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Tag Archives: Dia Del Valentin

I’d like to apologize profusely. Not only is this entirely a month late, but I feel like the Spotify nature of it’s immediately transparent. Spotify’s completely changed the way I listen to music. I don’t actually own a lot of the music I listened to this year and would normally add to this playlist. And, though this is fairly counterintuitive considering the playlist’s lateness, I was in a rush to finish with music I actually owned, so there’s a lot of repeat artists and definitely as much music on there as I probably could fit.

So now that I’ve totally undersold this collection and continued the trend of presenting and mailing this late, here’s your Dia Del Valentin ’13. It might come as a surprise that even with recurring artists and a (legally) limited selection, I feel like I actually did more thinking about this year’s playlist than last year’s. Nestle into those headphones.

1. Buzzcocks, “Why Can’t I Touch It?”
2. Big Boi, “CPU”
3. The Replacements, “Androgynous”
4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”
5. Driver Friendly, “Do Whatever You Want”
6. Big Boi, “Apple of My Eye”
7. Mayer Hawthorne, “Can’t Stop (Dam Funk Remix)”
8. Jessie Ware, “Running”
9. Miguel, “The Thrill”
10. Schoolboy Q, “Sex Drive”
11. Terius Nash, “Ghetto”
12. Miguel, “Use Me”
13. T.Rex, “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”
14. Foster the People, “I Would Do Anything for You”
15. Usher, “There Goes My Baby”
16. Beyoncé, “Love on Top”
17. Jessie Ware, “Night Light”

The Search. 1-2: They’re both starkly different songs–one is a kind of punk anthem and the other is modern rap referring extensively to Internet culture–but they both talk about the same thing. The narrators in both songs don’t have a real connection to this world, don’t really know what it is that they’re looking for. Perhaps all they really know is that they’re looking for some kind of connection.

Understanding. 3-4: Whether it’s homosexuality or two kids cross-dressing, it doesn’t fucking matter, just so long as it’s love. What you see isn’t as important as two people in love.

Here it Comes. 5-9: This section’s sort of bookended with two songs with the same understanding that two people are falling for each other with a gooey core of “Oh, I think I’m super attracted to you.” But first of all, the lines “I think I can take it standing up/I want your tongue, your heart, your lies” and “Things were easier when we believed we couldn’t die;/well, we still got time./Let’s carve some fucking stars from the sky./No, we’re not dying, ’cause we got a lot to say” felt like a perfect transition from the Understanding section, the acceptance that there’s a lot of challenges ahead, but it’ll be much more entertaining with a companion. I think the rest of the songs in this section not only mirror that but also build on it until “Running” and “The Thrill” actually set things into motion.

Anticipation by Car Light. 9-10: These songs belong more to the sections before and after, but it’s the mutual use of woody imagery that also pairs them together.

The Physical Realm. 10-13: It’s graphic. I mean, I almost added some other songs in there, but I already grossed myself out with some of Big Sean’s rhymes and some of the stuff the lady with the pretty voice says on “Sex Drive.” They say the kind of things that we all do, but probably really shouldn’t be talking about like they do. But everything here’s still a bunch of dope-ass beats.

Significant Other. 14-17: It’s two brand-new-significant-other-style songs followed by two ballads about a solid relationship. A lot of buildup to settle smoothly in something far less explicit than its immediate predecessors and far more assured than all the predecessors. A happy ending for an era of uncertainty.


I’ve made a simply huge mistake. Unlike last year when I couldn’t be bothered to plan ahead for on-time delivery, this year, I’ve barely pulled this together the night before. In fact, most of the work was really done back when I prepared Chris is Full of Lists, so some of this will come as absolutely no surprise at all.

That said, Hooray! It’s Valentine’s Day and this is Dia Del Valentin ’12. Feel free to contact me with your shipping information and I will gladly front the 44 cents it will require to mail you hot beats pressed on a real CD-type device. However, if you are one of the aforementioned group of women who get one every year regardless…I will be contacting you.

One million and a half apologies for slapdash preparation and tardiness. All my love.

  1. The Weeknd, “D.D.”
  2. Eddie Money, “Baby Hold On”
  3. Thin Lizzy, “Dancing In The Moonlight”
  4. The Strokes, “Two Kinds Of Happiness”
  5. The Black Keys, “Stop Stop”
  6. TV On The Radio, “Will Do”
  7. Adele, “One And Only”
  8. Mayer Hawthorne, “Finally Falling”
  9. Tom Vek, “Nothing But Green Lights”
  10. Stevie Wonder, “All Day Sucker”
  11. Bar-Kays, “Holy Ghost”
  12. Beyoncé, “Countdown”
  13. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, “I Got A Love”
  14. The Weeknd, “The Morning”
  15. Desire, “Under Your Spell”
  16. Friendly Fires, “True Love”

I see you like dancing. 1-3: You really are an enchanting being, let us commence the mating ritual by circling each other and flapping our limbs as if we can’t feel them.

We both have reservations. 4-6: I get it, we’re all a little damaged. But…couldn’t this be okay? Let’s give it a shot.

I’m in. 7-9: Holy shit, are you my lucky penny at the bottom of a flight of stairs? Because I just fell for you.

Funky love. 10-11: People are always like, “You guys really dance well together,” or “Hey, stop asking me to compliment you on how well you dance together.”

Rapping love. 12-14: It’s like funky love, but there’s more cursing. Friends are always like, “Yo, your significant other is fucking cute!” and you’re like, “Yeah and they kiss all sexy.” Or maybe they’re like, “Whoa, I didn’t know you knew all the lyrics to Notorious B.I.G.’s “#! *@ Me (Interlude)” and you’re like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about! Now hand over your chains or your cat gets more cuts from this butter knife than your butter did during Thanksgiving!” Or something.

Indie love. 15-16: Everybody settles down and finds a kind of groove and a whole less cats are in the pet cemetery. Everyone starts talking about “chill vibes” and weird crap like that–but it works.

I was sad to discover that the whole reason I started this tradition no longer wishes to participate: I never heard back from my roommate’s ex-girlfriend when I asked for her address and when I asked my roommate for her current address he, and this is highly privileged information, told me, “Fuck you.” Luckily, though, I picked up a new subscriber last year even though I’ve lost two since. My new trinity of super-select women who totally deserve this mixtape now include one repeat customer, a lady I recently took on a date and my sister. All Freudian implications aside, I’m not entirely sure there’s a reason I can’t keep expanding the subscribers. I might start sending these to my Mom, although sending a romantic, sexy, no pants playlist to my sister is already weird enough.

It should also be noted that, due to popular and overwhelming demand, I made an honest attempt to exclude a lot of really good rap songs. I was considering including things like Lupe Fiasco’s “Sunshine,” The-Dream’s “Yamaha” or Method Man’s “All I Need,” but I realized some of these things might be overkill or could stick out like a sore thumb among a very alternative- and indie-heavy song set.

I also realized after I’d burned the first mixtape I should probably have included The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” and I really wanted to include M83’s “We Own the Sky” though it only had hints of love in it. Perhaps they will be that much more effective next year with some distance, some perspective. It’s also killing me that “Little Bit” probably belongs more towards the end of the second section (right after “Indestructible”), but this what happens when the Postal Service forces you to, like, plan ahead and stuff.

Without any further distraction or male bovine feces, I’d like to present Dia Del Valntin ’11:

1. Robyn, “Hang with Me
2. TV on the Radio, “Province
3. Mike Posner, “Do You Wanna?”
4. Lykke Li, “Little Bit
5. The Black Keys, “Everlasting Light
6. The-Dream, “F.I.L.A.”
7. Robyn, “Indestructible
8. Cee-Lo Green, “Wildflower”
9. Katy Perry, “Hummingbird Heartbeat”
10. Alicia Keys, “Teenage Love Affair
11. Common, “The Light
12. Yelle, “Tu Es Beau
13. Talking Heads, “This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)
14. The Black Keys, “Howlin’ for You”
15. The Rolling Stones, “Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)”
16. Prince and The Revolution, “I Would Die 4 U”
17. The Cure, “Strange Attraction”
18. Barry White, “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up”
19. Kings of Leon, “Birthday”
20. Prince and The Revolution, “Take Me with U”
21. Mike Posner, “Please Don’t Go

So here’s why this happened:

You like me? You shouldn’t. 1-2: This is the, “Hey, you should know I’m crazy and weird before you get into this” section. That, “Oh, you like music and movies? Me too, but are you sure that means we should date?” time frame.

Alright, but are you sure? 3-7: That was an impressive speech you gave about the virtues of dating and I was thoroughly impressed with your Powerpoint presentation on your levels of awesome. After some serious consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that, “Shit, I’m kinda falling for you, too.”

Whoa, you’re right: I love you. 8-11: This is the puppy love section. Note the “Teenage Love Affair” and “Hummingbird Heartbeat” pairing making its way into a very serious “The Light.”

Intermission: Slow down, this is a lot to take in. 12-13: I don’t speak a lot of French but I get the impression this song’s about how beautiful you are. These songs also go really well together in terms of singer and musical composition. A good way to say, “Yes, I know I put a rap and an R&B song on here, but this one makes a smooth transition into all that indie shit we love.” “This must be the place” is kind of a nice way to smoothly transition into next section as well. I put these here because I love them so much; they are the love jelly spread between the lust bread and peanut butter.

I would do anything for you. 14-16: I’m fucking crazy about you. You are the waxing gibbous moon to my werewolf. See what I’m talking about? Even that analogy I just used was crazy.

I need you, stay with me. 17-21: This section says, “I can’t be without you, please don’t leave.” “Strange Attraction” is here instead of in the “Holy shit I love you” sections because the story line swims through meeting, loving and leaving while maintaining an adorable chorus. It probably really belongs in the “Alright, are you sure?” section, but instead of dealing with break-ups for an entire mixtape, I included it to introduce a thought more along the lines of something like: Every time you walk out the door, it feels like you won’t come back. Don’t go.

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.”