You are on page 1of 9

Through the use of mixtapes, Fahnstock was able to use music to describe and reminisce

about different points in his life. Each mixtape had a completely different sound, which allows
the listener to get into Fahnstocks mindset at the time, almost allowing them to feel the same
emotions that he felt while listening to the music. However, through friends and a variety of
other resources, Fahnstock was able to find and expand his library of music easily. Through the
use of mixtapes he compiled, Fahnstock has helped continue what mixtapes helped do for the
music industry.
Mixtapes allowed people to spread music in a much simpler way. People would be able to
get a variety of songs put together by their friends, family and people they met on the street. In
addition, they would share these mixtapes with other to allow others to listen to the music that
they discovered. There was an increase of the spread of music, which brought people together to
create a community. However, it was also a way to help people realize which artists and songs
they should listen to instead of buying and guessing if a record was worth listening to countless
From the diffusion of mixtapes that were traded between people, music began to develop.
More and more underground artists began to gain a following, which helped them rise to
popularity. Due to this, new music styles began to emerge and gain popularity faster than the
artists that came before them.
Since technology is always improving and the use of digital music is increasingly
popular, websites and software is being released to obtain the same effect that mixtapes had in
the past thirty years. A good example of this is the website, where users can create
playlists focusing on any theme that anyone can access based on genre, artists, and other key
words that can be typed into the search engine. is able to help diffuse music in a
similar way that mixtapes did, however, it embraces the new technology and the fact that digital
music is the main focus of today. Spotify also allows users to create playlists and share with
others, creating the same effect of and the original mixtapes. However there are also
other programs such as Pandora, that allow users to type in the genre, artist, or song that they
want to listen to and then gives other songs and artists that are similar that Pandora believes the
person listening will enjoy. This creates the same diffusion and dissemination effect that
mixtapes had, just in the form of an internet radio station.
Because of the many mixtapes Fahnstock created, I was able to see a glimpse into the
way he viewed his life. From the music choices that were discussed in the short story, I was able
to conclude that as Fahnstock grew up his taste moved more towards the uprising underground
genres that were becoming more and more popular. This shows adventurous and a bit of
rebellious characteristics of Fahnstock. It portrays how his parents divorce influenced him from
a young age to start listening to Progressive Rock bands like Pink Floyd to Blues-Based British
Rock bands such as Led Zeppelin. Having bands such as these be the basis of his exploration into
music allowed Fahnstock to be more adventurous and begin listening to things that were not
exactly mainstream. In addition, this shows a bit of Fahnstocks rebellious side as he
continuously expands what he listens to.
However, there were some artists mentioned that were out of place from the context they
were put in. The first being Sir Elton John and how the sounds of his music were compared to
that of drug bands such as Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and the Moody Blues. The comparison
between the two makes an unexpected comparison because the sounds Elton Johns arena rock
and that of the drug bands is similar in such small quantities. Another artist mentioned that was
different from the others that were mentioned in context of Fahnstocks life is the Velvet
Underground being paired with Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Although each of these artists
were influential in their own ways, the sounds of each were easy to differentiate. This allowed
me to wonder why Moody decided to pair the three together to explain how Rap did not make
much of an impact to him personally. Finally, Fahnstocks partaking in listening to The Shaggs
was also incongruous when discussing that was the one of the bands he would listen to in the
married life. Because The Shaggs were so experimental and one of the earliest punk bands,
listening to them creates a juxtaposition to what married life should sound like: joyful and in
Despite these artists seeming odd within their given context, Fahnstock has a wide variety
of genres and artists in his mixtape collection. I, personally, would consider the collection as
highbrow. This is mainly because each song was chosen specifically towards a different period
in Fahnstocks life. He could have just chosen the most popular songs from the Top 40 charts of
each period, but Fahnstock decided against that. With every song there was something specific
about each that sparked some sort of memory or emotion within him. Fahnstock was able to take
these songs that generated something within him and crafted mixtapes that told a story, which
makes this collection highbrow. Although in present day, many of the songs on the mixtapes are
well known today, at the time they were relatively arcane works. Many of the songs were from
the genres when they were still in the underground phase or even the transition from
underground movement to popular music.
Generally, Fahnstocks choice of music for his mixtapes was with the times. Fahnstock
tended to follow the start ups of new, upcoming genres of the time as he devises his mixtapes
each of which reflected the period of his life he was trying to convey. Because his music tastes
were generally current, I could find a direct correlation between the rise of new popular genres
that emerged and how Fahnstock changed over time. Growing up in a classical focused house
under his mother followed by the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel and the sixties pop artists such
as the Beach Boys and the early years of the Jackson Five demonstrates how Fahnstock began to
change and grow in his musical tastes. Fahnstocks changes in music over time can almost be
compared to a growing tree. The first few artists he listened to as mentioned before act as the
roots. Once exposed to harder rock sounds such as Led Zeppelin, Fahnstocks tastes grow and
become more refined. Finally, as he begins to hear and become more attracted to evolutions of
the rock and roll sound, can be compared to a tree growing branches and leaves, always
expanding with room for more to be introduced.
Having a musical development in a similar fashion to Fahnstocks is reminiscent of my
own. I received my first music education from my father, who would always have different
mixtapes in his Chevy Silverado and would be consistently changing them whenever we were
going anywhere. Seeing his love of music and how he would always have something playing
helped kick start me intro exploring different types of music and continuously listen to songs that
made me feel good. Also watching him compose mixtapes on the many cassettes was always a
show in itself. He would be listening to the radio with an empty cassette in the deck and would
wait for the song he wanted to play; when it began he would always go, Ahhh yeah then press
record until the song ended.
Of course making mixtapes changed a little, as I grew older. By the age of nine my father
would buy me CDs that I wanted. However, because the car did not have a CD player at the time,
I had to create mixtapes to listen to what I wanted otherwise he would always win as DJ. So as a
retaliation I would play the songs I wanted with the stereo system we had bought, play the songs
I wanted, and then repeated what my Dad did for my childhood; press record on the cassette part
and wait until the song ended to stop the recording.
Yet, everything changed once I got my first iPod for Christmas when I was twelve.
Creating mixtape playlists was much easier, since I was able to see my entire CD collection, as
well as the songs I purchased on iTunes. Once these playlists were created, I would burn them
onto a CD to play in the car. A few years later, I stopped burning CDs and just kept the playlists
on my iPod to play on the long bus rides to and from school until college. Once I arrived in
college, the playlists on my iPod soon went on my phone. Within a year, I was then creating
playlists and mixtapes on the software mentioned before and sharing them with friends and
Although the track list for the mixtape collection of my life altogether is quite eclectic,
they relate to each other because they are focused on specific stages in my life that I can
remember. I considered dividing up the mixtapes as if I were to write an autobiography of my
life so far but with music; the sections would be as follows: childhood (from my earliest memory
to age nine), pre-teen (age nine to age twelve), teenager (age thirteen to age fifteen), young adult
(age sixteen to age eighteen), adult (age nineteen to present). Each tape is centered on the
different memories that are evoked from the various songs on each mixtape.
The majority of the songs on the first set would be from the songs my father would repeat
consistently because those are the memories that I remember the most. The tracks on the pre-teen
list would be focused on boy bands, Top 40 songs, and songs from some of my favorite movies.
These would dominate because television and movies were very influential in my life, in such a
way that the songs that I would listen to became a way for me to stay positive. However, as a
teenager I began to truly explore music beyond the Top 40 charts and what my father would
listen to and found Punk and New Wave. Because at this stage in my life, my parents were
consistently fighting, I listened to these genres as an escape and ignore them. From this
exploration, I then found the more Alternative artists that were becoming popular and continued
exploring farther into the genre to find songs that I liked. On the young adult set there was more
of an influence of other Alternative bands and a little more upbeat songs because my life at home
started to get much better. Finally, the adult list is just a majority of songs from artists that I love
and discovered in my young adult phase. In addition, because of the influence of the Internet, I
was able to find more artists I enjoyed based on the artists I already loved from earlier.
From Moodys short story on Wilkie Fahnstock, I was able to see how music impacted
someone elses life. In addition, it was evident how there was a correlation between the music
that was explored and how the use of mixtapes helped diffuse different genres until they gained
popularity on the charts. Because mixtapes helped spread different sounds, genres were also able
to grow and become more sophisticated.

Mixtape Collection Track Listing
Mixtape 1: Childhood
Peace Frog The Doors
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Iron Butterfly
Singing Winds, Crying Beasts Santana
Nights In White Satin Moody Blues
Baba ORiley The Who
At The Hop Danny and the Juniors
Youre So Square Elvis
Smooth Operator Sade
By The Time I get to Phoenix Issac Hayes
Wheel In the Sky Journey
Wanted Dead or Alive Bon Jovi
Baby Driver Simon and Garfunkel
Down on Me Big Brother and the Holding Company
Edge of Seventeen Stevie Nicks
Tusk Fleetwood Mac
Star Spangled Banner The Jimi Hendrix Experience
LA Woman The Doors
Dancing in the Street Martha and the Vandellas
As Long As You Love Me Backstreet Boys
Genie in a Bottle Christina Aguilera

Mixtape 2: Preteen
Bye Bye Bye - *NSync
Candy Mandy Moore
Jump in the Line Henry Belefonte
Blue Eiffel 65
Upside Down A*Teens
Lala Ashlee Simpson
Larger Than Life Backstreet Boys
Lucky Britney Spears
Complicated Avril Lavigne
Hey Mama Black Eyed Peas
Hero Enrique Iglesias
What You Waiting For? Gwen Stefani
Perfect Day Hoku
Since You Been Gone Kelly Clarkson
Mr. Brightside The Killers
Supergirl Krystal
Cant Get You Out of My Head Kylie Minogue
There She Goes The Las
Juliet LMNT
Ohio is For Lovers Hawthorne Heights
Mixtape 3: Teenager
Judy is a Punk The Ramones
Call Me Blondie
Turning Japanese The Vapors
Hong Kong Garden Siouxie and the Banshees
I Melt with You Modern English
Immigrant Song Led Zeppelin
My Way Sex Pistols
Song About an Angel Sunny Day Real Estate
Tainted Love Soft Cell
What I Like About You The Romantics
Pretty Fly The Offspring
Spiderwebs No Doubt
Memory Sugarcult
Flathead The Fratellis
Swing, Swing The All American Rejects
Not What It Seems Something Corporate
Love and Pain New Found Glory
Absolutely (Story of a Girl) Nine Days
Mixtape Brand New
Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand

Mixtape 4: Young Adult
Are You Gonna Be My Girl? Jet
Girls Beastie Boys
Jesus Christ Brand New
La La Lie Jacks Mannequin
Jacqueline Franz Ferdinand
Icky Thump White Stripes
So Much Love The Rocket Summer
Come Around M.I.A
Ring Ring MIKA
Delayed Devotion Duffy
Tears Dry on My Own Amy Winehouse
Heads Will Roll Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
Gives You Hell The All American Rejects
You and Me Plain White Ts
Through to You Cute Is What We Aim For
Colorblind Counting Crows
Crowded Room The Academy Is
Lost In Stereo All Time Low
Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex CSS
Do You Want To Franz Ferdinand

Mixtape 5: Adult
Smooth Santana ft. Rob Thomas
American Love Jacks Mannequin
I Want You to Want Me Letters to Cleo
Failure By Design Brand New
What More Do You Want Plain White Ts
Hurricane Something Corporate
My Brain is Hanging Upside Down The Ramones
Shes the Blade Sugarcult
Only Wanna Dance With You Ke$ha
Walk Over Me The All American Rejects
Right Action Franz Ferdinand
Days Like Masquerade The Academy Is
Bubblegum Bitch Marina and the Diamonds
Brokenhearted Karmin
Natural Disaster Plain White Ts
American Girl Bonnie McKee
Bad Girls M.I.A
Power and Control Marina and the Diamonds
21 and Invincible Something Corporate