A Mixology Primer
You lot got my curiousity piqued the other day when we all had our own desert islands on Michelle's archipelago. What a nice place that was. (For the uninitiated, Michelle is the non-Martian half of the insanely sassy Big Porcupine team).
Neil and Jen both chose as one of their desert island cd picks their own mixed cd, which of course, made me sit up and take notice, as I am an obsessive mixed cd maker, and very nosy to boot.
I burn a shitload of mixed cds, for two main reasons: 1) to keep me sane during my 45 minute one-way commute, and 2) to inspire me to keep exercising. I also make quite a few mixes when I get that prickly feeling that somebody I know just has to hear some of my new music or they won't be able to survive. (No huge egos in this family)
Besides wanting to hear what some of your gold standard mixes are, I'd be interested to hear how you decide what goes into a mix.
Here's my recipe (because making a mix is sooo very difficult). Because I'm an incorrigible multi-tasker, each mix has to fit some stringent criteria:
- use the whole 80 minutes (I cannot tolerate waste)
- as most of the cds eventually end up beside the stationary bike, the first 45 minutes or so need to be primarily lively or I ain't going to pedal hard enough
- very rarely reuse songs, especially favourites, because God forbid I ever get tired of hearing them
- go back into the archives for some old favourites (ie, the Clash, Elvis Costello, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers) - they sound surprisingly fresh after a few years absence
- don't be afraid to throw in something unusual on each one (ie, Louis Prima, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Handel)
- and perhaps, trickiest of all, when making a cd for someone else (and of course I want to burn a copy for myself - it's that multi-tasking obsession again) have to follow all of the above plus make it unique for my buddy
So to start off the exercise, here's an example. I just made this cd for Kellee, in which I was trying to showcase to a certain degree some Canadian artists, highlight the Constantines, but nothing from Tournament of Hearts because Kellee already has that, and avoid repetition from some earlier cds I made for her. And I also couldn't resist putting on some songs from my new cds (ie, Franz Ferdinand, the Decemberists, Belle and Sebastian)
1 At home he’s a tourist – Gang of Four
2 Evil and a heathen – Franz Ferdinand
3 Watermark – Weakerthans
4 Ariel vs Lotus – Limblifter
5 National hum – Constantines
6 Electric version – New Pornographers
7 Rock the casbah – the Clash
8 Diagnosis – Weakerthans
9 Goodnight goodnight – Hot Hot Heat
10 Teenage lobotomy – the Ramones
11 This boy – Franz Ferdinand
12 Asleep on a sunbeam – Belle & Sebastian
13 Steal this sound – the Constantines
14 Hollywood is high – the Violent Femmes
15 We both go down together – the Decemberists
16 Ever fallen in love? – Buzzcocks
17 Justice – the Constantines
18 Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex
19 Buona Sera – Louis Prima
20 Hyacinth Blues – the Constantines
21 The fake headlines – the New Pornographers
22 Eli, the barrow boy – the Decemberists
23 Coax me – Sloan
24 Lord Anthony – Belle & Sebastian
25 Sea ghost – the Unicorns
Okay class, wake up!
Here's your assignment for 30% of your mark:
Hand in an example of a mixed cd. How do you decide what is burn-worthy?
Bonus points for wow factor.
You may begin ... now