Go to the NEW FORUM
Has anyone checked out muxtape. It's a new website that let's you upload as many as 12 mp3s into an on-line mixed tape. You can share the link with people to let them listen, but they can't download the songs (just listen).
It's really easy to sign up and upload your mp3s.
I think we might be able to find some uses for muxtape on this message board.
Here's an example. I made a tape of old country music: Old Country Music Mixed Tape (It takes a few seconds to load.)
The site is http://muxtape.com/
It might be fun to make "Muxtapes" of our top 10 songs to post here.
I'm kind of surprised by the apparent lack of interest in this. You guys really should check it out. (And it's no more "illegal" than YouTube.)
It's a lot of work to make one and to listen to one.
It's pretty easy if you already have mp3 files in your computer. All you do is upload them to the site and save it. Takes about 10 minutes.
Great site !
I subscribe but I'm at the office
I can't wait to be home and create my playlist
nicolas, please post the link to your mix here. I like your stuff.
right now I'm listening to your tape, paul.
Recently, another website I frequent (prince.org- no surprise there!) unveiled a project in which posters compiled muxtapes with liner notes that were given a week each in the spotlight. The idea was to make up a mix of at most 10 songs that you felt that the participants needed to hear (and were unfamiliar with). If I were to follow such guidelines here, my mix would be different, but I'll stick with the one I've created anyway! This week was my week over at prince.org, and I figure I might as well share it here, too, since I've also learned a great deal from the lot of you!
I mulled over my ideas for a mixtape for a long time, considering an assortment of different themes and approaches. I began by creating a list of songs that I felt would be appropriate, and various sets seemed to emerge out of the pack. Ultimately, I decided that in the true spirit of a mixtape- overwrought, uniquely revealing and teeming with emotion- I would elect a set of songs that best represented my own feelings. One thing that I have learned from this forum is that I have come to appreciate people who articulately share their passion for music from their own personal perspective as opposed to aligning myself with those who simply like the artists that I like. Music is a deeply personal and individual experience, but this Org Music Club offers a great way to expound upon the songs and artists that have meant much more than the money we have spent on them.
As such, I have compiled a list of ten songs that have helped to guide me through my 20s. If all of this sounds overly sappy, then I guess I’m just a sappy guy. My heart is pretty much sewn on my sleeve, and these songs have soothed and consoled me through good times and bad alike. For that reason, I have chosen to name my compilation “Hymns for the Roaring 20s”, as these songs have attained a sacred status to me, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to share them with you. Because these songs were selected to document a very particular theme, some of them may be much more familiar than songs presented in previous mixtapes. I had a completely different set of songs picked out for the purpose of sharing unknown treasures, but I had to go with my heart here. For each song, I will try to provide a personal context as well as a musical one.
1. New Order- “Age of Consent” (from 1983’s Power, Corruption & Lies)
I began my 20s as a foreign exchange student in Mexico, an experience that dramatically changed my life and really opened my eyes to new horizons. While I had been actively involved in my university’s international program, it was actually immersing myself in another culture and language that gave me the great gift of a more global perspective. “Age of Consent” captures that insouciant wonder that I felt, with its strident, triumphant guitar licks spilling over into a downright jubilant synthesized euphoria. Few artists are able to capture the emotions of pure ecstasy quite like New Order, and I feel that this song embodies that tone very well.
2. Roxy Music- “Editions of You” (from 1973’s For Your Pleasure)
Anyone who has known me for any amount of time is aware that I am quite a hyperactive person. When I would go out to clubs dancing, my reckless abandon was met with a good deal of bewilderment, and a few people asked me what drugs I was on, in spite of my stance as a total teetotaller with any type of illicit substance and alcohol. Those of you who have been out with me know what I’m talking about. I included this song to capture the manic energy that jolts through me when I’m out dancing. The opening Hammond organ chords gel with the downright dangerous bass line and Bryan Ferry’s maniacal vocal delivery, and Brian Eno’s tape effects send the whole thing careening into blisteringly colorful splendor. This song is a sort of prototype of punk, but it rocks harder and goes further than anything that I’ve heard branded with an authentic ’76 badge of credibility.
3. Echo and the Bunnymen- “Never Stop (Discotheque)” (standalone single from 1983)
I also was (and to a degree still am) an eternal idealist and optimist. I was very fortunate to grow up in a financially secure household brimming with love. I never had to face many of the hardships that so many people do. This led me to become a bit sheltered in my viewpoints and beliefs, and my idealism ran wild. I really only wanted everyone to be in perfect harmony and openly express their admiration and love for one another, as I did. This song captures a bit of my youthful naivety, with “the love you found must never stop” acting as a bit of a motto for me. Musically, I absolutely adore the way the song opens with ominous cellos before blending them with a perfectly danceable synth line. This marriage of two of my favorite instrumental palettes makes it an enduring classic for me.
4. Kraftwerk- “Computer Love” (from 1981’s Computer World)
After I got my bachelor’s degree, I took a year off to refocus and determine what I wanted to do next. It was at this time that the new org launched, and I spent countless hours engaging in discussions about music, life and love with a host of orgers, many of whom I have now met and grown to regard as dear, dear friends. However, there was one particular orger whose impact was impossible to ignore. I never had planned to fall in love with someone I only knew through the internet, but boy, did it happen! In spite of my skepticism, I could not help myself from falling in love so deeply with the org’s own Diva. From the time I was four years old, I had prayed every day to find a lifelong companion, and through the months, Tracy presented herself to be someone who completely outshone every facet I had hoped to find in a wife. Our nascent relationship was on full display on the org with our shameless flirtation, and when we eventually met up, I knew we would be husband and wife one day. While the lyrics of this song don’t really fit, the tenderness inherent in the sound sells it completely. This song is hugely important to me for other reasons as well. I have long been a fan of synthesized music and have heard countless diatribes by musical blowhards spouting off about how cold and lifeless synths (and the entire 80s) are. It almost sounds as if this song is a challenge to such “organic instrument” elitists to not be moved by its warm textures and wistful melodies. In the wake of the “Disco Sucks” movement, “Computer Love” stands proudly as a triumph of the notion that beautiful, emotionally evocative music can be crafted with the use of any kind of instrument. The different octaves seem to play the roles of different characters, and their interplay is magical- starting off almost hesitant and shy before swirling into a whirlwind of ecstasy. The passage from 3:20 until the end of the song is pure bliss.
5. Arcade Fire- “My Body Is a Cage” (from 2007’s Neon Bible)
By far the most difficult thing I have ever had to face is the death of my father. In February of 2004, he had a massive stroke while I was in the last few months of my Master’s program. He slipped into a coma, and after he came off of life support and the ventilator, we were told that he still had brain activity, but that he could not move or speak because of the damage to his lower brain stem. So basically, he was trapped in his own body, and there was no proverbial “plug” to pull. It was a harrowing experience for my entire family, and wondering what thoughts and/or capacity he had still haunts me to this day. This song reminds me of that time and the lyrics resonate with me as if they are sung from his perspective. Mercifully, he passed away 23 days after the stroke, and the “Set my spirit free! Set my body free!” climax at the end really chokes me up. I love you, Dad.
6. The Velvet Underground- “Heroin” (from 1967’s The Velvet Underground & Nico)
Over the next few years, our family endured three more deaths, one to suicide. I really felt emotionally ravaged during this time, and sank to new lows of depression. While I would never take my own life or resort to drug use, the desire to escape was still quite strong. This song, in torrid detail, voiced my feelings when words could not. That constant, sharp viola string seemed to mimic my own heartstrings. As the song slowly builds its momentum, the percussion replicates the apparent rush of the heartbeat from heroin use. It then opens up into a section that delivers the most raw and fractured depiction of a scarred heart that I have ever heard, as the violas begin to wail in torment while Lou Reed’s initial plodding lyrical exposition becomes a frenzied panic, culminating with “all the dead bodies piled up in mounds”. The song’s inclusion may raise some eyebrows, as it is quite well-known, but I ran a VU poll a few years ago and there was a very limited response, so while this song is widely hailed as a classic in many circles, it perhaps does not get the attention it deserves around here.
7. Eurythmics- “Julia” (from 1984’s 1984: For the Love of Big Brother)
Gradually, the sheer anguish gave way to a more plaintive sorrow. While I had always loved this song, it gained new meaning for me around this time. Annie Lennox has been a heroine of mine for a long time, and the icy, chilling hollowness of this song has always captivated me. It captures the abject fear of an uncertain future in Orwell’s dystopic nightmare so well, with the stark string melody sounding like a medieval omen against the backdrop of the foreboding bass descent. The song embodies why I believe that Eurythmics were trailblazers of the 80s, with its thick atmosphere, precise execution and genre-blurring, singular vision. Echoing the enchanted beauty of Bowie’s Berlin-era material, I always seem to return to this, and its brilliant parent album, near the start of winter.
8. Annie- “Heartbeat” (from 2004’s Anniemal)
If ever there was a case of music as therapy, this song is it for me. Being the crazy list maker that I am, I came across this little gem after seeing it reign supreme on Pitchfork’s song list of 2004. After investigating her background a bit, I quickly became enamored with Annie’s music. I’ve posted my review of her debut album many times, but the bottom line is that its mere existence is an absolute triumph given the circumstances governing its creation. Her first few singles were released as collaborations with her boyfriend, and they had begun to work on what would become Anniemal together when he died of a rare heart disorder at age 23. Nevertheless, she was able to pick up the pieces and bring forth an album full of fun pop songs that work both as infectious throwaway ditties as well as inspirational and uplifting anthems given the context. Her journey helped me to come out of the haze and reconnect with my more innately positive outlook on life. Hearing her urgently repeat "feel my heartbeat" near the end is incredibly touching to me knowing the manner in which her boyfriend died. I recorded my own piano version of this song onto a CD and was able to give it to Annie in person at a concert in DC. She seemed extremely touched by it, and through a few other subsequent conversations with her, I’ve come to really appreciate the nature of music as a truly God-given gift.
9. LCD Soundsystem- “All My Friends” (from 2007’s Sound of Silver)
In 2006, I immigrated to Australia to be with my beloved Tracy. It was a very difficult decision to make, as it marked the beginning of one era and the end of another. This song captures all of the pain associated with such a move, and my memory of hearing it for the first time while driving to work is one of the most vivid musical memories I have ever had. Here is an excerpt from my review of the Sound of Silver album: “There are certain moments in life that seem to stop the world spinning- their magnitude is such that they usurp all focus and filter out all distractions. I've had a lot of those moments in the past few years- the death of my father, immigration to another country and my blissful wedding day are among the most notable. Usually these moments are reserved for events of grand proportion, but sometimes something much less significant can trigger a heightened awareness or, hell, an epiphany of sorts. I was fortunate enough to have one such moment grace me this year, and that it came from a source as unexpected as LCD Soundsystem makes it all the more special. A frenetic piano loop acts as the engine for the juggernaut of ‘All My Friends’, the album's behemoth of a centerpiece, whizzing the listener through the twists and turns of life. The instrumentation slowly builds with a melodic bass line that would make New Order proud and some starry percussion that conjures the magic of Bowie's ‘Teenage Wildlife’, before setting the stage for this heartfelt tale of the ache of aging. The story starts innocently enough with blissful nostalgia, but gradually evolves into a manic concession of how quickly life slips away. A wide emotional breadth is cast, with healthy doses of glee, dejection, desperation, defiance, majestic grandeur, charmed reminiscence and self-deprecation churning in the cauldron. Five years spent trying to get with the plan are mirrored by five more in attempts to reconnect with friends, which quickly become ten years dropped "as fast as you can" and a midlife crisis fomenting a 3-month trip to France. Every lyric here is a winner, succinctly cutting and as visceral as the searing guitar wails that intensify the mood. There is no catharsis to be found here and the exasperated pleas of ‘if I could see all my friends tonight’ are left unresolved as the locomotive percussion slowly chugs to a halt. And that, my friends, is a moment that can be better described by the vision of my jaw agape than by any words that could emanate from it. Wow.”
10. Gorillaz- “Demon Days” (from 2005’s Demon Days)
So where does that leave me now? I still retain that internal optimism and idealism, although it is now shaded with more experience and therefore complemented with a deeper understanding of why it is important to remain positive. I owe it to God and my beautiful family both here in Australia and back home in Michigan for their steadfast love and support. This song is probably the most worthy of being deemed a hymn, with its gospel chorus and spiritual themes. The entire Demon Days album captures the latent paranoia and fear rampant in this new decade better than any other album that I have heard. I could go on for pages about the brilliance with which this album was constructed, playing as much like a classic horror album as a rock record. This song acts as the uplifting epilogue. “Pick yourself up- it’s a brand new day! So turn yourself round, don't burn yourself, turn yourself. Turn yourself around into the sun!”
And that's all, folks!
Powerful and eloquent stuff there, Moonbeam. Though I know we usually have somewhat dissimilar taste in music, I can get behind all of these songs and their sentiments. We lost our 7 year old daughter in January of 2004 under eeringly similar circumstances as your father and my father also passed away a year ago so I understand the cathartic effect music can have.
I'm sorry to hear about your losses, Stammer. I can't imagine how awful it must have been. Thank God for music- as great as it is when life is "normal", it is absolutely essential when things go haywire.