[Integrity Mix] was an idea that came from Kevin. For a while there, he was making a new mix CD every month, made up of the best stuff he was listening to in the last 30 days or so. The idea was, you’d have a neat chronicle of your most impactful listening experiences. And a good mix CD in general. — From Record Store Tales Part 46: Integrity Mix
RECORD STORE TALES #900: Integrity Mix Again
In the years before beginning to publish my writings, I poured my musical creative energy into making mix CDs. I spent hours on them. I tested them in the car before giving them them “OK”. I called them “Integrity Mix”, after one of Tom’s favourite words. Integrity. Music with integrity, people with integrity…that was Tom’s word. The concept of the CD originated with Kevin, one of the guys I worked with at the very end of the Record Store. Kevin and I had a falling out over the way I portrayed the store, but he deserves credit for many things, including these mix CDs.
The idea was simple. Make a new mix CD every month (or so), made up on songs you were into during that period.
It was a great concept and one which I latched onto with gusto. I made many, and some months ended up getting double CDs because there was just too much music that needed to be remembered. Each one had a cover, though some were just simple track listings, some were more elaborate.
It’s fun to put things away and not look at them for a long time. That’s what happened with these discs. When I switched gears to writing on a daily basis, I wanted to listen to full albums. Mix CDs started to collect dust. I hadn’t looked at my Integrity Mixes for about five years, but noticed them in a corner and thought it might be fun to have a look.
What I discovered was, without even having to play a single track, I could see by much of the artwork just what I was into at that given time. Here are all the covers I made with some kind of art:
February 2008: Arrested Development
September-October 2008: “Bird is the Word” via Family Guy
December 2008-January 2009: Kenny Vs. Spenny
February-March 2009: Battlestar Galactica
January 2010: UFOs
February 2010: Dedicated to my buddy Chris Thuss who had just left work
June 2011: Super Troopers
May 2008: Transformers
The music often reflected the shows I was into. “All Along the Watchtower” is a key track on the Battlestar Galactica disc. You can find tracks from movie soundtracks.
Kevin was right about doing that. Looking back at these discs, the tracklists, and dates, I can clearly remember events from my life. I don’t have to guess when it was — the discs are all dated. Brilliant idea Kevin. I feel bad that we fell out, and I’m sorry that I ever hurt him. I hope he would have enjoyed that his idea had legs and I kept going with it long after we worked together. Credit where credit is due!