Friday, January 13, 2012

Phil? Phil Connors?

There are few things I enjoy as much as making mix CDs for my friend Kate. Her skyscraping standards always make it a challenge, and our shared fervor for Sound Opinions inspires me to revisit my preferred rock n' roll podcast. Plus, she lives in England, so it's a fine excuse to send her some fan mail.

Thus, her birthday (Groundhog Day) is one of my favorite mix CD holidays. I sculpted Phil? Phil Connors? in my final workdays at the job I've toiled over for two and a half years. The result is a little self-centered--something I needed to listen to as much as I needed to put it together.

Phil? Phil Connors?
  1. The Smashing Pumpkins, "Cherub Rock"
  2. Nine Inch Nails, "Wish"
  3. The Go-Go's, "Our Lips Are Sealed"
  4. Hüsker Dü, "Makes No Sense at All"
  5. Kylesa, "Don't Look Back"
  6. Sam Cooke, "Twistin' the Night Away"
  7. Big Freedia, "Ya'll Get Back Now"
  8. Guided by Voices, "Game of Pricks"
  9. TV on the Radio, "Second Song"
  10. Marsha Hunt, "(Oh No! Not) The Beast Day"
  11. Lou Reed, "The Blue Mask"
  12. Metallica, "Hit the Lights"
  13. Das Racist, "Rainbow in the Dark"
  14. Wild Flag, "Romance"
  15. Bill Withers, "Grandma's Hands"
  16. Patti Smith, "Dancing Barefoot"
  17. Elliott Smith, "Angel in the Snow"
  18. Prince & the Revolution, "Mountains"
  19. Estelle feat. Kanye West, "American Boy"
  20. The Chemical Brothers, "The Private Psychedelic Reel"
The Sound Opinions influence can be heard in Wild Flag (a band I immediately thought she'd like,) TV on the Radio (a band we saw together) and Das Racist (a band she enjoyed from my last birthday mix,) all three of which made Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot's Best of 2011 lists. Another thing that the two of them agreed on (this does not happen often, so I always pay close attention when it does) was the year's worst--Lou Reed & Metallica's Lulu. Thus, in honor of Kate and Sound Opinions, I am including both Lou and Metallica on this mix. "The Blue Mask" and "Hit the Lights" showcase two of my all time favorite artists at their very fiercest, and prove that Lou Reed can sit next to Metallica with less-than-castrophic results.

I had to include some dance tracks, so this year Kate gets Big Freedia (a fantastic recommendation from my friend Jess) and Sam Cooke. Picking one Sam Cooke song is harder than Chinese algebra, so I took some input from my coworker Daniel, an actor/singer/rabid fan who would be ideal for the lead in a King of Soul biopic*. More thanks goes to my friend Jenny, who was so appreciative of getting "Game of Pricks" on her last birthday mix that I'm inspired to give it another go here.

Of course, the primary inspiration for Phil? Phil Connors? is Kate herself. The spellbinding mix she sent me for my past birthday kicked off with some of my top alternative rock artists, so I'm reciprocating with the Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails. A good mix needs a healthy balance of familiar material and new songs, so I was careful to choose songs that I can't imagine anyone getting sick of. Kate also beautifully ended her mix with an electronica instrumental from Lemon Jelly, an effect I liked so much that I'm swindling it for this mix. Topping things off are the Chemical Brothers with "The Private Psychedelic Reel," a song that I hadn't listened to in years, but now sounds like something for my Desert Island Jukebox.

Happy birthday, Kate! The United Kingdom is very lucky to have you.

*If you are working on said movie, GET IN TOUCH WITH ME NOW.

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