Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Press play/record

Simon Sweetman at Blog on the Tracks has an interesting lark: your life as a Mix Tape.

Here are his rules:

...take three songs from across the first three or four albums you ever owned. You add three songs from anything you considered formative at high-school. You add three more songs from university or early working days. You take three songs from anything you’ve liked across the last three years. And you take three songs that show the impact of other people ... Side one will be subtitled The Early Years and will feature the music from the first albums you bought, high-school and university or first job days (nine tracks in total). Side two can be called These Days and will feature six songs - the three from albums across the last three years and the three you’ve picked up from someone else’s influence.

Sakura_59 has put forward her mix, too. Both concluded that in effect their tapes were for “today” and would be different if you asked them tomorrow. These things are always capricious. In putting mine together I decided that it’s best not to over-think the list, and just go with what came to mind when dealing with each of Simon’s criteria. Below is the result.


Side one: Early Years

Let’s Dance, David Bowie (Let’s Dance)

Message to My Girl , Split Enz (Conflicting Emotions)

Girlfriend is Better, Talking Heads (live version from Stop Making Sense)

With or Without You , U2 (The Jushua Tree)

Orange Crush , REM (Green)

Elevate Me Later, Pavement (Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain)

That’s All You Wanted, Throwing Muses (University)

Fake Plastic Trees, Radiohead (The Bends)

Waitin’ for a Superman, The Flaming Lips (The Soft Bulletin)


Side two: These Days

Someone Great, LCD Soundsystem (Sound of Silver)

No Cars Go, Arcade Fire (Neon Bible)

Patins, CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy)

The Worst Taste in Music, The Radio Dept. (Pet Grief)

Pigeons, The Hundred in the Hands (The Hundred in the Hands)

Glass, Bat for Lashes (Two Suns)


The first side’s ‘Early Years’ was easiest to compile, and generally specific songs came to mind.

‘These Days’ was much more difficult. I decided to keep ‘side two’ to fairly recent releases, even though the three picked from the influence of others can come from any era. I listen to a lot of earlier stuff these days, but not generally from a particular person's suggestion.

Reviewing my selection, I realise how relatively conservative and, especially, how narrow my music taste generally has been. But it is what it is. Within those narrow confines, there’s certainly some quality there.

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