Archive for the ‘Elsewhere’ Category

Accounting for much

15 January 2016

This exercise sounds familiar:

Lots of songs have numbers in their titles: from “5-4-3-2-1” to “99 Luftballons.” But what makes a great “number song”? Music journalist and self-appointed rock numerologist David Klein has spent years researching this very question for his new book If 6 was 9.

It’s a perfectly reasonable list. You may, or may not, want to compare it to the two compilations I’ve already done.

Neil before all

23 December 2015

The Lost Ogle, an obscure local social blog in Oklahoma City with approximately 376,000 times as many readers as this place, has put up some ideas for The Ultimate Neil Diamond Mixtape. We of course approve, because (1) we’re Neil Diamond fans of long standing and (2) they didn’t mention “Sweet Caroline.”

That said, we put up a Diamond mix of our own about eight years ago, and we even put “Sweet Caroline” on it, for reasons perhaps best left buried.

Coming soon, maybe

12 December 2015

This film, I’m hoping, might finally be going into production after several years in limbo:

Mixtape is a music-driven coming of age comedy about a 12-year-old girl, raised by her aunt, who never knew her mother. Finding a mixtape that once belonged to her mom, she accidentally destroys it. Since the music on the tape is the only link she has to her deceased parents, the girl sets out to track down each of the obscure songs listed on the tape’s case, finding out something about her parents, or herself, along the way. In 2009 the script won the American Zoetrope screenwriting contest and it appeared on the Black List that same year.

The “Black List” is a film-industry recognition of the best unproduced scripts, generally intended to impel someone actually to produce them. IMDb lists the film as “pre-production” as of the first of September, which may or may not mean anything.

It’s a lost art

31 March 2015

I can’t even argue with this:

The art — and make no mistake about it, it is an art — of making a mixtape 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.

And furthermore:

For the beauty of the mix tape alone, I’d love to see the cassette make a comeback, for everyone to have a chance to learn the art of the mix. I know, they can easily do that on a computer. But there’s something about the finished product, the feel of the cassette in your hand, the hand-written track list, that fine string of tape you can pull out of the cassette in a fit of emotion when the relationship sours and your boyfriend returns the tape with all your other stuff, that makes this artifact of another era so much more than just a playlist.

Preach it, Sister Christian.

Those 70s tunes

4 August 2014

This is a task one takes very seriously indeed:

Dear Husband took it upon himself to create the perfect 70s playlist. He worked on this bad boy for weeks, possibly months. All the music had to be from 1974 or earlier and was a perfect mixture of soul, funk, rock and very early punk.

He had 4 hours of music plus an alternate list for the late night guests.

And he was wise enough to kick it off with the party-starter of the age: Carl Douglas’ immortal “Kung Fu Fighting.”

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.

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”?

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