Saturday, September 07, 2013

Frijoles Quemados - Mixtape 1990

During 1990-1991, my junior year of high school, I was enrolled in a highly selective Spanish III class populated by the school's best and brightest. Mind you, my high school only had 100 or so students, so by "best and brightest" I mean "me and my friends."

There were only five or six of us in the class, and we did some creative projects to flex our Spanish skills, the best of which was "Frijoles Quemados"--a mixtape using a multitrack mixer, an RCA tape player, my Sony CD/tape player, and a music class-grade turntable. Plus, a microphone for some select voiceover DJ-ing. The plan was to make this tape and override the building's PA system by simply attaching it to the speaker wires in the ceiling. We did a test run at lunch one day and this worked. But I don't think we ever unleashed the full beauty of "Frijoles Quemados" upon the hallowed halls of Port Aransas High School.

But now it is time to bring "Frijoles Quemados" to a much broader audience.

Some things will quickly become apparent. Number 1: We put a lot more effort into the opening half of the tape, mixing together various songs, outtakes from speeches, and comedy albums. Then we just pretty much started playing songs. Number 2: This was the early 1990s, and we really liked Jane's Addiction. Number 3: This was the early 1990s, and a couple among us--I'm not naming names, really liked the recently released Roger Waters' "The Wall" album recorded live at what had until very recently been the Berlin Wall. Like I said, these people know who they are. Hey, the rest of us bear responsibility for "I Saw Your Mommy (and Your Mommy's Dead)" by Suicidal Tendencies.

What else is here? "Little GTO," Ministry, U2, some words from MLK and JFK, Jesus and Mary Chain, Cheech & Chong, Monty Python, Jimi Hendrix, Public Enemy, Grover, Winston Churchill. And some more Jane's Addiction. And Bryan Adams and Cyndi Lauper singing Pink Floyd songs. And a couple of voiceovers from our teacher Leif and (unfortunately) just one of us student-types Mack.

This tape was digitized from a cassette that I have towed from Port Aransas to Austin to Los Angeles and back again. It's spent most of those years in an attic or garage and it doesn't sound great but it has survived the heat and bugs to reach the digital age. (BTW, despite their popularity that year, there is no Billy Ray Cyrus or Marky Mark on this mix.)

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