I miss the old days of the mix tape, trading them and making them for friends, agonizing over song order, timing it right so that a song would not be cut off when one side of the tape ended, and having to sit there while each song recorded with my finger on the stop button to avoid catching the beginning of a song deemed unworthy of mix tape inclusion. It was a labor of love, and the time and effort it took to create one fundamentally expressed a love of sharing music with one’s peers, opening their eyes to your musical tastes while also perhaps including some coded love message through song order, title, or lyrics.
Now, with the days of digital music in full swing, even the proposal of the mix CD is going the way of the dinosaurs and mammoths. Despite this fact, I made a mix CD for my fiancee a couple of nights ago.
I have made much on this blog about my hatred of modern country radio and about how my fiancee makes me listen to it frequently as it is her radio format of choice. I formulated the idea several months ago to make her a mix CD of entirely alt-country songs to try to open her ears to some great music that she will most definitely never hear on our local country stations. The logic was that, since she already likes country, perhaps I could lure her over to the dark side with some music that, while including some strong country flavors, would not necessarily fall into the strict confines of the country genre.
I decided to start off with artists and specific songs that I knew would be unoffensive, ones that would be pleasing to the ear and a good introduction to what can be a quite varied genre. In some instances, I may have stretched the boundaries of what would be considered alt-country a little bit, but I tried to keep it close. I also included several songs by the same artists, because I was confident that these artists would provide her with a gentle introduction to something different. I don’t think there is any song on there older than 2001, and there is regrettably no Wilco, Whiskeytown, or Uncle Tupelo there, but those may show up on future editions if the woman is amiable to it.
Because I am lazy, it took me a long time to get around to actually creating the damn thing, but now it is done and has been delivered. The results are yet to be determined, but I think I have made a strong case.
Here’s the list in the order they appear on the CD:
“When The Stars Go Blue” – Ryan Adams
“Mona Lisa” – Grant Lee Phillips
“Railroad Man” – Eels
“Question” – Old 97’s
“Dancefloors” – My Morning Jacket
“Country Caravan” – Blitzen Trapper
“Won’t Be Home” – Old 97’s
“Favorite” – Neko Case
“Miniskirt” – The Sleepy Jackson
“Your Protector” – Fleet Foxes
“Lily A-Passion” – Grant Lee Phillips
“Your Rocky Spine” – Great Lake Swimmers
“Magheetah” – My Morning Jacket
“Hold On, Hold On” – Neko Case
“Drops In The River” – Fleet Foxes
“The New Kid” – Old 97’s
“Just One Thing” – My Morning Jacket
Please feel free to add your suggestions for future alt-country mix CDs using the comments section below. I need all the help I can get!