Friday, July 13, 2007

The Mix To End All Mixes


Let me tell you something you probably don't know about me: I'm a three-time inductee and founding member of the Mixmaster Hall of Fame. I apprenticed under one of America's greatest original Mixmakers and Mixologists. He taught me everything I ever needed to know about the sacred and magical process of making a musical mix. That, combined with my unprecedented talent-level created the ultimate Mixmaking Juggernaut. For an active career of six years, I mastered old forms, created new ones, left listeners breathless, transformed an artform and transcended a medium. In my prime, I churned out light-hearted event mixes (HipHoppery 2K6), style-based friend mixes (JerryLovingTimes 2K5), and autobiographical concept pieces (Fall Mix 2K4) all in the same NIGHT. I've seen nu-jazz/modern folk hybrid mixes. I've seen rap and ska thematically contrasted. I've gone from "Bombs Over Baghdad" to "Man on the Moon" in less than three moves. When I officially retired, I thought I had conceived of every conception, made every transition, and closed every closer with conclusive satisfaction.

Until two weeks ago, when someone threw down this gauntlet and accidentally changed my life:

If you had to make a mix of the fifteen songs that mean the most to you--and likely always will--could you do it? You are in no way bound by genre or time period--Miles Davis can go alongside Christmas songs. Jay-Z can sit beside The Smiths. Just the fifteen pieces of music that mean the most to you, and probably always will.

Needless to say, I immediately hated this person. Could I do it? Please--I had to do it. My ego got in the way. I'm currently working on my Mix of a Lifetime and have been for two weeks now. I made an initial list of "definites" and a second list of "possibles." The "definites" had two songs, and the "possibles" had eighty-one. Hot-damn, this isn't easy.

So, what do y'all think? What would be on your list? What are your definites? Could you round out a Top 15 without much trouble? Give me your mixes!!!

In the library,
Milam

8 comments:

Alex said...

I'll play.

Ben Folds Five "Where's Summer B?"
Sia "Breathe Me"
Chili Peppers "Otherside"
Ben Folds "Annie Waits"
Cake "Comissioning a Symphony in C"
OutKast "ATLiens"
The Rapture "Gotta Get Myself Into It"
Ben E. King and the Drifters "This Magic Moment"
AC Newman "On The Table"
Spoon "I Summon You"
Bloc Party "Helicopter"
The Glands "Swim"
The Thrills "Big Sur"
Arcade Fire "Cold Wind"
The Shins "Australia"

Elizabeth said...

remember when i said i could so it, no problem? false. i tried and am having major difficulties.

Michael said...

This is difficult...so I'll submit a an incomplete list...subject to change.

Note: this was put together in about 20 minutes...so the play list order is rough.

1. Outta Mind (Outta Sight) - Wilco
2. Sleight of Hand - Pearl Jam
3. Live Again - Better Than Ezra
4. The Red Summer Sun - Third Eye Blind
5. Optimistic - Radiohead
6. When I Come Around - Green Day
7. Chain Link Fence - Lucero
8. The View - Modest Mouse
9. Love and War (11/11/46) - Rilo Kiley
10. O Valencia! - The Decemberists
11. Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
12. Aguas De Marco - Antonio Carlos Jobim
13. Crackerjack Heart - Cory Branan
14. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
15. Please Do Not Let Me Go - Ryan Adams

So there is that list...though...I feel I've left off about 200 songs.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Milam said...

Nice list, Alex...definitely love the OutKast and Drifters inclusions. I've always loved "Otherside," too, for reasons beyond me.

Here's one thing that's helping me: if a song pops into your head immediately, it's probably worthy of inclusion. So the 20-minute thing isn't necessarily a bad way to go.

But more importantly...SLEIGHT OF HAND?!?

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Yes Sleight of hand.

My problem w/ the 20 minute method is that I left out a lot of current songs...as well as older songs.

15 songs are just too few to work with.

ross k. said...

I'll be a sport. In no particular order:

The Platters - "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
Santos and Johnny - "Sleepwalk"
Prince - "The Beautiful Ones"
Simon and Garfunkel - "The Sound of Silence"
Roy Orbison - "In Dreams"
The Band - "The Weight"
Bob Dylan - "The Man in Me"
Frederic Chopin - "Raindrop" Prelude
Frederic Chopin - "Revolutionary" Etude
Paul Honey - "Jesus"
Band of Gypsys - "Machine Gun"
Thin Lizzy - "The Boys Are Back in Town"
Van Halen - "Why Can't This Be Love?"
Claude Debussy - Arabesque No. 1
Nico - "These Days"

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