This afternoon while driving around Seattle, I found myself listening to a tape of Mash It Up '93, a compilation of gems from the Boston ska scene of the early 1990s. It is a bit of a change-up from the other tape that I have been listening to lately, Devil's Night Out by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I hadn't listened to either of these tapes in a long time, but they took me back to my high school days when I would spend my weekends going to all-ages punk and ska shows around the Hub. In fact, my first ever all-ages show was The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at The Rat in September 1991 with my old chum Martin Dimino.
While the music is really what brings me back to those days, the delivery device has a lot to do with it as well. I bought the Mash It Up '93 tape at The Kids Will Have Their Say record store in Harvard Square when I was an intern at TAANG! Records that summer. It still ranks up there as one of the coolest jobs I have ever had (I got paid in TAANG! records, t-shirts and a store discount). This tape has traveled with me through the years and allowed me to savor the sounds of bands like The Allstonians as I traveled the streets of Seattle 15 summers later. I could easily find a copy of it on CD and the music would still put a smile on my face but it wouldn't be the same as listening to that tape. The tape is an artifact from my life with an awesome story and an incredible amount of sentimental value. I wonder what artifacts will remind me of the summer of 2008 in 2023. Here's to finding out!