March – Spring Has Sprung

This isn’t true everywhere, but I live in Florida, and here, it is officially spring. Sun shining! Birds singing! I love that debut warm weekend of the year when I can put on shorts for the first time in months and go to the beach.

This super-happy, supercharged mixtape embodies these warm-weather feelings. And  if you live someplace where you’re still buried in snow, give it a listen anyway – it might thaw you out.

“Love Music! Love Life!”

the mixtape equivalent of sunshine and rainbows and baby raccoons*

1. “Neverevereverdid” – Architecture in Helsinki

2. “Huddle Formation” – The Go! Team

3. “Yea Yeah” – Matt & Kim

4. “Space Is the Place” – Spacehog

5. “36-24-36″ – Violent Femmes

6. “Disco 2000″ – Pulp

7. “Echos Myron” – Guided by Voices

8. “July, July!” – The Decemberists

9. “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood” – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

10. “Aphrodisiac” – Bow Wow Wow

11. “Dancing With Myself” – Billy Idol

12. “Y-Control” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

13. “Throwaway Style” – Exploding Hearts

14. “American Hearts” – Piebald

15. “Don’t Stop Living in the Red” – Andrew W.K.

 

*So, I’ve never actually seen a baby raccoon, but I just imagine them being adorable. It would make sense if in real life they’re all hairless and pink and gross, like a baby hamster, but I will stand by my baseless imaginings.

February, the last – Guest Valentine’s mixtape

As promised, here’s Andrew Tan‘s awesome annual Valentine’s Day mix. The first year we did this, the mixes were cute. The second year, the subject matter bordered on suicidal. Last year, they were fun. This year, his mix is just plain good (with some throwbacks to when we were 15ish).

“All’s Fair in Love”
a mixtape for those who would do anything for love
1. “Fair” – Ben Folds Five
2. “Postcard to Nina” – Jens Lekman
3. “Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect” – The Decemberists
4. “Ask” – Smiths
5. “In Love” – Ben Folds
6. “Across the Sea” – Weezer
7. “Valentine” – The Replacements
8. “Positive Tension” – Bloc Party
9. “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get” – Morrissey
10. “As Your Ghost Takes Flight” – Saves the Day
11. “I Won’t Spend Another Night Alone” – The Ataris
12. “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” – Meat Loaf
13. “Really In Love” – Andrew W.K.

Post Script: Can we just talk about how awesome “I’d Do Anything for Love” is? Actually, the real question is, How has Meat Loaf not yet died of a heart attack while performing this song? I challenge you to find a piece of music more epic.

meat_loaf-7650221meat-loaf-ck-549823-l2

February, yet again – When love isn’t pretty

I’m not sure if you’re all aware of this, but according to various news sources, apparently the economy is broken. So for this “it’s-not-really-a-recession-but-jeez-it-sure-feels-like-one” only, this month I’m giving you three mixtapes for the price of one! (There’s also going to be a special guest mixtape, again from the lovely and talented Andrew Tan, once I figure out all the songs he put on there for me.) In the interest of full disclosure, I made this mixtape for Andrew in our grand yearly tradition of trading Valentine’s Day mixes, but when you’re tightening your belt, sometimes you end up with secondhand goods. This mixtape rounding out the trio is for when love isn’t necessarily mutual. It may involve collecting strands of your love’s hair and twisting them into a doll to sleep with.

“Sometimes Love is Creepy”
a mixtape for creepstersvday-cd-09-cover-blog2
1. “The Stalker” — Piebald
2. “One Way or Another” — Blondie
3. “Spiderwebs” — No Doubt
4. “Voyeur” — Blink 182
5. “My So-Called Life” — The Ataris
6. “This Could Be Love” — Alkaline Trio
7. “Rocks Tonic Juice Magic” — Saves the Day
8. “Hungry Like the Wolf” — Duran Duran
9. “Brand New Key” — Melanie
10. “Sittin’ Pretty” — Brendan Benson
11. “I Will Possess Your Heart” — Death Cab for Cutie
12. “Pictures of You” — The Cure
13. “Ava Adore” — Smashing Pumpkins
14. “Hey Joe” — Jimi Hendrix
15. “Every Breath You Take” — The Police

February – I HATE love!

This mixtape is reserved for a year when you truly hate Valentine’s Day. I’m not talking about thinking it’s a silly holiday invented by Hallmark, and I’m not talking about not having a date and being a little jealous of your friends who do. We’re talking you just bought an engagement ring and then she leaves you for your best friend, whom she’s been boinking behind your back. She also took the dog, and she never even really liked the dog all that much. This is…

“Hide the Razor Blades”
a mixtape for the valentineless
1. “Valentine” — The Old ’97selliottsmith2
2. “Enjoy Your Day” Alkaline Trio
3. “I Don’t Want to Get Over You” — Magnetic Fields
4. “Suicide Medicine” — Rocky Votolato
5. “Hopeless” — The Wrens
6. “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” — The White Stripes
7. “I Know It’s Over” — The Smiths
8. “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” — Wilco
9. “Ain’t Gonna Rain Anymore” — Nick Cave
10. “Sometimes” — My Bloody Valentine
11. “Call Me on Your Way Back Home” — Ryan Adams
12. “I Don’t Blame You” — Cat Power
13. “Somebody That I Used to Know” — Elliott Smith

February – I LOVE love!

Nearly every month has a holiday (sorry, August), and most of the time stores and supermarkets make it obvious what the next holiday coming up will be. February’s hits you in the face with pink and red pretty much right after the Christmas trees come down — Valentine’s Day, of course. I don’t care how trite or made-up you think Valentine’s Day is, it’s still a nice excuse to do something romantic. It can also be a good opening to finally make your feelings known to the one you’ve secretly been admiring. If that’s your plan, what better way than with a mixtape? Make the one that follows, and your admiree is sure to fall for you. (And if they don’t, then they’re clearly classless trash, and you’re better off without them.)

“I’ve Gotta Crush on You!”
a mixtape to sweep someone off their feetvalentinegiftvalentinesdaygifts
1. “1-2 Crush on You” — The Clash
2. “Kiss Me on the Bus” — The Replacements
3. “Love You Madly” — Cake
4. “Bohemian Like You” — The Dandy Warhols
5. “Just Like Heaven” — The Cure
6. “I Like You” — Morrissey
7. “Head On” — The Pixies
8. “Just What I Needed” — The Cars
9. “Buick City Complex” — The Old ’97s
10. “The Weather” — Built to Spill
11. “The Reasons” — The Weakerthans
12. “Ask” — The Smiths
13. “El Scorcho” — Weezer

January – I resolve to make more mixtapes

So it’s officially 2009 — also known as the future. While I’m thoroughly disappointed that we don’t each already have a robot maid and a hoverboard, that’s no reason not to make this a great year. After all, new years are all about new beginnings, fresh hopes and making resolutions you have no intention of keeping. What better way to kick off the new year and get yourself motivated than with — surprise — a mixtape? You can listen to it while you’re exercising, or dieting, or concentrating on not biting your nails, or whatever you’ve picked as your resolution yet again that will probably be forgotten by next week. (Don’t worry; mixtapes don’t judge you.) Here’s to new beginnings!

“Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 2009″baron_davis_stephen_jackson_monta_ellis_drunk11
a new mixtape for a new year
1. “The New Year” — Death Cab for Cutie
2. “Letter Home” — Defiance, Ohio
3. “Closing Time” — Semisonic
4. “When You Wake Up Feeling Old” — Wilco
5. “(Just Like) Starting Over” — John Lennon
6. “In the New Year” — The Walkmen
7. “Take Me to the River” — Talking Heads
8. “Citizens of Tomorrow” — Tokyo Police Club
9. “Rudie Can’t Fail” — The Clash
10. “Livin’ in the Future” — Bruce Springsteen
11. “Krafty” — New Order
12. “Do You Realize?” — The Flaming Lips
13. “Do It Again” — The Kinks
14. “One More Time” — Daft Punk
15. “Tubthumping” — Chumbawamba

December – The Most Wonderful Mixtape of the Year

I love the holidays — presents, cookies, time off from work (no, I don’t make mixtapes for a living), family (usually), chilly weather…. The holiday music is OK, too, but not everybody goes in for the whole caroling thing. So my gift to you is not one, but two Christmas-themed mixtapes: the gifts that keep on giving.

“I’m Dreaming of a Christmas Mixtape”
a mixtape for the traditionalist
1. “Here Comes Santa Claus” — Gene Autrychristmas-presepe
2. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Johnny Marks
3. “Christmas Vacation” — Mavis Staples
4. “Hey, Santa Claus” — The Moonglows
5. “Mele Kalikimaka” — Bing Crosby
6. “That Spirit of Christmas” — Ray Charles
7. “White Christmas” — Bing Crosby
8. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” — Ella Fitzgerald
9. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” — Mariah Carey
10. “Jingle Bell Rock” — Bobby Helms
11. “Winter Wonderland” — The Andrews Sisters
12. “Santa Baby” — Eartha Kitt
13. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” — Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer

“Not Yo Momma’s Christmas Mixtape”
a mixtape for the anti-caroler
1. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” — The Ramoneschristmasvacation1
2. “Punk Rock Christmas” — Sex Pistols
3. “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause” — The Damned
4. “Christmas in Hell” — Pennywise
5. “Xmas Eve (She Got Up and Left Me)” — Rancid
6. “Deadbeat Holiday” — Green Day
7. “White Christmas” — Goldfinger
8. “Merry Christmas” — Face to Face
9. “Santa’s Coming” — CKY
10. “Snake Oil Tanker” — Alkaline Trio
11. “Mele Kalikimaka” — Reel Big Fish
12. “Christmas Wrapping” — Save Ferris
13. “Feed The World (Do They Know It’s Christmas)” — The Bouncing Souls
14. “Christmas Vacation” — The Descendants
15. “Oi to the World” — The Vandals