1988? You?

I moved recently, and this past weekend started unpacking my music. A friend came over in the middle of the mess-making and demanded "Everyday Is Like Sunday." Which, he somehow knew, I would only have on tape. I started tearing apart boxes, desperate to find Viva Hate, but instead unearthed my semi-precious collection of mix tapes. Each one with it's own clever collage cover (typically cut out from Interview, Sassy, and flyers for all-ages shows); serial killer-like titles made up of cut-out letters; and personal messages I can no longer remember the meaning of.

The oldest I could find is from 1988 (and, as luck would have it, features the Morrissey song in the middle of side B). The blurry blue-and-white snow-like pattern on the front and the brown cardboard-colored inside are distinctly reminiscent of a late-eighties Esprit ad. The tape itself says (in pencil; when was the last time you used a pencil?) "Jo's Tape (pretty mellow stuff) 11/88." The real coup would be to find those old mixes I made by holding my tape recorder next to the radio, which date, much, much earlier, as do the fake radio shows my brother and I would record, one of which bore the following call letters and tagline: "WJYJ, WJYJ, the station that repeats itself."

For now, I give you selections from this mix that are actually from 1988 (except the Abba cover "Hey, Hey Helen," but I couldn't help it). In my bedroom in Framingham, Massachusetts, it was the year REM signed to Warner, regular kids started knowing who Siouxsie was, Mike Boddicker joined the Red Sox (minor interest in baseball, major crush on him), Surfer Rosa came out, and my big brother left me alone with my parents by going off to college. Though on the day I made this mix, I was probably much more focused on the person for whom it was intended. Sadly, it's clear that I never gave it to him.