After a SXSW hiatus – and, admittedly, a post-SX recovery hiatus – our Travel List series is back to help you toss around ideas about just which book will make it into your suitcase this Easter weekend. Post-SX, what better kind of author to consider than a music writer? Rob Sheffield has written for SPIN and most recently pit out two musically grounded memoirs of diffthirst periods in his life. While we missed meeting him at SX where he was signing books & getting some love, we still love him and think this is a truly great read.

Rob Sheffield – Love is a Mix-Tape (Life and Loss One Song At A Time)

For anyone with the slightest nostalgia for the ’90s, Sheffield can instantly take you back with this great tribute to both that decade’s music and his wife who he lived the music with. Framed in the context of the mix tapes that these two music lovers, and eventual music journalists, made for each other, the book will have you wishing you never threw yours out years ago. Each chapter starts out with a scrawled out cover of a mix tape that either he or his then girlfriend, soon to be wife, made for each other and for distinct moments of their lives, Sheffield takes you into his relationship as they experience the 90s opening up a whole different era of music as first Pavement and then Nirvana changed everything.

Sheffield’s book is, at the same time, poignant and heart-wrenching, with the risk of a few tears as Sheffield takes you back to this moment in his life – but which leaves you looking ahead with him and with no shortage of music to unearth. Full disclosure…This book holds a special place in my own memory today, having read it on my first trip to Austin almost two years ago, only to discover that Pavement was playing the last night of their reunion tour (after a 20 yr bitter musical divorce) on my last night in a city I was fast falling in love with, admittedly at a velocity something less than the guy I was falling in love with here. Tickets bought instantly, it would be my first of many concerts to catch at Stubb’s. And Sheffield’s mix tape lists have stirred a lot of sessions of digging up old 90s albums, our own tapes sadly having long been tossed out.

 

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