this song explains why i’m leaving home to become a stewardess: last month’s mix, february 2009;

51. Elle

So, this? If there’s a better way to wake up at 7am on a Sunday morning, I want to know about it.

I bought a new notebook to take to the beach on Saturday; a gorgeous, heavy thing with a fabric cover and a butterfly print. I hope to use it more often than many of its predecessors – it can be a twin, of sorts, for my travel journal. As the train headed back to Glasgow, I started to sketch out a new project: an “autobiographical” mix of sorts, in however many volumes, of the songs that mean and have meant the most to me.

It’s turning into quite a sprawling, ambitious project, not least because the normal rules of mix-making don’t really apply. One song, one artist is a perfectly acceptable rule if it’s an ordinary mix CD, for example, but there are certain artists who have influenced and guided me so closely that I’d feel as if I’d be cheating myself if I left repeaters off. There will be several CDs anyway – at least four, although we seem to be heading rapidly for five – each encapsulating different facets or periods of my life. There will be cover art. There are certainly plenty of selfies to choose from.

I don’t know what I’ll do with the collection in the end. I don’t think I’ll post the results, although the tracklistings will certainly end up on the newly-functioning Art of the Mix. If you’ve been following me long enough you’ll probably have half the tracks already, and the alternative is I get sued by Bob Dylan. I might make copies for the people who I think should know me best, and keep one for myself. I might not get around to it. The idea came about on one particularly tedious afternoon at work, when I was listening to… oh, I can’t even remember, but it pulled me out of my mood and when I posted to Twitter with the quote from Almost Famous and somebody asked me what song it was I realised there were really several.

MOAR LYG:  girls be good to these spirits of music and poetry: last year's mixes 2007;

But that’s all in the future: for now, there’s your regular monthly mix.

Dylan Is A Sentiment That You Don’t Want To Share: last month’s mix, February 2009
1. Illinois: “Missing Piece”
2. Elvis Perkins in Dearland: “Shampoo”
3. Aidan Moffat and the Best-Ofs: “Big Blonde”
4. Kill It Kid: “Send Me An Angel Down”
5. The Rosebuds: “Life Like”
6. The Secondhand Marching Band: “Don’t!”
7. Red House Painters: “Byrd Joel”
8. The Steeldrivers: “If It Hadn’t Been For Love”
9. The Gaslight Anthem: “I’da Called You Woody, Joe”
10. David Vandervelde: “California Breezes”
11. Feist and Ben Gibbard: “Train Song”
12. Emmy the Great: “Dylan”
13. J. Tillman: “No Occasion”
14. Abbie Gardner and Anthony de Costa: “Nothing Left To Hide”
15. Tom Waits: “Downtown Train”


And monthly most played after the jump. Oh my god. There are new entries!

Monthly Most Played as of February 2009:
1. The Hold Steady, “Sequestered in Memphis” [=] 2= The Hold Steady, “Lord, I’m Discouraged” [=] 2= Marah, “Walt Whitman Bridge” [3] 4. The Hold Steady, “Constructive Summer” [=] 5= Dan Bern, “Chelsea Hotel” [RE] 5= The Gaslight Anthem, “The ’59 Sound” [NE] 5= The Gaslight Anthem, “High Lonesome” [NE] 5= The Hold Steady, “Magazines” [=] 5= Marah, “Formula, Cola, Dollar Draft” [RE] 5= The National, “Thirsty” [8] 5= Steve Earle, “The Galway Girl” [=]



  1. February 23, 2009 / 6:05 pm

    A few things:

    I love that AotM is back up and running. If I were still doing monthly mixes, I’d be back.

    Your life-soundtrack is only four CDs? I’m surprised! That actually sounds like an amazing project, and I’m thinking I might copy off you. Send you a copy of mine if you send me a copy of yours?

    I’ve decided that I’m defintely going to Atlanta tomorrow night. Driving three-plus-hours home in the wee hours on a work night is going to kill me, but if I have to take a sick day, I have to take a sick day. Maybe this time around, I’ll get a half-decent make-out out of Dave – but I doubt it! (I’m not that smooth.)


  2. boyhowdy
    February 24, 2009 / 12:42 am

    Yay, Steeldrivers and RHP and Train Song and Downtown Train and Gardner/de Costa! (et alia!)

    I almost put Steeldrivers on my top ten lifetime mix; decided they were too new to be sure. Downtown train almost made the cut, too, though I never know which Waits to pick. But they’d certainly go on my lifemix CD set.

  3. February 24, 2009 / 9:34 am

    ah, here it is ๐Ÿ™‚

    yknow, that sounds like it’d make an awesome book. Even if you don’t want to publish it, as an accompanament to the mix cd ought to be pretty cool too.

  4. Ed P.
    February 24, 2009 / 11:29 am

    Liking the Gaslight Anthem.

    Four cd’s? Already? When I turned 40 I tracked a musical bio and there were only three cds involved!

  5. Helen
    February 24, 2009 / 2:26 pm

    Where did you get that scrabble bracelet from?! As a real scrabble geek who has read wordfreak, memorises sowpods lists and gets wayyyy too excited about a good bingo when playing a highspeed game on ISC I think I need to get one… or make some totally cool bracelet with scrabble tiles all around it spelling something but I’m not going to ruin my scrabble sets for that. Actually tiles from my vintage wooden German set would look freakin cool… but no, I need them to play ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh man look how you distracted me from my work with one photo :p Back I go to my good old Anstellungsvertrag and will download the mix later! ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

  6. Sara
    February 25, 2009 / 12:32 am

    Lisa, love, you inspire me always. Not least because I’ve been playing with a lifeplaylist of a fashion lately: splitting my life into sections (religion and the lack thereof, crappy relationships and the Husband, friends I now hate and friends I’ve never met, etc).

  7. February 28, 2009 / 12:40 am

    boyhowdy: I suspect I got much of this month from you then ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wish i took notes as to where I downloaded things, but it all ends up in the magical melting pot that is my shuffle.

    Helen: I sent you the link, but in case you never got it/anyone else is interested you can get the Scrabble Me Senseless necklace here.