#900: Integrity Mix Again

[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!












  1. I used to make mix CDs almost religiously, but it got to a point where the amount of music I was discovering far outstripped my ability to make and (crucially) spend time properly absorbing mix CDs. So I kind of stopped.

    But I too have been going back over mine, in a bit more depth mind you. Today’s post even covered one of them. Holy coincidence Batman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike, Harrison and I were talking of possibly meeting at a Canadian Airport in a few years as you pick us up to go to Sausagefest. I’d just like to call the passenger’s seat here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you sent me some of these Integrity Mixes – I love your mixes! Mix Brothers! You’re right, these are great. I still make CD mixes, of course, for the car. Quite a bit more music in the collection now than there used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey, I just realized that you were the Aaron in Mike & Aaron Do Taranna, so I watched the video and have to say, you look several years younger without the beard. Also you look great bald. Not every guy can pull it off, but you do so with finesse.


        2. Yup that’s me, and thank you! I am blessed with male pattern baldness and had no hope of keeping the hair, so I shaved it off first year university and it’s been that way ever since. Glad to hear I look younger without the bead too – I got rid of it because my lovely wife didn’t like the scratchy, so that was a quick end to that! Cheers!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. These are cool – making artwork was a favourite part of making mix tapes and CDs. I used to do something similar- regular mixes based on what I was listening to. But I don’t have any of the CDs anymore. I remember discovering a bunch and putting them and discarding the covers and cases… put them in one of those spindles… then discarding the CDs years later as I never played any of them. Maybe keeping them in the covers would have encouraged me to throw one on every now and again. Maybe.


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