And it’s not even Friday

27 November 2013

My introduction to 8tracks.com came from, of all people, Rebecca Black. Then again, the young lady who turned “Friday” into an earworm has been known to surprise people. (See, for instance, her cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”)

RB’s ten-track November ’13 mix opens with Heavy English’s debut single “21 Flights” and continues with “Come a Little Closer” from Cage the Elephant’s Melophobia album. That should give you enough reason to check out the rest of it.

The young folks, they’ll never believe this

19 November 2013

I did over 300 of these, some of which eventually were updated to CDs, which is why this site is here in the first place.

And yes, they were all something like this:

Weirdly, it now takes me longer to assemble an 80-minute CD than it did a 90-minute tape.

(Via Outside the Beltway.)

He knows what he’s doing

11 November 2013

Delusional Thomas is to Mac Miller what Chris Gaines is to Garth Brooks: new ideas, same fingerprints. Miller — er, Thomas — has unleashed a new mix, produced by Larry Fisherman (also Miller), with special appearances by Miller as Miller and by the wonderfully-named Earl Sweatshirt.

Give it a listen at Potholes In My Blog.

More songs about food, but not buildings

18 August 2013

Bon Appétit comes up with 25 songs that ought to fit into your diet somewhere. How many of these selections match up with my Fewer Songs About Buildings and Food compilation? Three.

Meanwhile, back in the concrete jungle

29 April 2013

The deliberately lower-case magazine inconnu offers a 90s mix of fourteen tracks, described thusly:

For all you 21st century cowboys and cowgirls out there who would rather be listening to 90s radio, anyway. A little bit of Marcy Playground, Beck, Rilo Kiley, and 3EB to get you through those hot summer evenings in the #concretejungle.

Who knew that Rilo Kiley made any recordings in the 90s? Obviously not me.

State of the lost art

23 December 2012

As of about ten years ago, I’d done 333 mixtapes. (As you can see, I’m not making a whole lot of progress converting them to CD.) Michele Catalano writes in Forbes that the comparative technological ease of making one’s own CDs has cost us something:

The art — and make no mistake about it, it is an art — of making a mix tape is one lost on a generation that only has to drag and drop to complete a mix. There’s no love or passion involved in moving digital songs from one folder to another. Those “mixes” are just playlists held prison inside a device. There’s no blood, sweat and tears involved in making them.

There was a certain ritual to making a perfect mix tape, one that could take hours to finish. Maybe even days, depending on how much you wanted to impress the recipient. While the songs had to have a common theme (“I hate you and hope you die” was as common a theme as “I would like to get to first base with you”), it wasn’t good enough to just take a bunch of love songs and throw them on a tape. It was about so much more than grouping some tunes together. They had to segue. They had to flow into one another. Each song needed to be a continuation of the one before it, as if all these disparate bands got together and recorded a concept album based solely on your feelings for the guy who sits in front of you in English class.

I do actually put that amount of work into a CD, mostly to improve the flow, although the fact that I haven’t done one all year should tell you something right there. And earlier this week I found in a box a fairly late tape (#326) labeled “Nothing in Common,” which turned out to be a random collection of Seventies stuff — though I will happily defend its production, if only for exploiting the sheer variety of Seventies tunes: where else will you hear the Bee Gees’ “Love You Inside Out” and T. Rex’s “Metal Guru”?

Weathered or not

7 November 2012

What to listen to when the weather has gone from frightful to lethal? Sheila O’Malley has posted her Sandy/Athena Shuffle, and there are two things you can be sure of: nothing painfully obvious, and the presence of Elvis.

And the pavements are burning

6 July 2012

Stereogum once again is offering a 24-track mixtape (okay, it’s a pair of ZIP files, don’t get cranky) titled Cruel Summer, which they describe as “handpicked from the pool of this year’s finest freely available MP3s, and then lovingly selected and sequenced to soundtrack rooftop goodtimes and/or backyard BBQs and/or emotional breakdowns.” What more could you possibly want? And you’ve probably got 200 MB to spare, so download it here and unzip at leisure. So to speak.

Waiting for the 80s

17 January 2012

Yeah, I know, they probably won’t come around again — all that time-looping business tends to screw around with the future — but Steph’s Top 40 Tunes from the 80s contains some seriously good tunes from this era, some big hits, some not so big.

Then again: isn’t “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (#33) the premise of every Smiths song?

Songs for People with Two Ears Revisited

30 December 2011

And after a long spell, another collection of songs that are seldom heard in stereo, with yet another variation on the same cover art. As before, this includes rather a lot of DES — “Digitally Extracted Stereo” — which is essentially fakery, but often really good fakery. A couple of these are sync mixes: the original 45 and a karaoke track fused into a single sort-of-stereo whole.

Note: “Paperback Writer” is routinely available in stereo, but the canonical mix is none too good; this is a remix. And the Doors track is an attempt at duplicating the 45 mix, by cutting, pieceing, and retiming the stereo LP version. I didn’t do either of these myself, so don’t ask me how it was done.

Cover art, Wendex 111147-2Track listing for 111147-2:

  1. The Dave Clark Five: Do You Love Me
  2. Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders: Game of Love
  3. The Skyliners: Since I Don’t Have You
  4. Martha and the Vandellas: Jimmy Mack
  5. The Beatles: Paperback Writer
  6. Chubby Checker: Hooka Tooka
  7. Preston Epps: Bongo Bongo Bongo
  8. Sagittarius: My World Fell Down
  9. The Yardbirds: I’m a Man
  10. The Shocking Blue: Venus
  11. The Beach Boys: Heroes and Villains
  12. Them: Baby Please Don’t Go
  13. Sonny and Cher: Baby Don’t Go
  14. The 13th Floor Elevators: You’re Gonna Miss Me
  15. Wilson Pickett: Funky Broadway
  16. The Animals: We Gotta Get Out of This Place
  17. The Crystals: Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)
  18. Sly and the Family Stone: Hot Fun in the Summertime
  19. King Harvest: Dancing in the Moonlight
  20. The Doors: Light My Fire
  21. The Temptations: Papa Was a Rolling Stone
  22. The Rivieras: California Sun
  23. Edwin Starr: Agent Double-O-Soul
  24. Eddie Cochran: Summertime Blues
  25. The Murmaids: Popsicles and Icicles
  26. Bobby Darin: Splish Splash
  27. The Soul Survivors: Expressway to Your Heart
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