Stef (firecat) wrote,

Nostalgia & the Rewards of Decluttering

A while back I began digitizing old cassette tapes. Among them are five favorites tapes I recorded in the early 80s when I was working at my college's radio station (WESU 88.1 FM in Middletown, CT). I recorded one tape each semester I worked there. My radio show included a fair amount of alternative music from independent record companies so there was a lot of obscure stuff on the tapes.

I kept all my notes about my work at the radio station, including lists of what was on the tapes, in a spiral-bound notebook. So when I began digitizing these tapes, I went looking for the notebook. A couple of years earlier, I had looked through and reorganized all my old papers. I thought the notebook was with everything else.

It wasn't. I tore through all my papers several times and didn't find it.

So my iTunes playlists of these cassette tapes are woefully inadequate - in a number of cases neither I nor Google could figure out the name of the song and/or artist.

Tonight I was in the living room acting as a cat pillow and looking at the bookshelves, pondering whether any decluttering could be done. Decluttering is strangely difficult for me. I don't actually feel a lot of attachment to possessions, as in, I usually don't feel terribly upset if I lose or accidentally destroy something. But when I look at a specific item wondering whether I should get rid of it or not, I often come up with a lot of excuses why I should keep it. I guess I kind of feel sorry for it. (This doesn't extend to old pizza boxes and so forth, fortunately.)

But in my mode of contemplation I felt freed of some of that, and I decided that I might start decluttering my outmoded collection of psychology books on the second-to-top shelf. When the cat decided to hang out elsewhere, I went over there and picked out about five books to get rid of. There were several other books I figured I wasn't too likely to consult again, but some of them were Yale Press books, and I tend to save all my Yale Press books because I used to work there. And the rest were Martin Seligman books, and since I have something of a collection of his stuff, I didn't want to get rid of any of those either. Then next to the psychology was the Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, but even though I thought I was unlikely to consult many of them again, I knew I had enjoyed reading them and wanted to keep all of them.

So much for that shelf. I moved up to the next shelf, which began with music. I was tempted to skip over all the music books on principle, but I went ahead and started looking through them.

And I found my WESU folder!

The playlists
(Some of the songs degraded too much to be digitized.)

Tape I, Spring 1981 (sophomore year)
Side 1
Going Underground, The Jam
London Calling, Clash
Monday, The Jam
Lost Number, The Fools
G-O-O-D-B-Y-E, Jags
Follow Your Heart, Kingbees
Bad Reputation, Joan Jett
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Ian Dury
Ant Music, Adam & the Ants
Digital Stimulation, The Units
Nurds, The Roches
What Does Sex Mean to Me?, Human Sexual Response
Teenage Kicks, The Undertones
Police on My Back, Clash
Sodium Pentathol Negative, [unknown artist]

Side 2
Time Drags So Slow, Tourists
Walking on Thin Ice, Yoko Ono
Complicated Game, XTC
Roxanne, Police
Fear of Failure, October Days
Lips, Wazmo Nariz
Don't Give Yourself Away, October Days
Holiday in Cambodia, Dead Kennedys
Call Me, Ring
Ants Invation, Adam & The Ants
You Say You Don't Love Me, Buzzcocks
I Only Wanna Be With You, Tourists

Tape II, Winter 82 (junior year)
Side 1
Radio Clash, Clash
Into You Like a Train, Psychedelic Furs
Your Academy, Mission of Burma
12345678910, Human Sexual Response
Slow Down the World, Earthling
Planet Earth, Duran Duran
I Have No Shoes, Shox Lumania
Into the Light, Siouxsie & the Banshees
Charlotte Sometimes, The Cure
Land of the Glass Pinecones, Human Sexual Response
Two Soldiers, David Byrne

Side 2
Poppa's Got a Brand New Pigbag, Pigbag
Chihuahua, Bow Wow Wow
Fashion, David Bowie
Eggs in a Briar Patch, David Byrne
Tainted Love, Soft Cell
Public Alley 909, Human Sexual Response
Ring of Fire, Wall of Voodoo
O Superman, Laurie Anderson
Cloud Chamber, David Byrne
Rebel Waltz, Clash
All About You, Scars

Tape III, Spring 82
Side 1
Right To Know, D-Day
Transglobal Express, Jam
Senses Working Overtime, XTC
Useless Information, Chris & Cosey
Adventures in Plastic TV Land, Pope Paul Pot
Walk the Dog, Laurie Anderson
We Are All Animals, Diagram Brothers
Mechanical Beat, Puppies
Thru the Fence, A Blind Dog Stares
Ceremony, New Order

Side 2
Tell Me Why, Metro
Don't You Want Me (ext. mix), Human League
Cat People (theme), David Bowie
Indian Ocean Voyage 2, Port Said
St. Elmo's Fire, Brian Eno
The Crickets in the Flats, David Thomse & The Pedestrians
Goosebumps, Debra DeJean
Lust to Love, GoGos
Charlie Don't Surf, Clash
This Is Style, Get Smart!
Catwalk, Fingerprintz

Tape IV, Winter 83
Should I Stay or Should I Go, Clash
Stray Cat Strut, Stray Cats
Pop Cliché, Neats
Pipeline, Agent Orange
Alternative Ulster, Stiff Little Fingers
Shallow Water, Flesheaters
All the Young Punks, Clash
We're Desperate, X
Town Called Malice, Jam
White Wedding, Billy Idol
No Thugs in Our House, XTC
He's So Strange, GoGos
Dancing With Tears in My Eyes, X

Side 2
Sex Bomb, Flipper
California Uber Alles, Dead Kennedys
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now, Dead Kennedys
Video Is Not Art, Cold Dogs in the Courtyard
Emotional Blank, Amoebas in Chaos
There's Nothing on This Side, Wall of Voodoo
Sexthink One, Shriekback
City Up!, Egoslavia
Try Jah Love, Third World
Love My Way, Psychedelic Furs

Tape V, Spring 83
Side 1
I Ran, A Flock of Seagulls
The Look of Love, ABC
The Message, Grandmaster Flash
Da Da Da, Trio
The Roof, Vortex
The Gun, Lou Reed
Stop the Music for a Minute, Quentin Crisp
Eat or Be Eaten, Iggy Pop
Garageland, Boffo
Fuck the System, XS
I Don't Care About You, Fear
Ha Ha Ha, Flipper
Repetition, The Fall
Totally Wired, The Fall

Side 2
Time to Get Up, Les Microwaves
That's When I Reach for My Revolver, Mission of Burma
Weather Box, Mission of Burma
The Voice of America
The Damage Is Done, Cabaret Voltaire
Baby O Baby, Martin Rev
Black Box Disco, Vortex
Stationary Dance, Savant
Broken English, Marianne Faithfull
Rise Sam and Rimsky Karsakov, John Cage
All About You, Thomas Leer

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