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Posts Tagged ‘music’

I was talking to a friend on the phone last night (I know! Talking on the phone! How novel!), and he reminded me that I’ve been a total slacker with this list. As I mentioned right off the bat, I had a feeling it would take a while to get through the list – and it has. In my defense, there have been several non-list-related posts scattered throughout. I’m confident I can finish before 2016. But please don’t hold me to it.

Who makes playlists for people these days? You may share a song with someone, but that’s not the same. The last playlist I made was for the 2014 Outside Lands group bike rides. It was for multiple people, and I chose the songs because they were the best of the best of the Outside Lands lineup. Otherwise, I’d go the route of mix CD or, better yet, mix tape. Making mix tapes was THE BEST! The ability to listen to the songs as you recorded them onto the cassette was integral. I perfected the art of fitting songs onto the tape with minor wasted space at the end. (Sometimes, instrumental interludes were the way to go.) And designing the sleeve? I may have put more effort into the cassette sleeves than the mix tapes themselves. People appreciate things that come in pretty packages. All this said, if I were to pretend I’m making someone a mix tape…

…there are so many factors to consider: Who is it for; What is my intent – is it to introduce them to new music or relay some sort of message/feeling? In the past (i.e., high school), I was often making tapes for my best friend Sheela or a boyfriend/crush. Tapes for Sheela were usually just groupings of songs we both liked. As in, “I’m making this for you so we can listen to it on our next road trip. Look how pretty the sleeve is!” A tape for a crush would be a mix of songs I wanted to introduce to him, combined with subtle — or not-so-subtle — messages of love. Or lust. Or something.

Sheela and I have lived in separate states for years now. Though we both love Depeche Mode and have a few other musical interests in common, our tastes have diverged a bit. So I’d like to make Sheela a mix tape to introduce her to some of my current favorite music, with the hope that she will enjoy these artists and maybe even come out to San Francisco to see one of them with me. Imagine the mix tape sleeve decorated with purple and silver swirly designs with some hearts thrown in, likely a Depeche Mode symbol or two, and the song list carefully written out. (I have to write it out carefully, because my handwriting has gotten so damn sloppy over the years.) The below is a 90-minute tape:

Side One

  1. Forget (Marina and the Diamonds)
  2. On the Sly (Metric)
  3. Cream on Chrome (Ratatat)
  4. Return to the Moon (EL VY)
  5. The Shade (Metric)
  6. A Million Years (Frida Sundemo)
  7. Lazuli (Beach House)
  8. Nothing is Something Worth Doing (Shpongle)
  9. Riptide (Vance Joy)
  10. Carrie (Shiny Toy Guns)
  11. I’m a Ruin (Marina and the Diamonds)

Side Two

  1. Levitation Nation (Shpongle)
  2. I Need My Girl (The National)
  3. On (Polaris at Noon)
  4. Speed the Collapse (Metric)
  5. Sloppy Seconds (Watsky)
  6. Primadonna BURNS Remix (Marina and the Diamonds)
  7. Warbrain (Alkaline Trio)
  8. Rome (Ratatat)
  9. Malmo (STRFKR)
  10. Froot (Marina and the Diamonds)
  11. Clone (Metric)

Man, it is hard to come up with a hypothetical mix tape when you don’t have access to a music library and can’t listen to the songs as you go! Sheela, I totally expect you to look up and listen to all of these songs! 😉

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Apparently we’ve hit the point on this list where it starts getting ridiculous. I absolutely abhor this type of thing and refuse to write a letter to someone I don’t know. I’m no longer 15. No band or artist has gotten me through some tough-ass days, though there have been songs, photos, videos, etc. that have helped me through some tough-ass days. (Have I mentioned that I’m a sarcastic jerk? Plus, it’s my blog. I’m going to use this list as I see fit.)

One of my best friends, Sheela, would say: “That’s easy! It’s Depeche Mode!” And to an extent, she’s right. A friend introduced me to them when I was 15, the beginning of the most angst-ridden period of my life. Everything was a catastrophe. And Martin Gore’s lyrics spoke to me. Alan Wilder’s dark, synth sound tapped into my feelings of discontent. I even went so far as to use a lyric from one of their songs on a science test in high school. If you’re wondering, I got an “A” on the test. Even now, when I happen to hear them in a store or bar somewhere, the associated feelings come flooding back.

The truth of it is that many artists get me through the days, whether the art is in the form of a song that strikes a chord with my mood, a photo that inspires me, some well-written prose, a video of puppies doing adorable things, or witty graffiti on the side of a building. So instead of writing a letter, I’m going to list of some art that stands out to me in the hopes that you will check it out.

I could probably go on, and I’m sure I missed some stuff, but these are just a few things that have gotten me through and continue to do so.

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