Monday, March 01, 2010

Mixtape #8: The Soundtracks of Our Lives

I’ve picked up a new habit. Not up the up-the-nose variety, but rather the natural progression of my music/pop-culture geekatude. I’ve been making an effort, when with friends, to keep track of the music we listen to, the films, books and art that are discussed. It saves on the hey dude, was was that song by that guy that did that thing that we listened to last night texts. This is a habit I started a few years ago when I was spending a lot of time with a highly music nerdy couple. I was forever finding old receipts and crumpled napkins with vague wine stained notes about something I absolutely had to check out. 
The habit faded along with the friendship, and I’ve just recently picked it back up. I’m actually trying to keep track in my day planner. Yes, I still use a plain ‘ol book-form day planner. How quaint. It’s a nice reminder of where I was, and with whom, and what we geeked about. Plus, ticket stubs and wine labels paste in tidily.

The nice thing about having these nights in your own home is that you don’t have to take notes. You just stumble to the living room, check the recently played track list and and sift through the mountains of unsheathed records covering the floor.

Oh, quick aside. My aunt came up to my apartment the other day. The place was still a bit of a mess from the night before, so I pre-apologized and muttered something about vinyl littering the living room. She looked a little surprised and then gave me the  ‘ol “TMI!”. It took a sec for it to click that she thought I meant vinyl fabric. Like some sort of gimp mask bondage fetish-wear or something. I should be so lucky. I think she was pretty relieved to see it was nothing more disturbing than Bob Dylan and Beach House.

Anyhow ... one of my favorite things is how someone else can sort of reintroduce you to your own collection. Seeing what people pull out, the songs they favour that aren’t  necessarily where you tend to drop the needle. The ones you have the little ‘sigh, me too’ moments about. Oh, geekheart.

I was told (again) yesterday that I tend to listen to a lot of Old Sad Bastard music. I acknowledge and accept this. Dammit, I like an anthemic heart-heavy shoegaze as much as the next former SSRI fangirl. So there’s a bit of that going on here (possibly even a repeat or two), but it’s not all on me. This bad-boy is a collaboration strung together from the next-morning iPod list and vinyl pile that was largely established by my guest, who was also so kind as to come armed not just with wine, but with enough new music to keep me engaged in discovery for a good while. I might just have met my music geek equal. My geequal, if you will.

So, here’s Mixtape #8. The soundtrack to the best night I’ve had in a long time. Songs that were played, and ones that I have a hazy, wine fogged memory of discussing. And a few others, just because they seemed to fit. I hope you enjoy it. As ever, where possible band names link to their website/MySpace. Notes on the individual tracks follow.

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Mixtape #8 - The Soundtracks of Our Lives

1) In the Summertime - The Rural Alberta Advantage
2) Going To Acapulco - Jim James & Calexico   
3) If I Go, I'm Goin -  Gregory Alan Isakov   
4) Girl from the North Country - Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash       
5) My Old Ghosts - The Wooden Sky
6) Coconut - Fever Ray   
7) Falling  - Julee Cruise   
8) You Came to Me - Beach House   
9) Shut Up I Am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings - Sunset Rubdown   
10) Sweet Thing  - Van Morrison   
11) Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye   
12) Colorado Girl  - Townes Van Zandt    
13) To Ohio (Reprise) - The Low Anthem
14) After the Gold Rush (Neil Young Cover) - Thom Yorke
15) Long Time Running - Tragically Hip   
16) Oh! Sweet Nuthin' -  The Velvet Underground   
* bonus track - It's a Surprise!

1) In the Summertime - I saw Rural Alberta Advantage with another relatively new friend a few weeks ago. We went after the opening of Big Tiny Smalls’ Nude Dudes exhibit at Dale’s Gallery, which you should check out if you are in the Victoria area. Yes, there is penis. They are, after all, nude dudes.

2) Going To Acapulco - Still my favorite scene in I’m Not There, despite the Richard Gereness.  Jim James’ voice is my aural happy place, and it’s been well established that I like a good horn section. Counting down to My Morning Jacket at Sasquatch, for sure. And check out his solo work (as Yim Yames) I painfully want the limited edition George Harrison tribute vinyl. Hint hint, world. Who am I kidding, I'll be ordering that myself from the kind folks at Ditch.

3) If I Go, I'm Goin’ - One of my best new discoveries last year. And he’s a total peach - I faxed a note to a bar he was playing in San Francisco asking him to dedicate a song to some friends that were there, and he totally did. Big ups, Gregory. Big ups. 

4) Girl from the North Country - Can’t go wrong with Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash. Put them together, got nothing to complain about for three minutes and forty four seconds. If you disagree, I probably can’t be your friend.     

5) My Old Ghosts - We went to Wooden Sky after dinner. I wish I could say it was an amazing show, but I was (shudder, shame) a little to drunk/distracted to remember much about the specifics. They did sound good, and I had a fantastic time though, so still a total win. 

6) Coconut - This one might be a repeat from a mix last year. Whatev’s, I love this song. Sad Old Bastard be damned. And Karin Dreijer-Andersson could teach Lady Gaga a thing or two about true costume/media freakadonk.    

7) Falling - The Theme Song from Twin Peaks (with lyrics). Sort of an inside joke, but also actually a song a listen to a fair amount, and have since I was about thirteen. David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti are pretty legendary pairing, and add Julee Cruise’s voice to the mix and you have me swooning in all my ninth grade glory. 

8) You Came to Me - I tend to cook to Billie Holiday, but I backed it up in the Bs a little. Semi-successful - dinner was a little on the overcooked side. Sigh. 

9) Shut Up I Am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings - Technically it was Coming to At Dawn that played, but I only have a 7”, so I’m subbing this in to represent for Sunset Rubdown. Sort of long, but I sort of love it, so whatever. 

10) Sweet Thing - This was the second time that a record-mining guest has declared the superiority of Astral Weeks over Moondance. I have to agree. Mine is so old you can stick your arm through the sleeve, but it still plays like a hot damn. 

11) Let's Get It On - Could a song be more of a classic? Even if it always brings to mind Jack Black as Barry Jive and the Uptown Five at the end of High Fidelity. 

12) Colorado Girl - In the last few weeks I’ve watched both Heartworn Highways and Be There to Love Me, and find myself shamed at how many Townes Van Zandt songs I’m only familiar with as covers. I aim to rectify this post-haste. 

13) To Ohio (Reprise) - Another band I’m all gaaahahhhhh about seeing at Squantch. I like both versions of this song, but the Reprise is just so darn pretty. 

14) After the Gold Rush - I went to a Neil Young tribute a few weeks ago. Newfound respect for Elvis Costello. I say goddamn. Since it was all covers I’m representing Neil here with one of my favorite covers, from Thom Yorke’s near legendary Live at Bridge School recording. If you need to sub in a falsetto, could it get any better than Thom Yorke? Without castrating a choir boy, that is.

15) Long Time Running -  For no other reason than, despite being well out of my Tragically Hip phase, I still love this song. I want to dance with a whiskey-breathed stranger in a smokey, sawdust strewn roadhouse to this.

16) Oh! Sweet Nuthin' - Lou Reed also played the Neil Young tribute. Sort of a let down to be honest. He was the MOST geriatric. Like a hockey player without his stick, Old Lou looked as if he couldn’t stand independently without his guitar strapped on. Also, if anyone knows the whereabouts of my vinyl (Berlin live, I think), let a sister know. Or my black hi-tops for that matter. Shit is going missing around here.

* Bonus Track - because I had a flashback to how prevalent and pleasantly surprising bonus tracks were back when CDs were really taking off. And I burned out to the source of this a few days ago, and this song kills me. Kills me. So hard.

So there you have it. Mixtape #8. Signed. Sealed Delivered. I hope you enjoy. I’m going to spend a good hour in the shower trying to undo the shoulder knot this typing has caused. Such a martyr. I know. 

~ m


Raggedy Sarah said...

Finally, something new to listen to. Though, maybe not at the gym?

michelle said...

holy eff, i am now in love with the Low Anthem. Thanks for the introduction!

amy said...

What a wonderful mix of old and new! I make mixtapes every single summer. And the mister and I make them every time we have a roadtrip, and we don't tell each other what's on them-- we just have to experience them. It's wonderful!

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