Mix Tape Monday: Worst Song On A Mix?

Billy Joel Sux

Welcome back to Mix Tape Monday, the blog series that doesn’t care that no one owns a boombox anymore.  Last week, while setting my radio alarm, I heard Billy Joel’s “Only The Good Die Young.”  And it suddenly occurred to me EXACTLY how much of a dick Billy Joel was being to this girl.  Virginia has clearly said no to the sex, (which, given that it’s Billy Joel, is probably a good plan) and instead of being like “well, okay, I respect your decision to do what you feel is right with your body,” he proceeds to insult her by shaming her faith.  “Don’t let me wait/you Catholic girls start much too late/sooner or later it comes down to fate/I might as well be the one.”

I seriously fucking hate this guy.

I seriously fucking hate this guy.

Translation: Your needs and values are meaningless because I want sex, and eventually you’re going to give it up to someone, so you might as well fuck me.  There’s no mention of love, or even that they’re dating.  He wants to bone her, she said no, and he’s negging on her.  This is not a romantic song, and Billy Joel has once again shown that he is a horndog douche.

I tweeted this, and my friend Emily replied that a boy had actually put this on a mix for her, despite her not even being Catholic.  He used a mix tape for evil!  That’s just wrong.

So I ask…what was the worst song anyone has ever put on a mix for you?  Bad in sound or intention or both?

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Mixtape Monday: The Crush Mix

Say-Anything1

Welcome back to Mix Tape Monday, the blog series that celebrates all things mix-related.  Today we’re talking about the whole reason Mix Tapes were invented–The Crush Mix.

You know the drill.  You’re so head-over-heels in love with someone that every song you hear reminds you of them.  You savor the music that played on the radio when they happened to glance your way, convinced it was destiny that that song came on at that exact moment. But you don’t know if they’re feeling the same, so you test the waters with a tape that could be plutonic…but really, your heart is bleeding through every single lyric. The Crush Mix is meant to be listened to on headphones, alone and in one go, so plan your lyrics and transitions accordingly.  Sound clips are not advised here.

There are two types of Crush Mixes–the hopeful and the unrequited.  Today, we’ll be looking at the first, using a mix I titled Songs For Your Future Front Office (2005).  I’m not going to tell you who I made it for, but if you’re out there, Darling Recipient, feel free to identify yourself.  Obviously, this one went unrequited, but it was still fun to make, and I still think fondly of the recipient.  Let’s get started!

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Mix Tape Monday: The Apology Mix

parks-and-rec-how-a-bill-becomes-a-law-cool-times-summer-jamz-mix-614x341

There’s a lot more to making a mix than just throwing a bunch of songs onto a Spotify playlist or a CD.  It’s about creating a mood or emphasizing an emotion, playing to a theme or singing what you can’t speak aloud.  You don’t make someone a mix unless they’re really important.

So I have a new feature here on the blog–MIX TAPE MONDAY.  I’ll dissect mixes I’ve made for other people, and maybe even a few people have made for me, to dissect what works.  A note before we begin: we’ll use the term “Mix Tape” as a general term here, because “Mix CD” or “Playlist” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The Big Rewind CoverUp first, we have the APOLOGY MIX.  I’ve made a few of these in my day, but this one, titled The All Or Nothing Days (2014) is especially poignant because it was made for my friend Jason.  The epic fight we had, which lead to seven years of silence between us, was part of the inspiration for The Big Rewind, and the first thing we did when we reconnected (thanks to our awesome friend Corey, seriously, she rules and I owe her my whole life.) was make each other mixes.  I would be lying if I said I hadn’t planned a lot of this mix ahead of time, and I was glad I finally had a chance to use it.

A quick word about Jason: He was my mix tape protege, and has taken the art form to a new level.  He can pick songs and clips that are so precise, so devastatingly perfect, that it borders on sadistic.  He has made several of my all-time favorite mixes, including She Doesn’t Think My Tractor’s Sexy Anymore (2005) which should be in some sort of mix CD museum for it’s sheer brilliance.

The Apology Mix is meant to be listened to on headphones.  It’s a close, intimate type of mix, so make sure each of your messages comes through loud and clear.  You won’t around to explain the meaning of each song, so be precise in your choices.

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Why I Don’t Leave Negative Reviews

Pictured: The Internet

Pictured: The Internet

I have friends that leave reviews constantly.  Liked the restaurant we ate at? Write a review on Yelp.  Hated the movie we saw?   A full rant is up on Facebook that night.

The phrase “Everyone’s a Critic” has never been truer.  Between Amazon and Yelp and, I dunno, MoviePoopShoot, everyone can tell you exactly what they think about everything.   Especially when we hate something.  Then we cannot shut up about it.

Me, I’m opting out.  I am no longer leaving bad reviews.

For me, writing a bad review is bossy.  It’s saying, “I’ve decided, in my infinite wisdom, that no one else should like this book/bar/movie/album because it did not please me.”  But tastes are subjective, and people have every right in the whole world to enjoy Ready Player One or The Force Awakens, even if I didn’t.

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What The Heck Is #RecordSaturday?

I love sharing music with people.  It compliments both my generous and my bossy nature (“Seriously, you’ll like this Steely Dan song, I swear….”) and for years, it’s what propelled my love of making mix tapes.  To be able to give someone a song that reminds you of them is a profound gesture, a portable party, a way of saying “You Are Rad.”

So I created RecordSaturday as a group listening party, since my 900 friends on Twitter probably can’t fit in my apartment.  I live-tweet an album from my collection (@libbycudmore) every Saturday night at 8 p.m., with stories about my personal connection to the album, cool record facts and a theme — I shared pictures of my best girlfriends with Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual for Galentine’s Day, and a Star Wars theme alongside Men At Work’s Business As Usual.

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The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For….

The Big Rewind is OUT!  Buy it at your local bookstore! Buy it on Amazon!  Buy it at Barnes & Noble!  Buy one for yourself, and another for someone you respect and admire!

Packed The House at the Green Toad Bookstore!

Packed The House at the Green Toad Bookstore!

And if you love it, spread the word.  If you don’t, well, here’s hoping you find something ELSE you love and can talk that up instead!

The Big Rewind Cover

On Missing Girls & Why I Can’t Listen to Eric Clapton

The Back to the Future soundtrack is the sound of happiness.  If you don’t love “The Power of Love” than you are an inhuman monster and we have nothing to talk about.

But on a weirder, darker note, I can’t listen to Eric Clapton’s “Heaven is One Step Away,” on the A-side.  It’s a halfway decent song (I’m not a huge Clapton fan anyways) but it’s linked in my brain, the way that music gets, with two tragedies.  The first, knowing about Clapton’s son Conor, who died in a fall from a window and was the inspiration for “Tears in Heaven,” a song that I feel bad for deeply hating.  The second is an incident that had a fundamental impact on my life, one that has stayed with me well into adulthood.

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The Night Belongs to Mona

As I mentioned in my last post, my crime writing notebook, Gail, is nearly full.  She had an interesting life; early character sketches became Stella and Miles in “Narc” (forthcoming in The Big Click) and “Rough Night in Little Toke” (featured in Hanzai Japan,) as well as the home for the starts of three possible novels.

Mona was an exercise in desperation and failed plans.  Initially I had planned to build her signatures out of grey-tone sketch paper, but with space running out in Gail and no time to get to a store that would have a selection of paper for me to feel and test, I went with the normal sketch paper I had on hand.  I had intended to use a French stitch, but the instructions I had in one of my books were vague at best, and by the time I had my paper punched, surprise, I realized I had to have five holes, not four as I had originally thought.  Coptic it is!

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Steely Dan, New Notebooks, and Other Dark Sarcasm

Let me start by saying that I’m listening to a lot of Steely Dan as I write this, so if it comes off as rambling, dark and sarcastic, I apologize.  Every time I put on a Steely Dan record, I find myself thinking why am I not spending every minute of every day listening to Steely Dan?  Becker/Fagen are to my 30s as Morrissey/Marr were to my 20s, a constant, reassuring soundtrack.  Every time I listen to an album, I discover something new to love about a song I’ve heard a thousand times before. (How could I forget about “Caves of Altamira?”  Was “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” always this brilliant?).

Matthew & I saw our third Dan show at the Beacon on Wednesday; last time we saw them play Gaucho in full and when they played “Josie” I thought my heart would explode.  The first time we saw them, they busted out “The Second Arrangement.”  And I’ve seen Donald Fagen play with the Dukes of September Rhythm Review, as well as seeing fellow Dukes Boz Scaggs & Michael McDonald on their own tours.  (Also, I am kind of in love with Donald Fagen and wish he would write a charmingly sleazy song about me, more “Slinky Thing” than “Cousin Dupree.”)

But Wednesday night, they opened with “Black Cow” (one of my favorites) and played “FM,” which made me so insanely happy that I screamed.  They played “Josie” too, and “Peg,” and “Black Friday.”  If they had played “What a Shame About Me,” I might have died of happiness.

In addition to the show, Matthew and I took a few days to work on some writing.  The way I’ve been barreling through notebook pages, I’m on Dutch’s last signature, and he’ll only last another week, at most.  And Gail, hale and hearty as she is, is nearing the end of her line, with only a signature left before she’s retired to the bookshelf.

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Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

I hate Jimmy Buffet.  “Margaritaville” is one of those songs that gets stuck in my head for days on end, driving me nearly to madness.  The very strains of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” make me want to go vegan.  I do NOT wish I had a pencil-thin mustache, thank you.

So you may wonder then how I ended up seeing Changes in Latitude, the premier Jimmy Buffet tribute band, last night.  The answer is this: My friend Thor.

Buffet Buffet

Thor is my Friday Night Thing.  He laughs easily and is always up for anything no matter how goofy, plus he shares my not-so-secret-but-deeply-shameful love of Moe’s.  So when I saw that our little civic center was indeed getting a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, I knew we had to go.  There is little I love more than an ironic concert, hipster that I am.

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