This mix came only a few months after the previous one, so not a lot had changed since then. I had now met Mike, who I was playing boardgames with, and had moved away from RPGs to boardgames regularly. I had found a good comics store, one that actually paid attention to books that didn’t feature people in capes, so I was enjoying comics again. Other than those things, everything else was the same.
In fact, although there are a few more mixes to go, the story is essentially over at this part — or, at least, we’ve caught up to just about the present. I’m all grows up, I’m married, live in a house, have a pretty steady job, good friends, interesting hobbies, in good health. I’m pretty much where I wanted to be back when this whole mess started in 1985, though it took the usual twists and turns to get there.
From here out there really isn’t much to say, story-wise. I may make a few comments here and there, but it’s mostly about the music.
There are two major developments here. The first is, notice how many songs are on each side. Since Crusade and Jihad I had been making these mixes on CDs, not tapes. CDs caused a problem because, at about 75 minutes, they’re much longer than a tape side but much shorter than two tape sides (remember, I had been using 100-minute tapes.) So do I continue to make each “side” 50 minutes, or do I take advantage of the extra legroom? I had started doing the former, but here I switched to the latter.
The effect is, in retrospect, a case of diminishing returns. Having so many songs on a “side” pretty much diluted the effect of any individual song. Whereas before if a side had only four or five really standout tracks, that was fine, here, they just get swallowed up among the others. (It also didn’t help that increasing the number of songs meant not having to have as high standards, though I’ll admit that some previous tapes bring doubt to the idea that there were standards anyway.) For future mixes, I may go back to a more reasonable amount.
The second major development is KEXP, a Seattle radio station that streams online. I started listening to it on my computer and immediately found about a dozen songs I liked.
- Snow Patrol – How To Be Dead
This was a KEXP song that I absolutely fell in love with and listened to over and over. Probably the first album I bought strictly due to KEXP.
- Piebald – Karate Chops for Everyone But Me
- Weezer – Knock-down Drag-out
- The Benjamins – Wonderful
These songs came from Dan, who had a much more solid grasp on what was going on in music than I did. He was also a huge Weezer fan at the time, so I was hearing a lot more of them than I might have been otherwise.
- Guster – Amsterdam
I don’t think I heard these guys on KEXP first, but it seemed like they were filling the top40-friendly jangle band niche vacated by the Gin Blossoms.
- Elf Power – Embrace the Crimson Tide
- The Apples in Stereo – Please
- The Minders – Tearaway
Elf Power was another Elephant 6 band, and since I liked other bands in the group, such as The Minders and The Apples in Stereo (and Dressy Bessy, taking a break here, I guess) I checked them out. For some reason they didn’t really grab me as much as the others, but I liked this tune.
- Owsley – Coming Up Roses
I had read about Owsley somewhere and the absolutely perfect pop music he was making. I like this song a lot, but none of the others I heard made much of an impression on me.
- Foo Fighters – Generator
At this point, this may be the band on this mix that’s been included the longest, but I’m pretty sure it’s the end of the road for them.
- Maroon 5 – Harder to Breathe
I haven’t the slightest clue where I heard these guys or why I included this. I mean, I don’t dislike it, but I don’t have the foggiest notion where it came from.
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Love Burns
- Hooverphonic – 2Wicky
- Jimmy Eat World – If You Don’t Don’t
- The New Pornographers – The Electric Version
- Grandaddy – The Group Who Couldn’t Say
- Phantom Planet – California
- They Might Be Giants – Damm Good Times
- The Polyphonic Spree – Section 12 (Hold Me Now)
Return performers from previous mixes.
- Delerium – Euphoria (Firefly)
I had had this song as an mp3 for ages and have no idea where I had originally heard it, or why it suddenly shows up here.
- Pendulum – Broadcast
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
- Air – Playground Love
- Modest Mouse – Float On
- The Vines – Ride
- Hot Hot Heat – Oh, Goddamnit
- Robyn Hitchcock – Viva! Sea-Tac
- Camera Obscura – Teenager
- Caesar’s Palace – Jerk It Out
- Mirah – Cold Cold Water
- Mellowdrone – Fashionably Uninvited
- South – Loosen Your Hold
- The Postal Service – Brand New Colony
- Puracane – Big Day
All of these came from KEXP. For many of them I can’t tell you anything about the band or anything else they’ve done; I just heard the songs on KEXP and liked them. In fact, only one of these resulted in an album purchase (The Postal Service), though I’ve been meaning to get a few of the others. Obviously a couple of them (“Maps”, “Float On”) were much more well-known than the others, but for me they all came from the same place and had the same weight.
I mentioned last time my confusion about “Surfing on a Rocket” by Air being on that mix. The album that’s from, Talkie Walkie was THE talk of KEXP when I first started listening, and that’s where I first heard them, yet none of the other KEXP songs were on that mix. A MYSTERY INDEED.
- Cake – Ruby Sees All
While waiting for a new Cake album I decided to go back to their first one, since I had jumped on the Cake album after that.
- Fountains Of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom
The song that would make — and, it looks like, break — Fountains of Wayne. “Stacy’s Mom” got tons of airplay, and had a well-known video, but didn’t really rise above the ranks of “summer novelty hit”. I can’t even argue that it’s nothing like their other songs — it’s not that different from a lot of them — but it clearly didn’t have anything that made anyone want to look further into this incredibly talented band, which is a damn shame. If that isn’t bad enough, I forgot this song on the CD cover I made.
- Thee Spivies – Holly
I’ve known a lot of fellows named Chris in my life, and this song came from Chris G.
- Jem – Just A Ride
Pretty sure she got a fair amount of airplay, and I think Becky got the CD.
- The Shins – New Slang
Though The Shins were also loved by KEXP, I first heard them on the Garden State soundtrack. I heard other bits of this album and Chutes Too Narrow and wasn’t much taken by anything else, even though it seemed they were wowing everyone else.
The title comes from a post on IMDB that was picked up by the humor site Something Awful. Dan and I saw it and LAUGHED AND LAUGHED.
Your next question is: Why is the cover so crappy? It’s a good question. The answer is because it was the first cover I made. In fact, it was supposed to just be temporary. It wasn’t until afterwards that I went back and made the other covers, and I improved my Paint Shop Pro technique as I went along. I really should make a better one for this mix, especially since I omitted a song on the back.
Click on the player below to listen to this mix!
(xspf player courtesy Lacy Morrow and Fabricio Zuardi.)