Favorite Solo Mix
“Unshaven Cranberry Mud Balls” is still the best solo tape I’ve done. Again, it was a vibe and flow thing. I was in a new area, had a new job and was just becoming part of a tradition that I didn’t know was coming, nor did I know how long it would last. I stepped into a musical river ride whose current is flowing stronger than ever today.
Worst Solo Mix
“Work For Worm” has plenty of good tunes, but it just doesn’t have the flow … probably because of the session feeling rushed.
Favorite Combo Mix
I have to go with “Today” as my favorite combo tape. Coming from Dan’s favorite taping session, fall 2001, I really like the flow of the tunes we were into that day and I really believe the emotion of the moment was captured with music. I’ve been regularly digging a lot of the more recent tapes, and have been rediscovering how much the older ones also rock, but “Today” is the topper. Before I just finished listening to it, I was going to vote “Wheat-En” as the worst (if for no other reason because the beginning of side A is slightly defective), but now I’m thinking it’s the runner-up for most fave.
Worst Combo Mix
Picking this one is much more difficult than I thought it would be. There were a few I thought would be easy candidates and I re-listened to them first and all turned out better than I expected from the memory of doing it. Part of that might have to do with the natural inclination I have for the newer tapes, and that I made some killer tapes on my own during some of those years. Sometimes when the taping is happening I feel like Dan and I are just trying to kill each other's heads and maybe the flow suffers a little, but it’s all been working because it’s real on-the-spot choice, not commercially concoctive expectation. That said, some of the tapes have content that potentially limits where and who you can play it for, so in that respect “Students Vibe Vibe Help Help Exchange” is one such title.
Ironically, I think my favorite session was the second fall 2002 session (when we blew the amp). To use a pun, we were amped! and rocking, and made some of our best tapes. I really felt like we were totally into the music that day and in a weird sort of way, the amp blowing was poetic justice to stop us before we blew the whole south wing of the house down!
Honorable mention to the first CD Burning Session Spring 2003, the Hudson Mega Marathon and the Marlboro session (Marlboro was a little rough technically, but it had a good vibe and I really like "Burnt Offerings").
Hmmm ... probably the summer in Arlington. It was kind of rushed and it's one I don't really have a good memory of, so i'll call it the worst. I don't have great memories of some of the early Westford Street sessions either, but they were new and pioneering, so I would not vote them the worst.