The following link takes you to a free download of a mix I made. It’s a weird little bunch of songs that’s don’t make any sense together. Some old, some new. Stuff I’ve been listening to. Here it is.
1. Losing My Edge, LCD Soundsystem
2. Dance, Dance, Dance, Lykke Li
3. Summertime Clothes, Animal Collective
4. Let the Beat Build, Lil Wayne
5. Set It Off, Girl Talk
6. Time to Pretend, MGMT
7. Nothing Ever Happened, Deerhunter
8. Pushover, The Long Winters
9. Secret Meeting, The National
10. Empty Hearted Town, Warren Zevon
11. With All My Heart, Clem Snide
12. One Red Thread, Blind Pilot
13. The Ice Is Getting Thinner, Death Cab For Cutie
14. Dirty Keys, Darla Farmer
15. No One Moves and No One Bows, Irregular Instrument
16. Blood Bank, Bon Iver
17. Desperados Under the Eaves, Warren Zevon
Swede just wrote a really cool post about making mixes. He adores making them and getting them from friends. It’s a fun little hobby. Lots of people do it, draw entertainment and comfort from it. I think we all privately think we’ve made masterpieces.
For about two or three years, I made mix CDs on a regimented timeline. I took the idea from Cameron Crowe, who said it made a good diary, better than anything you could write down. I did it religiously, one mix every two months. Ten songs from each month. Each one would start with some sort of media clip or non-song track, and in the middle was another such track separating the two months. I’d name each one based on time period, and design liner art, keep them in jewel cases.
I have a Taurean urge to collect, catalog and make lists. In one stretch of unemployment, I made a database of every album I had, that could be cross-referenced by Artist, Album, Release Date and Period of Life. I don’t know if this level of compulsion is healthy, but you can imagine how much making the mix CDs soothed it.
I stopped it eventually, mostly when digital listening overtook CDs. When you can put your entire collection on a block about the size of a deck of cards, mix CDs seem clumsy. But also, when iPods took over, listening became harder to track by time period. It was like the floodgates opened up, and a stack of disks turned into a sea of tracks. I still make playlists and swap them over file sharing sites. But there’s something archaic and cute about my little stack of jewel cases from that time in my life. It’s most definitely a diary from my mid-20s, a chaotic and vivid time.
I’m glad I did it. Some of them are embarrassingly bad. Peppered with emo, and agro stuff from time living in suburban Phoenix. But some of them are, well I gotta say, some of them are masterpieces.