You Spin Me Right Round Like a Record, Baby

If there had been a pageant for such things, I would���ve been the reigning Queen of Mix Tapes during my formative years. And yes, I mean tapes ��� as in old school cassettes ��� with one for every occasion. Sometimes it was a mix for the latest crush with a series of (not so) ���hidden��� messages, or a Spring Break mix because there���s nothing like the sweet, sweet memory of boozy hook-ups. And let’s not forget the best damn break-up mix ever, all of which should now be required to include Ryan Adams��� ���Come Pick Me Up��� (that boy is NOT messing around).

No matter what the occasion, key elements included song selection, order, and presentation. Maybe it was the crafty girl in me, but my covers were always handmade collages of words and images clipped from magazines and Modge-Podged together for durability. But I���m no dinosaur. As tapes became obsolete, I evolved with times, burning CDs and even turning toward digital resources for cover design and playlist printouts.

The latest trend? Swapping digital MP3 playlists. Look ��� I���ll iPod my little booty off with the best of them, but this just doesn���t cut it for me. I still like giving or getting something tangible that I can hold as well as listen to, and then decide if it���s worthy of importing into permanent status.

Verbatim Vinyl CD imageMy resistance might be futile, but for the time being I���m going to fight the good fight using Verbatim���s line of blank, burnable CDs made to look like vinyl records. These CDs have quickly become a personal staple, designed with little grooves on the top ��� just like the real thing. Each pack comes with a variety of label colors, making it pretty easy to fulfill that dream of having your very own gold record ��� or pink or green or purple. The CDs are available locally at Tower Records but you can also order them online from Verbatim���s website or Amazon.

And if you really want to complete the package, place that ���mix tape��� vinyl CD into a slipcase handmade from old album covers, compliments of the crafty dynamic duo Walter & Veronica. I first stumbled across their work at the Crafty Bastard Festival in September. For ten bucks, you���ll get a grab bag of five covers. My packet including pieces reconstructed from album covers for J. Geils Band, Men At Work, and Dolly Parton ��� the latter of which I���m saving for someone REALLY special.

If you can���t wait for next year���s Crafty Bastard Festival, no worries ��� Walter & Veronica creations will soon be available online.

In the meantime, I���ll be working on my latest mix: ���Dysfunctional Family Holiday 2005���. And trust me, this is one you won���t find on sale at Starbucks.