Tuesday, May 8, 2012


While taking a lunch hour walk through Surrey this past March I found this derelict mixed CD by the side of the road. True to my character I couldn't resist contemplating this further.

I imagined at some point that the creator of "Slow Shiz - July 2011" had a purpose in making this. Perhaps it was a mix of more thoughtful and romantic songs made to impress a prospective date and show a more sensitive side?

Of course it is also possible that the maker of this mix decided to take a break from the usual soundtrack of ear splitting and bass heavy anthems in favour of some classic slow-jams to help come down from an evening of unbridled debauchery.

As I continued my walk I began to wonder why this less than one year-old mix was discarded so readily by the roadside.  The first scenario to emerge involved an argument where a jilted lover in a fit of jealous rage threw the once beloved mix out the window of a moving car, "SCREW YOU AND YOUR SLOW SHIZ"

A few other scenarios; some teens going for joy ride sorting through some poor sucker's music collection decided that this mix was particularly shitty,  or perhaps this is merely an impulsively discarded item of some fickle musical neophyte who decided  that slow shiz is "over" and now leans towards some classic rock mixes discovered from a cool uncle's music collection.

 Whatever the case, I am intrigued by the musical collections that lay discarded beside the roadsides of our lives, both literally and symbolically. These mixes that at one point were important enough to take some thought and time to create are now collecting dust somewhere, mostly forgotten or even thrown out long ago.

Unearthing a forgotten mix is an intriguing prospect. Whether it be some premillennial mixed tape, a scratched up CD compilation or a derelict playlist curated for that road trip in '07, these lost soundtracks from our journey might conceivably reintroduce us to an important and dormant narrative arc from our lives. Of course I have to wonder what insights the owner of "Slow Shiz" would gain if he/she were to find this mix 10 years from now?  

Have you unearthed any ancient musical artifacts? Do you wonder where one might be?  Am I the only one who contemplates this sort of thing?


Sean Wraight said...

No Matthew, you are not the only one that contemplates the stories behind these 'found' mixes.

As an avid walker I find them frequently. I too wonder what led to their abandonment. I have surmised they might be the result of a disgruntled significant other who has grown just a little too tired of hearing it for the 205th time on the car stereo. Or perhaps the owner themselves. (Strangely the majority of my own 'found' finds are hip hop compilations. I did find a really neat Arabic compilation once though...

Great post Matthew. I should remark too, I find a lot of playing cards as well. I'm certain that fact could tell a brilliant story as well.


beatgrl said...

So, did you listen to it?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a delightful post!

I don't often find a lot of music by the roadside, but I do come across my own abandoned mixes from time to time. They are generally of the workout cd variety and I will occasionally try one out again, for my own personal version of sweating to the oldies - the 90s, that is.

Westcoast Walker said...

Hey Sean - not surprised that we both get inspired thinking about the story behind these found objects! I personally get a kick out of finding discarded shopping lists as well - shows a great deal about the person. It would be an interesting challenge to try and get a complete deck of cards from an assormtent of cards randomly found - the variation of designs would make for an intersting art project.

Westcoast Walker said...

Hey beatgrl - thanks for joining the conversation! Good to have another pacific northwester on board. The mix wasn't playable unfortunately, and it was painful because it wasn't clear to me what assortment of songs would inspire the name "Slow Shiz" and I really wanted to know.

Westcoast Walker said...

Hey Barb - your "sweating to the oldies" mix would probably be way cooler than most!