It’s this weblog’s fourth blogiversary! In celebration, I’m sharing my latest CD mix. I’ve made a couple hundred mixes over the past two decades; few are as good as this one. I’ve been fine-tuning it for two weeks, but its final form only crystalized this morning before I left for work.

Without further ado, here’s Say Something New:

Take Your Mama Out – Scissor Sisters
via Paul Carlile This song is fun. Kris and I think it sounds like “Crocodile Rock”-era Elton John. “Gonna take your mama out all night / Yeah we’ll show her what it’s all about / We’ll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne / We’ll let the good times all roll out”
How Soon is Now? – t.A.T.u.
Of the songs on this mix, this is the one I’ve been listening to longest. It’s been in steady rotation for a couple of years now. “I am the son / and the heir / of a shyness / that is criminally vulgar”
Starving in the Belly of a Whale – Tom Waits
via Tom Denton I’m not a huge Tom Waits fan — his gravelly voice can grate — but Kris and I like this song. A lot. “When the day breaks, and the earth quakes / Life’s a mistake all day long / Tell me, who gives a good gooddamn / You’ll never get out alive”
Dakota – Stereophonics
I don’t know where I found this song, but I love it. In fact, it’s my favorite song on this mix. It’s got a sort of eighties power rock thing going on. I wonder if the Stereophonics are always this good. “Thinking back, thinking of you / Summertime, think it was June / Yeah, think it was June / Laying back, head on the grass / Chewing gum, having some laughs / Yeah, having some laughs”
Night on Fire – VHS or Beta
Here’s a group — or a song, anyhow — that sounds eerily like a blend of Duran Duran and The Cure. Seriously. “Put your hands together and we’ll light this night / Light this night on fire”
Kate – Ben Folds Five
According to audioscrobbler, this is my third-most listened-to song since October. I don’t doubt it. “And you can see the daisies in her footsteps / Dandelions / Butterflies / I wanna be Kate!”
Say Something New – Concretes
via Paul Carlile Paul told me about this band almost a year ago, but I didn’t pay attention. Then I heard this song in a television commercial, and developed a fleeting obsession with the band.
The Book of Right-On – Joanna Newsom
via Craig Briscoe “I’ve got a CD for you,” Craig told me recently. “But you have to listen to track three several times before you listen to the rest of it.” Why? Because Joanna Newsom is an acquired taste. She sounds like Iris Dement. Rapping. With a harp. “Do you want to sit at my table? / My fighting fame is fabled / And fortune finds me fit and able”
Dance Music – The Mountain Goats
I have no idea where this song came from, but I found it on my hard drive recently and thought it quite good. It reminds me of acoustic Neutral Milk Hotel (thus the next track). “I’m in the living room watching the Watergate hearings / while my stepfather yealls at my mother / launches a glass across the room straight at her head / and I dash upstairs to take cover / lean in close to my little record player on the floor / so this is what the volume knob’s for / I listen to dance music”
The King of Carrot Flowers – Neutral Milk Hotel
via Joel Miron Neutral Milk Hotel songs were made to be sung at the top of your lungs. “When you were young you were the king of carrot flowers / and how you built a tower tumbling thru the trees / in holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet”
Letter From an Occupant – The New Pornographers
via Jeremy Gingerich For some reason, I cannot listen to an entire New Pornographers album. When I listen to them one song a time, though, I think each song is great. I think this song is great. “I cried five rivers on the way here / which one will you skate away on?”
C’mon – Go Betty Go
Another song that I can’t explain how it found its way to my hard drive. Go Betty Go sounds very much like The Go-Gos. Do you think that’s intentional? “Today I’ve come to choose my ways / I’ve seen it all before”
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
This song is the internet song du jour, currently #2 on the iTunes Music Store. It’s so pop it hurts. Whatever. I like it. “Here’s the thing / We started out friends / It was cool, but it was all pretend”
All My Little Words – The Magnetic Fields
via Craig Briscoe Last year, Craig loaned me this group’s multi-CD set entitled 69 Love Songs which contains, as you might have guessed, sixty-nine love songs. This is one of my favorites. “You are a splendid butterfly / It is your wings that make you beautiful”
Bullet and a Target – Citizen Cope
via Paul Carlile “I predict that this will be the song of summer 2004,” Paul told me last year. It wasn’t. But it is pretty damn catchy. “You can blame it on Zeus and Apollo and Adonis / But what you’ve done here / Is put yourself between a bullet and a target”
If It Were Up To Me – Cheryl Wheeler
via Betsy Betsy recently sent us a CD of songs she thought we’d like. I was listen to it casually one Sunday afternoon, and was simply floored by this song. YMMV. “Maybe it’s the high schools, maybe it’s the teachers / Maybe it’s the tattooed children in the bleachers / Maybe it’s the Bible, maybe it’s the lack / Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the crack”
Apply Some Pressure – Maximo Park
via Todd DomineyPerhaps the least accessible song on the mix, this is a gem nonetheless. Another song with an eighties thing going on (but this time a little edgier — like New Order or Echo and the Bunnymen?). “What’s my view / well how am I supposed to know / write to review / well how objective can I be?”
Dirty Girl – Fisher
One of the internet’s best-kept secrets. This group hasn’t made a big splash in the real world yet, but they should. Instead we get to hear them in all sorts of tire commercials… “I had your name in my head / with Mrs. on it”

Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
We’ve been listening to Jet for almost a year now, and we still love them. Kris says they sound like Guns’n’Roses with a touch of Pink Floyd. I say they’re old school hard rock done right. “Now you dont need that money / when you look like that, do ya honey.”
Nowhere Again – Secret Machines
via Scott Scott loves the Secret Machines. I’ve only heard this song, but I agree that it’s good. “maybe the rain will stop following me / with millions of colors reflected in daylight”

A Shot in the Arm – Wilco
“The ashtray says you were up all night / When you went to bed with your darkest mind / Your pillow wept and covered your eyes / And you finally slept while the sun caught fire / You’ve changed”
I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise – Rufus Wainwright
I loved the music in The Aviator. This song was the best of the bunch. “I’ll build a Stairway to Paradise, / With a new Step ev’ry day. / I’m going to get there at any price; / Stand aside, I’m on my way!”

In the past, I’ve been awful about sharing my CD mixes with those of you who request them. I vow that, at least with this mix, I’ll not be so forgetful. Anyone who wants a copy may have one!

As for this weblog: will it be around for another four years? I’m not sure. Sometimes I don’t think it’ll be around for another four days, but mostly it’s a lot of fun.


On 16 March 2005 (12:54 PM),
Denise said:

I think Jet is AC/DC reinvented and a bit more metrosexual.

On 16 March 2005 (01:59 PM),
Amanda said:

Oh me me me!!!

On 16 March 2005 (02:29 PM),
Kris said:

Part of the reason I love the second song (“How Soon is Now?”) is the alternate interpretation of those lyrics as “I am the sun / and the air”. It always strikes me as clever.

And I must admit that the Joanna Newsom song is catchy. Maybe too catchy– you might find yourself humming it on the way to the loonybin.

On 16 March 2005 (06:52 PM),
al said:

Me please. Shall I send an address?

On 16 March 2005 (07:53 PM),
Courtney said:

Me too, please. Thanks!

On 16 March 2005 (09:11 PM),
Scott D said:

I highly recommend Stereophonic’s CD -The Word Gets Out. There’s a song on there called “Traffic” that is amazing.

Lest you get tired of your mix, I do have some fodder for your next one:

Beck – Ghettochip Malfunction (Hell Yes remix)
Death Cab for Cutie – The Sound of Settling
The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Anything by Snow Patrol
Blue Merle – Burning in the Sun
Modest Mouse – Ocean Breathes Salty [Actually the video is excellent] or Bury Me with It
Caedmon’s Call – Center Aisle

On 17 March 2005 (05:42 AM),
Betsy said:

Me, please!

You should definitely check out The Killers. A colleague at work has it in his network folder; I’ve been listening to it non-stop…

On 17 March 2005 (09:41 AM),
Rich R said:

I feel happy that I played a small part in this mix…I gave Jeremy the New Pornographers!

Would you make a mix for me and give it to Mr. Gingerich?

On 17 March 2005 (04:35 PM),
Craig said:

I’d like a copy too, please.

The lyric you quote from “Sixty Nine Love Songs” is my favorite on the three CDs, potentially my favorite opening lyric ever. The heartbreak of the whole song is summed up in that one line.

About “Stairway to Pradise,” does anyone realize that this song was in “An American in Paris?” Gene Kelly’s tres Frenchy rival for the love of Leslie Caron sings it in his nightclub act. He has such a delightfully over-the-top (and potentially fake)accent that I’m not sure I can listen to anyone else sign it.

And, in re Joanna Newsom: She can sing me off to any looney bin she so chooses.


On 17 March 2005 (08:43 PM),
Denise said:

I forgot to add I want a copy as well! Happy Blogiversary!

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