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Combatting Summer Mixtape Misconceptions

By Staff | Apr 29, 2008

The “Forever Young” Complex

The first thing to consider before compiling a multi-track compact disc of your choice is the fact that not all of us like happy, polished songs geared toward young people. Therefore pop music, i.e. music commonly heard on WVAQ, will not always suffice.  One must dig deeper into the tome of music history in order to find the perfect juxtaposition of track-on-track beauty.  Example: If you are used to listening to the Ying Yang Twins or Mariah Carey while cruising down I-68, why not hit a nice back road and pop in Joy Division or the Fall? If you are a true summer spirit, even the most dated and darkest of songs can lift you up.

Lyrics describing the aforementioned season

Another common mistake is to pick songs that have lyrical content involving summer.  That’s too obvious. The best summer tracks are the ones that let you glide out of yourself slowly but surely, and they’re also ones that you don’t need to be driving a convertible with the top down to enjoy. This includes almost any sort of psych or jam music, but preferably the kind that isn’t Phish or the String Cheese Incident. Try something a little more out of left field.  See: Can’s entire discography, especially tracks from the ambient “Tago Mago.”

Order must be thought out

This is only partially true. Yes, it’s good to pick songs that flow well together—seamlessness works great for the desired out-of-body effect—but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend an hour trying to piece together the perfect mix CD. Guess what?  There is no perfect mix CD. That’s why people continue to make them, to improve the art. I’ve made them randomly and stumbled up works of sheer brilliance. It’s when I take the time and over think it that it takes a wrong turn. My philosophy is this: Save the three best songs, put the first one somewhere near the beginning, the second one somewhere near the middle, and tag the last one on the end. The weight of these songs will carry your creation into mix CD greatness.

It’s easier to create a mix CD with a loved one in mind

This is a misconception because there are plenty of people out there who do it for themselves and themselves only. To tell you the truth, most people don’t have very good car stereos, meaning that they don’t have the upgrades needed to plug their Ipod into their cars and hit shuffle. A crush can sometimes lead to wonderful displays of musical compilation, sure, but it can also lead to an overload of geekdom and other artistic qualities that may go wasted. It’s really sad when the girl you’re giving the CD to could care less. Just imagine how many Valentine’s Day mix CDs have been tossed in the dumpster. So keep that in mind. Tip: Imagine that you only had one hour to live, what songs would you want to hear before the sound of the death gong?

Behold the recklessness:

1. Health — “Heaven”

2. Black Lips — “Katrina”

3. Dungen — “Gjort Bort Sig”

4. Deerhunter — “Spring Hall Convert”

5. The Breeders — “Divine Hammer”

6. Polvo — “Lazy Comet”

7. Polvo — “Sure Shot”

8. Mclusky — “The World Loves Us And Is Our Bitch”

9. cLOUDDEAD — “Dead Dogs Two”

10. Can — “Mushroom”

11. Unwound — “Summer Freeze”

12. Dead Meadow — “At Her Open Door”

13 The Stone Roses — “I Wanna Be Adored”

14. Broken Social Scene — “Pacific Theme”

15. Mazzy Star — “Bells Ring”

16. Animal Collective — “Banshee Beat”

Contact Patrick at pdolan@graffitiwv.com