At the beginning of this Mercury retrograde, the person I had been pretty seriously dating for a month bailed on the Juana Molina show we were supposed to go to at the Old Town School of Folk Music and said he needed to slow things down. I took my friend, J. Niimi, who really enjoyed this introduction to Juana Molina’s world, and tried not to be totally stressed and confused about what was going on with this dude I had fallen super in love with. My old friend Dan from Milwaukee life times DMed me on Instagram while I was there, asking if he wouldn’t be troubling me for a mixtape, saying that it would be interesting to see what I am listening to nowadays. I was very excited at the opportunity to make him a tape, and after the show, Juana’s song “Un Día” wouldn’t leave my head.
We were in the shadow of the retrograde and I was feeling it so hard already; I woke up and my computer wouldn’t turn on, I had a flat tire, my cat ate my phone charging cable so it hadn’t charged all night, but I was late for work and to sort all this out, because the most important thing had become using these tapes as an outlet for my spiraling thoughts and emotions, which were really out of control at the beginning of this project. I had so many frustrations, confusions, and anxieties and nowhere appropriate for them to go since this extremely disappointing coward had completely avoided having to address anything. I decided I would make a whole series of these tapes, each one capturing a day of my life for a different recipient. The Juana Molina song it takes its name from is about all of the things you will do one day when you are feeling up to it, so the title is as much about the process of getting back to a place of feeling motivated and in control of my life as it is about capturing how I was feeling and what I wanted to hear on a particular day.
The series worked really well as a place for me to empty my thoughts and feelings each day, without dumping them on unsuspecting people or screaming embarrassing shit into the void on social media I would inevitably regret later. There were a lot of days when making one of these tapes wasn’t really what I should be focusing on, but I really needed to just to clear whatever difficult emotions I woke up with, so I could move forward with my day feeling lighter and more capable of whatever it was I had to do. You can see maybe the arch of processing as it happens looking at the track lists in order.
In addition to going through a difficult time emotionally, I also had the most writing I have ever had commissioned at the same time due during this retrograde, so part of creating this additional project was not allowing much wiggle room for self-pity and negative feelings to derail me for long periods of time. I’m pleased to say this project was really successful in all of its goals and that it also kind of worked as studies for my summer mixtape, which I had to completely re-write, since the first summer mixtape was about falling in love with this asshole who ghosted me. The new summer mixtape is about fire, heat, the sun, racing, catching up on lost time, power and empowerment, light, knowledge, moving on, working hard towards your dreams, surviving challenges impressively, and being okay being alone.
I found this project so useful and so connective and inspiring that I have decided to do them every Mercury retrograde. The next Mercury Retrograde Sanity Mixtape Series will be conducted between August 22nd to October 16th and will be titled “Weather Radio,” after the Pylon song.
Here are all the tapes I made for people while also researching and writing nine articles for Bandcamp dot com–despite all of the obstacles.
One Day, Vol. I – 4.29.2022 – for Dan Bullock
One Day, Vol. II – 4.30.2022 – for Charlie Hoehnen
One Day, Vol. III – 5.1.22 – for Carly M
One Day, Vol. IV – 5.4.22 – for Christina Carter
One Day, Vol. V – 5.6.22 – for Charles Spano
One Day, Vol. VI – 5.11.22 – for Sai Ariyanayagam
One Day, Vol. VII – 5.18.22 – for Frank Knaebe
One Day, Vol. VIII – 5.21.22 – for Mark Josephson
One Day, Vol. IX – 5.27.22 – for John Massel
One Day, Vol. X – 5.29.22 – for Roni Finkelstein
One Day, Vol. XII – 6.3.22 – for Topher Lundell (numbered this out of order on accident, so ordering by date of creation)
One Day, Vol. XI – 6.4.22 – for Todd Derr
One Day, Vol. XIII – 6.9.2022 – for Thor Maillet
One Day, Vol. XIV – 6.10.2022 – for Crash Crawford
One Day, Vol. XV – 6.11.2022 – for Maria Barrios
Thank you so much for everyone who participated and gave me a place to process my difficult stuff and send it away to someone who would enjoy receiving it. People have been really appreciative and I continue to be quite pleased by the amount of folks getting tape decks and re-entering the joyous field of making tapes for people.
I will open submissions for tapes again in the late summer for the next series!
Excited to share the new summer mixtape!!!
© COME AWAY WITH EMD 2022