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.
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”
[ZIPPED MP3S, LEFT CLICK AND SAVE]
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”  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”  5= Steve Earle, “The Galway Girl” [=]