Today I saw a list on Buzzfeed that named the 25 Things Kids Today Will Never Have. Five of those items were music-related, and I immediately got all nostalgic for those things as well. I listed them after the jump, with additional commentary on why they were important to us. Find out what technology killed after the jump and wax nostalgic about the good old days–back when you actually had to wait after you pressed > or >.
1. Making a mix tape: Recording songs off the radio, DJ intro and all.
(My addendum: Why are mixtapes important? There's a direct relationship between the physicality of music and how it becomes personal to us. Tapes warped, slowed down, sped up and got eaten by cassette players. Those physical defects changed the way we heard a song, and made it a certain way just for the listener of that certain tape. That was the reason my tape of 10,000 Maniacs' In My Tribe, which I listened to to death, seemed slower than the actual CD that I upgraded to years later. The songs sounded different. The worn-out tape hiss was gone. So when I want to remember my 12-year-old self, I break out the tape and listen to “Like the Weather” on slow mo.
Mix tapes also involved knowing your music collection intimately: after all, you were spending more than 90 minutes finding the perfect song to go before and after certain moods, knowing which act had a one-minute and thirty second song to end a side with if you were running out of tape, or indulging in a 10-minute jam at the beginning of the next side.
Fine, you can still watch videos on TV via YouTube, but it's not the same without a VJ introducing them. Plus, look at how lame Beavis and Butthead is without actual music videos to diss. It's just not funny anymore.
3. Kazaa/Napster/Morpheus/Limewire–So many mislabeled songs, so many 5 hour downloads.
Sure, with torrents you can still illegally download music, but who wants to risk getting caught for doing that these days?
Plus, if you know musicians, you know how devastating it is to not buy their music, so … hold on to that iTunes gift certificate, and delete your xTorrent!
4. The Walkman-Or any other music listening device that didn't hold every song you have.
5. Fixing a cassette tape with a pencil-The most fun you can have with a pencil, right?