The Mixtape Exchange

Poster by Matt Strom

My friends at Eleven Magazine (warning: website perpetually under construction) are hosting a mixtape exchange tomorrow. Burn a CD with some tunes you like, and trade it in for a random stranger’s CD. I take my mixes very seriously, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on the song selection and ordering of this one.

Making a mixtape for a random exchange is a bit different than the normal process, since you have no idea who will be listening to it. However, I had three general guidelines when I was assembling it: First, because I don’t know the musical tastes of the recipient, variety was high priority. Secondly, I dug deep into my musical library; I didn’t limit this mix to music I’m currently “into”. Finally, since the ultimate point of a mixtape exchange is to discover new music, I tended toward the more obscure.

One final note: if you are the person who received my mixtape and typed in the URL on the CD to see the tracklist, I’d prefer if you listen to the album once through before reading any further. Thanks.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the tracklisting with brief commentary:

  1. Devo - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction A surprising number of people simply think of Devo as the band that does “Whip It.” Their 1979 debut LP is still ahead of its time. Here’s the opening track, a brilliant cover of the Rolling Stones tune.
  2. Hella - Republic of Rough and Ready
    For two guys, they sure make a lot of noise.
  3. Detholz! - Kiss Me in Space
    Possibly my favorite Chicago band. Gotta love the theremin.
  4. Ween - I Gots A Weasel
    I listen to Ween for the lyrics. Weasel teasel pleazel.
  5. Walter Taylor - Deal Rag
    From a really great compilation of pre-WWI recordings.
  6. The Books - An Animated Description of Mr Maps
    I read that they put a subwoofer inside a file cabinet to get the snare sound. That’s pretty sweet.
  7. Cornelius - Breezin’
    I wanted to put a song from Cornelius’s album Fantasma, but all the songs transition into each other. Makes for a great album but poor mixtape fodder.
  8. Tullycraft - 8 Great Ways
    Tullycraft is the epitome of twee. Doesn’t get any better than this.
  9. The King Khan & BBQ Show - Zombies
    What’s a mixtape without a song about zombies?
  10. Yelle - Ce jeu
    Just discovered Yelle today. Like CSS, but French.
  11. Daniel Harris - …And Benjamin Franklin, to Whom We Are Thankin, You Were Never Even President, Anyway
    I’ve covered Daniel Harris here before. This is the closing track of his album, “Thirty-Two Bit Isn’t Really Eight Bits Better” and I thought it worked quite well in that context.

Finally, to the recipient of the mixtape, if you’re out there in internetland, care to post your reactions?