Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mixtape: Spring 2004

By Debbie Chou

I made a mix during my senior year at University of Hartford. This was before podcasts were around and iPods were still chunky. It was just my discman and me, roaming the campus everyday, with the CD of this mix on repeat and sometimes on shuffle. This was during my final semester so I had a lot on my mind—completing works for my composition recital, competing in the regional semi-finals with my a cappella group, asking myself if there is a future with this guy I was seeing, wondering what the fuck I was going to do after I graduate. Those were bittersweet times but it was my best semester.

I graduated, then I had to pack everything and take down the photos from my wall one last time. I had that room all to myself for the entire school year. Boy, if those walls could talk… Anyway, my family helped me pack. They knew I could be slow and inefficient sometimes so they were being a little pushy. The truth was I was dragging my feet because I was too sad. Our family friend drove up from Queens in his van and took my parents and myself to his house where my boxes and suitcases would be stored for the entire summer. I would then spend the next two months in Taipei before I returned to New York for my summer job. After that, Lori and I would go apartment hunting while we submitted our resumes to whoever was hiring. That was all I knew: the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Ah, the unknown.

As we drove away from my dorm, I put my headphones on and listened to my mix once again. The opening track that gave me confidence and energy every morning now made me feel anxious and…well…FUCKING NOSTALGIC. Wow, four years go by so fast. I had great times there. Senior year rocked. Where am I going to live in New York City? What jobs can I get? What funds do I have? When am I going to see my boyfriend again? What can I do with my music? And so on. If only I could go back in time and tell myself that everything will be OK, but I think deep down I knew that already.

This is the exact order of the mix with fewer gaps. None of these songs were popular hits in 2004, so this is nostalgia within nostalgia. Yes, there are two U2 tracks. Yes, there are three songs by The Cure. Welcome to my life in West Hartford, Connecticut. I hope you enjoy this mix as much as I enjoyed my spring of 2004.

Track listing:


Temptation—New Order

I Melt With You—Modern English

Just Like Heaven—The Cure

Birthday Cake—Cibo Matto

No. One—Ms. John Soda


Lovesong—The Cure

Under Pressure—Queen & David Bowie

Friday I’m In Love—The Cure

A Little Respect—Erasure

Love Will Tear Us Apart—Joy Division

John Cage Bubblegum—Stereolab

Born Slippy—Underworld

Pride (In The Name of Love)—U2

Lullaby—The Cure

There There—Radiohead

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