Saturday, 11 April 2009

And what of the Mix CD?

I may have made a terribly self centered discovery.

So my very cool flatmate made me a mix cd with the words "Play it Loud" written on it. If you are a long time reader of the blog, you know what a proponent I am of the dying art of mix cds. I turned the volume all the way up on my laptop, which probably wasn't as loud as the instructions demanded, and let that baby roar. I listened to it twice, highly enjoyable. The tracks I did know I liked, the tracks I didn't know were the kind of thing I liked, and from having heard the wide range of music that my flatmate plays in his room, it seemed like he'd made this mix with an eye on music that he specifically thought I would like. I was so happy about the whole thing that I felt inspired to make my own mix cd for one of my best friends in Canada.

Breaking all my rules, I ignored transitions, and just tried to put as many tracks that I liked on the same cd. The cd has been made, sent off in the mail, but the playlist remains on my itunes. Tantalizingly. Because while I listened to my flatmate's perfectly awesome mix twice, I've listened to my own - um - at least five times? What happens is, I'll start using the computer, think to myself that I'd like to listen to some music, and whereas the gift mix cd has to be found, then physically inserted into the driver, the playlist is already there. And I know I like all the music, I made it. This has put me in a strangely self reflexive audio world - especially since many of the tracks on this have been rediscovered through my "Music's Been Ruined by Dating" performance last week. (This is a show where, with an audience, I session music that was ruined for me by a relationship.)

You know, in a way I'd be perfectly happy with this fact - that everyone likes their own mixes best - except that I've started to worry that my friend in Canada will listen to my mix twice then go back to his own convenient playlists. It's so comfortable, so little work, but breaks all the golden rules of the mix! And it would all add up to living in a world where people are best off making mix cds for themselves. I already check my facebook page at least ten times more often than I check the news. Make me stop recycling my playlists! In a terrible hall of mirrors, I am actually listening to the mix right now, as I chastise myself for it on the blog. And while one part of my brain is trying to pay attention to what I'm writing, another part of my brain is thinking, "Bob Dylan is soooo good. I want to listen to this mix til the end of time."

Playlist for the tantalizing, once altruistic and now self absorbed mix cd:

1. Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould
2. Georgia Stomp - Andrew and Jim Baxter
3. The Name was Johnny - Dmitri Martin
4. Couples - Dylan Moran
5. Get Away - Georgie Fame
6. Ballade de Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg
7. Complainte pour Ste. Catherine - Kate and Anna McGarrigle
8. Horses - Tori Amos
9. Save Me from The City - The Very
10. Ballantines - Aimee Mann
11. Boum! - Charles Trenet
12. It Seems Like Old Times - Diane Keaton (Annie Hall)
13. Prelude 110 (Women of the world) - Jim O'rourke
14. Un homme et une femme - Theme
15. Astronaut - Amanda Palmer
16. Rehab - Amy Winehouse
17. Oh No - Andrew Bird
18. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll - Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Review (1975)
19. I'm on Fire - The Chromatics
20. Anything Goes - Cole Porter
21. Silver and Gold - Dolly Parton
22. Woods - Bon Iver

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