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Let’s just say Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday. Since I’m that guy who copes with music, I developed a habit in college of making a mixtape for my roommate’s girlfriend in order to make the day a little bit more bearable. I think there might have been a year–maybe two–where I faltered and didn’t deliver. But I put a lot of thought into these things and try to get a healthy mix of music, or at least music that I can’t seem to get out of my head. This year, for the first time, I burned more than just one copy (for a super-select threesome of women who totally deserve it) and realized this mixtape doesn’t need to be a secret. So now you can listen too, you just don’t have the convenience of putting no effort into arranging these songs onto a CD I already burned for you.

1. The Afghan Whigs, “Somethin’ Hot
2. Mayer Hawthorne, “Maybe So, Maybe No”
3. Otis Redding, “The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)”
4. The Police, “Does Everyone Stare”
5. Empire of the Sun, “Walking on a Dream
6. Animal Collective, “My Girls
7. Does it Offend You, Yeah?, “Epic Last Song
8. Passion Pit, “Little Secrets”
9. Muse, “Undisclosed Desires
10. The Afghan Whigs, “66”
11. B.B. King & Eric Clapton, “I Wanna Be”
12. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, “Lots of Lovin”
13. The-Dream, “She Needs My Love”
14. The-Dream, “Put it Down”
15. Bruce Springsteen, “Human Touch
16. Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody”
17. Mayer Hawthorne, “Make Her Mine”
18. The Supremes, “I Hear a Symphony
19. The Rolling Stones, “Loving Cup”

And here’s why these hood bangas made tha cut, my dude:

1. This is an excellent way to start a mixtape and start it off with a bang (PUN!). It’s like getting a peek inside the dirty, sex-obsessed male psyche where every word is surprisingly honest and explicit. And then the music video even comes complete with a reference to “66” via the very subway stop that I use on a daily basis. An Ohio band that filmed videos in Manhattan and wrote music that seems like it was made for this town? God, I love everything about this song.

2-4: Song about an angel (I hope, right? Otherwise a very bad decision for this mixtape), old-school song (“The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)”) to follow an old-school sounding song, then a more modern song (“Does Everyone Stare”).

5-8: Modern indie/electronica jump-offs. I find “My Girls” unabashedly romantic.

9-11: This is kind of the alternative/blues section. Transition out of the indie joints by keeping the secrecy theme–the idea is that you can’t have a good relationship without keeping some things secret. Not necessarily from each other as much as from everyone else, but both emphasize the importance of being able to confide in one another. And then the other two songs are top notch.

12-15: Like books, the structure of this mixtape is an upside-down check mark with the climax (PUN!) located towards the end. Yes, these songs are all about the horizontal handshake. Also, I considered flipping the two songs by The-Dream, but it seems to make more sense if you know about “She Needs My Love” before he self-references in the next song. Plus, “She Needs My Love” wouldn’t have made as good a transition into “Human Touch.”

16-19: The outro/desire section. Transition in with a song that I love but I wish wasn’t on the radio so much. (Keeping that song on was a hard decision because I want to pretend it’s back in the day when I was one of a few people who knew and loved Because of the Times instead of just being another dude who loves this band.) Then, keep with the same theme with an old-school sounding song (“Make Her Mine”). That song rides nicely into an old-school song (“I Hear a Symphony”), then a drinking song (“Loving Cup”). Not really, but the last song is usually the hardest–it was between this and The Afghan Whigs’ “John the Baptist.” It felt better to leave the ladies intoxicated with love rather than, “I got the devil in me, girl.”

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One Comment

  1. I love this. More please.


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