Thursday, September 07, 2006

‘Hitler Will Be Home For Christmas’ A mix tape by Chip Kinney

Now don’t get any wrong ideas about the title of today’s blog. The cover of the today’s musical selection features a painting of Nazis standing around watching the flight test of a Nazi UFO. And the back cover features a hand drawn picture of Adolph Hitler with a big alien type of head. That’s how Chip rolls, baby… He’s as strange as me.

The mix tape consists of songs from Offspring, Bob Dylan, Blue Oyster Cult, Soul Asylum, Donald Fagen, Pat Metheny Group, Phish, Eagles, Meat Puppets, and Frank Zappa.

Chip and I once worked together at EMD Distribution. They were a distribution center for Capitol Records and all the other labels under their umbrella. The music flowed like water out of that place. Some days we would ship out close to quarter of a million units consisting of tapes (we called them 4-tracks), CD’s, VHS titles, and a little bit of vinyl.

Although many of the folks that we worked with couldn’t care less about music, Chip and I took the good with the bad and enjoyed our fair share of free music. And on the last Friday of every month, we would exchange mix tapes that we had made for each other. I always looked forward to the next twisted musical journey that came into my possession on those days.

Sure, Chip and I shared a lot of the same tastes, but we still found things to turn each other onto. He turned me onto Robin Trower and pointed out to me the good things about “jam” bands like the Dead and Phish. He managed to show me that Rush has their moments because I was never all that fond of them. And although I had an appreciation of Blue Oyster Cult’s music, Chip would put the dark little gems on his tapes that made me hungry for more.

I’m hoping that a little KISS rubbed off on him. I remember him telling me about the first time that he saw KISS. He was at a show where KISS was one of the opening bands and he said to himself, “Who are these Yankees here to take our money?”

I sincerely miss making the mix tapes. Sure, I can make compilations on CD, but it just isn’t the same. With a tape and my Radio Shack 5 channel mixer, I would make seamless tapes where the music never stopped unless there was a funny drop from a movie or television show in between songs. I took great care in getting the flow right and if it didn’t work for me, then I would start the whole side over. I felt like a sonic farmer cultivating the musical landscape with great care in order to provide something worthy of repeated listening.

Oh well… I guess you can’t go back in this digital age that we live in. It just isn’t the same sitting in front of a computer loading, unloading CD’s, and burning a mix CD. Besides, I miss the putting on the personal touch with those selected drops from films and TV. I suppose that I could utilize today’s technology for making a seamless mix CD, but it just seems so sterile and unappealing.

I would make mix tapes to relax on the weekends and nowadays, I’m always working and I never seem to have the time to set aside for such a project. Some guys would go fishing… I would grab a 12-pack of beer and spend a Saturday afternoon in my darkened home making a mix tape. I miss those days even though my ex-fiancée’ never understood why I did it and berated me for it. Funny… I don’t miss her.

I finally sat down and watched The Sentinel starring Michael Douglas, Keifer Sutherland, Kim Basinger, and David Rasche. It was just kind of funny seeing Rasche playing the part of President Ballentine. In my mind, he will always be Sledge Hammer, a great show that failed to find it’s audience back in the 80’s.

The Sentinel moves fast right out of the box and it doesn’t let up. It’s a great thriller about a Secret Service agent (Douglas) being framed in the plot to kill the President. It’s kind of like The Fugitive meets In The Line Of Duty. There’s nothing new offered up in the film, but it sure is fun. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Netflix.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t looking all that forward to seeing it. The previews had me wondering what the hell it was about, so I took my sweet time getting to it. I was wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And here once again is the call out for Netflix buddies… Feel free to add me on.

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