10 March 2011

Mixtape Madness #4: March Forth

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

March Forth Mix
Every once and awhile, I throw together a mix that hits it just right. Realizing this, I may attempt to put out a monthly mix, inspired in part by Philadelphia Filmmaker Francis X. Friel, who still sends out actual mix tapes in the mail. Our first attempt at a monthly mix will be March Forth, a mix that begins with a welcome, gets deep and even a little insane before culminating with the end of the world.

1- "Welcome" by Dollabin
 Dollabin, the super smooth collaboration between noted crated diggers DJ Ian Head and Verbal Math, should be on everyone's radar. With a sweet laid back loop backing Verb's sly rhymes, "Welcome" is not only a fantastic example of Dollabin's work, but a great way to welcome you to the mix.

2- "Mine Is Yours" by Cold War Kids (Passion Pit Remix)
This track is the ultimate indiegasm for people who care about that sort of thing. Passion Pit takes a pretty decent song from the Cold War Kids and pimps it out in a synthesized way that only they can. I feel like this song would not be out of place in 1987, and I'm okay with that.

3- "I Need A Lover" by John Cougar Mellencamp
If you can't relate to this song, you either have not lived or you are just very lucky. After a lengthy intro, John "Don't call me Cougar" Mellencamp launches into a song about wanting a lover that won't drive him crazy. Amen brother.

4- "It Ain't Over Till It's Over" by Lenny Kravitz
This song found its way back into my life through Wawa. As I was getting a sandwich for lunch, this song came on, and everyone in the store started grooving. It was fantastic. Heads were bobbing, people young and old were singing along, it was borderline Gleeky (just without the cheese). Regardless, ever since that day, I have not been able to stop playing this track.

5- "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money & Ronnie Spector
Oh yeah, it's about to get real. We jump back to the 80's for this song that, to be honest, wouldn't have made it in any other decade. Just try to play this song without singing along or seriously shredding away on air guitar, I dare you. They should really play this at every bar around 12:30, it's perfect.

6- "Dance Yrself Clean" by LCD Soundsystem
I was admittedly late on discovering this song, which was sent to me as a video featuring some amateur Muppets. This is one of many times in which being a Muppet fanatic has worked in my favor because this song is fantastic. The slow build up to a banging party beat is done impeccably here. Check out the video here:

7- "Genius of Love" by the Tom Tom Club
I swear that this was not intended to be so 80's heavy, it just turned out that way. Organically. Like the food you should be eating. At any rate, who could complain? This song is so good, that I once saw on a Facebook profile under favorite music: "Anything that samples/is Genius of Love."

8- "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
As is the case with most mixes I make, it all starts with one song. This is that song. Ever since I heard this amazing beat topped with Adele's rich, velvety vocals, I've been hooked. "Rolling in the Deep" also fits in well theme-wise with tracks three and four from this mix.

9- "Here For You" by Mesita
I have to admit that I watched the first two episodes of MTV's version of Skins. While it mostly came off as the sluttier younger cousin of Undressed, it also boasted an amazing soundtrack. This is one of the songs I loved from that first episode.

10- "New Soul" by Yael Naim
I am fairly certain that this song is in a commercial, although I am not sure that is where I originally heard it. Either way, it is a super-catchy little jingle that I happen to enjoy.

11- "Radio Free Europe" by REM
If you are not familiar with REM's early work, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. This awesome song was their first hit and you can hear a twinge of punk influence in it. REM is typically fantastic, and it's cool to hear how they started with songs like this one.

12- "Crazy Crazy Insane" by Apsci
This is another one from the pilot of Skins. I love everything about this song, particularly the mention of Snakes on a Plane and "not crazy like ha ha but crazy crazy insane." This song makes me want to hear more from Apsci.

13- "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads
I can assure you that these two songs come in sequence purely by coincidence. I added this to the mix for two reasons. One, I love the Talking Heads. Two, my friends and I ended up singing it as we left a Dropkick Murphys concert the other night for some reason.

14- "Clock Strikes" by Timbaland and Magoo
What's not to like about this track? It samples the theme from Knight Rider, one of the best theme songs ever. Furthermore, Magoo has a super cool voice. Not to mention singing about pork and beans. In fact, this song is listed as "Pork & Beans" in my iTunes library. I like that title better.

15- "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty by Nature
This song is third on the list of songs that immediately conjure memories of summertime in the 90's. It's behind "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and "Mr. Bombastic" by Shaggy. You can also add pretty much the entirety of Mariah Carey's Fantasy album to that list. But I digress, sweet beat, sweet song.

16- "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green
Is it possible that there are people in the world that do not like this song? If so, that is a world I do not want to be a part of. Ridiculously catchy, quite funny, and an all-around great track. This is up there with "Take Me Home Tonight" as one of my favorite sing-alongs right now.

17- "White Rabbit" by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Grace Potter is very talented and I enjoy her music quite a bit. However, my favorite part about seeing her in concert is her cover songs. This cover is exactly how this song should be, and I'm sure Grace Slick would agree. Grace's cover of "Gold Dust Woman" with Warren Haynes is also worth checking out.

18- "Baby Did a Bad Thing" by Chris Isaak
If any trailer has this song in it, I go see the film without question. I guess that explains why I used it in the first trailer I edited. Isaak's impressive range is showcased in this song that will leave you wondering what was so bad that baby did?

19- "When the World Ends" by the Dave Matthews Band
This song did not get a lot of attention, unfortunately. This particular version comes from the Central Park concert album DMB put out a few years ago, and it remains a party staple of mine. I could not think of a better way to wrap things up then by ending the world, I only wonder how next month's mix will start.

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