Monday, September 17, 2012

A Mix Tape

I am pretty sure that my Friday was better than yours.

It involved homemade peach pie and talking about music, two of my most favorite things. Two friends and I, because good things happen in 3s, decided it was high time for us to do some music swapping. Now, don't think that this was some black market, copyright infringement, illegal downloading thing, just some music loving. Think of it as missionary work. You need these songs in your life. Hallelujah and Amen.  The main rule of this music swap was that we were suppose to only bring 10 songs. Some of us followed this rule a little better than others. But I loved the challenge of picking just 10 songs from the thousands.  This week as I started to work on my playlist,  I first was looking for the most obscure songs I could find, my music snob membership dues were coming up for renewal. But as I was going on about it, none of the songs that I picked felt right. They weren't telling the story that I wanted to share. So I picked 10 songs that are by no means obscure or really eclectic in nature, but they truly do tell the story of my life right now.

After the pie plates were cleared away, we each pulled out our mixes. Instead of just handing them over, we told the stories behind why we picked each song, how our tastes in music have changed through the years, and took in the reality that music does have the power to change and move and bring people together. Sometimes we think of culture as something you just do. You go see a famous painting at a museum, or you go to the ballet and you are cultured. But I wonder if we don't realize that culture really does have the power to change us, to save us.

I recently read that the director Cameron Crowe  has made a mix tape every single month since 1978 of the songs that were his personal soundtrack for that month. I don't know if he still does it, but I love the idea of journaling your life through music, even if it is words written by others.  So here is my little mix. It is very heavy on the folky; a little sad, but not too sad, a little banjo, but not too much, side. But that is kinda how I roll these days.

(All links are to You Tube versions of the songs, because I apparently am not fancy or patient enough to figure out to post a playlist via Spotify or the like. The versions that were on my actual mixed cd may have been slightly different versions. I don't have any connection, love or hate towards any of the video sources.)

1. Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise--The Avett Brothers
Favorite line: Decide what to be, and then go be it.
This song was the very first Song of the Week on this blog, and truly is a life changing song for me.
Band website

2. Rivers and Roads--The Head and the Heart
Favorite line: If you don't know what to make of this, then we will not relate.
This song is all about change, friends moving away, your family living in a different state. Sound familiar? I love Charity's voice on this track, especially at the end.
Band website

3. Land of Dreams--Langhorne Slim
Favorite line: Everyone becomes invisible in the Land of Dreams.
I've talked about Mr. Slim several times, but he truly is writing a lot of the songs of my life right now.  Plus, he wears hats.
Band website

4.  Rambling Man--Laura Marling
Favorite line: Let it always be known, that I was who I am.
Laura Marling is such a gifted songwriter. The end. 
Band website

5. Elouise-- the Lumineers
Favorite line: I'm still fighting for you.
Even though their debut album was just released this year, The Lumineers have been around awhile, and used to release a song to two on their website every now. Elousie was one of those songs; it has been a favorite every since I heard it.
Band website

6. Feel the Tide--Mumford and Sons.
Favorite line: Just hold onto what we know is true.
It feels almost cliched putting a M&S song on a play list. I have talked about them so much that I know people have stopped listening. But it was through a passed play list that I first heard about them, so it is like (i hope) good music karma to keep passing their songs around. And this is a favorite song of theirs, especially for that favorite line  up there.  I have learned, especially recently, that to remain sane in this world, you have to hold on Truths, with a capital T,  and just let the other things go.
Band website

7. Working Titles--Damien Jurado
Favorite line: Write me song I can sing in my sleep.
Oh, that voice. Weak knees. The moral of the story, or a guess the song in this case, is don't date songwriters. Or  I guess, don't break up with songwriters?
Band website

8. Hello My Old Heart--The Oh Hello's
Favorite line: Hello my old heart, how have you been? Are you still there in my chest?
The Oh Hello's are made up of siblings Maggie and Tyler Heath. To me, that deserve a cookie right there. I love my sister and all, but to go into a career venture together? Sanity says no.  My little broken, and then mended heart could of written this song. Love is such a complicated thing. 
Band website

9. Take 'Em Away--Old Crow Medicine Show
Favorite line: My heart is broken 'cause my spirit's not free.
I am so happy that Critter (the voice and guitar you hear on this favorite tune) is back playing with the band. I am also glad there a banjo/guitar player named Critter in the world.
Band website

10. Take Care of All My Children (Tom Waits cover)--The Changing Colors.
Favorite Line: The entire song is my favorite line. 
I know, I know, a Tom Waits COVER? Who am I anymore? I do love the original version of this song, dearly, but there is just something about this cover that tugs at my heart.
Band website

To see the other excellent playlists shared that night, visit Miranda's blog. I gots me some friends with great taste.

Wow, that is a lot of linking. 

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