs on this tape, I would never put these songs together on a mix today. Some of the segues are terrible. Also, some of the classic rockers are SO overplayed now ("Rock and Roll", "Start Me Up"), they simply are burnt out!

The tape does tell a chapter of my history: Some of these songs are from CDs (Traveling Wilburys, The Beatles, Tracy Chapman), but some are on 45s (Adam Ant, The Beastie Boys). I was getting to know and love classic rock standards, but I was also trying out new music (Beastie Boys, R.E.M., Tracy Chapman). I was collecting remixes on 12-inch singles (Peter Gabriel, Simply Red), and I had already raided Mom and Dad's LPs (Harry Belafonte).

Side A

  1. "Day-O" Harry Belafonte live at Carnegie Hall
  2. "Don't Bring Me Down" Electric Light Orchestra
  3. "Rattled" Traveling Wilburys
  4. "Start Me Up" The Rolling Stones
  5. "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
  6. "Sunshine Of Your Love" Cream
  7. "I'm Not Your Man" Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers
  8. "Rock & Roll" Led Zeppelin
  9. "Gimme All Your Lovin" ZZ Top
  10. "Face the Face" Pete Townshend
  11. "Goody Two Shoes" Adam Ant
  12. "Paul Revere" The Beastie Boys
  13. "The Way You Make Me Feel" Michael Jackson (end of song cut off)
Side B
  1. "In Your Eyes [remix]" Peter Gabriel
  2. "What I Like About You" The Romantics
  3. "Superman" R.E.M.
  4. "The Right Thing [remix]" Simply Red
  5. "Desire" U2
  6. "Money (That's What I Want)" The Beatles
  7. "Sympathy For The Devil" The Rolling Stones
  8. "Talkin' About A Revolution" Tracy Chapman
  9. "Is This Love" Mr. Mister
  10. "If You Love Somebody (Set Them Free)" Sting
  11. "Like A Rolling Stone" Bob Dylan
(90 Minute Sony Cassette tape)

December 15, 1988

Scrooged

In most of Bill Murray's movies, you get the sense that he doesn't like other people very much. Whether he's suffering from an inferiority complex or just plain impatient with stupidity, it's always there, bubbling under the surface (this rule does not apply to Caddyshack, obviously.) Murray puts his dyspeptic and bitter persona to its best use as Frank Cross, a autocratic network TV executive in Scrooged, one of hundreds of Christmas Carol remakes.
Murray and the screenplay make us believe that Cross still has a heart under all that bitter shellac, and we can understand how his ambition caused him to toss aside true love with Claire (Karen Allen) to go for the brass ring. Years of loneliness in his executive suite have made him bitter, betrayed by the hollow victory in the business of television, the hollowest profession of all.
The Standards & Practices lady has a problem with the Solid Gold Dancers' low-cut costumes...
Lady: You can see her nipples.
Frank Cross: I want to see her nipples.
Lady: But this is a Christmas show.
Frank: Well, I'm sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples.
Stagehand: You can barely see them nipples.
Frank Cross: See? And these guys are REALLY looking.
I really enjoy this movie every Christmas. The television theme is out of fashion in the 21st century, and the three ghostly visits make the movie inherently episodic, but it's chock full of fun and heart. The final set piece, Frank's heart-exposing monologue on live TV, gets me in the heartstrings every time.
What distinguishes my memory of seeing this movie as a "in the theater" memory is watching Bill Murray's character talk to the audience during the credits. The lights had come up and half the crowd was gone at that point.

U2: Rattle and Hum

Great to see U2 on the big screen.