31 December 2008

Look, Ma, I made a mixlist! : 9 boys, 10 songs.

Let me break it down: Girl loves music. Girl loves message in music. Who wrote music? Oh, it was Attractive Boy who can play the guitar/bass/drums/sax (umm...no, not keyboard, really sorry). Music = the musician who wrote it which is what girl loves.
So, girl loves musician.

-- http://wellobviously.blogspot.com

If you've been keeping track, you’ll remember that I don't do year-end lists. First off, the thought of compiling my top 10/20/50 tracks or albums is daunting. But more importantly, I feel I'm totally unqualified to do so. I don't pay enough attention to new releases and, frankly, who the hell cares what I think is the "best" of the year? Who the hell cares what half of the "blogosphere" thinks was the best of the year? It just seems like a lot of yammering, a narcissistic ploy to validate ourselves and post about the same 10/20/50 bands, just rearranged a little bit each time.*

Annnnnnnnnyway. My gripes aside. When it comes down to it, 2008 has been a weird year.

There was that whole "going back to school after a year and a half of being away" thing and then the "graduating from college" thing, as well as the various problems of trying to find a job - any sort of job - in a recession, trying to get on my own two feet, and the whopping amounts of nostalgia complicating all of that. Life changing and evolving and, quite often, coming full circle. So many things ending, which only opens up beginnings.

I'm not talking about any of that.

I'm talking about the boys. Because, let's face it, we are prone to defining large portions of our existence by our romantic engagements, entanglements, or lack thereof. We broke up a year ago, I was dating him at the time, the year so-and-so broke my heart and the time spent getting over that, the summer girl, the fall girl, the winter girl.

And so, when it comes to the romantic engagement and entanglements and lack thereof, 2008 has been a peculiar year. Often fun, sometimes upsetting, but generally peculiar.

I don't do “best of” lists. I won’t tell you which records or songs or artists were "great in '08." I won’t make a mix listing my favourite cuts from the year. Run to Pitchfork for that sort of thing. Instead, I'll give you a 10-track mix – nine for the boys, one for myself – to commemorate the who and what and where of my wandering heart in the past year. I feel like it's a better way to sum it up.

Obviously, since I'm posting this on the Internet, any number of these fellows can – and probably will – read this. Frankly, that’s not my concern. But for anonymity’s sake, I’ll change up the names and the order.

For Ben:
Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Girl Of Mine”
The endless comparisons are not made with malicious intent. But nor are they meaningless.

For Christopher:
Looker – “Spit For Your Shine”
You can’t just be mine.

For Ethan:
Bowling For Soup - “Ohio (Come Back to Texas”
Too obvious? Let’s call it “very bad timing.”

For Eddie:
Scamper – “Wait Wait”
Darling, it’s been a long time coming. I still miss seeing your plates.

For Phillip:
Vampire Weekend – “Walcott”
Hey, remember that time we sat around listening to VW? Did I every say “thank you” for that weekend? If I didn’t, thank you. Please move back – the city suits you so well.

For Scott:
Salt ‘n Pepa – “Let’s Talk About Sex”
Oh, come on, you love it. Here’s to late summer nights. How boring they would have been otherwise…!

For Andy:
Bishop Allen – “The Monitor” (album version)
I’ll settle for one of the wisest things I’ve heard this year: “You’d think I’d understand that a rock ‘n roll band doesn’t mean a blessed thing.” Anything else would be too easy.

For John:
Nightmare of You – “I Want To Be Buried In Your Backyard” (album version)
You are not the understated demo; you are the sweeping, cinematic album version. It took a year of losing and regaining a record to figure that out. I no longer feel this song, but it’s still yours. Thanks for all your patience.

For Cary:
She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”
How do you deal with an island sitting between two people? Here’s to 2009 and all that it may bring.

The Long Blondes – “Guilt”
This is mine. I declared it mine circa March. It’s not that I’ve got or ever had boys lined up around the block; it’s just that, well, when one showed up, another five that I’d known longer followed suit. A wonderful and wonderfully heart-wrenching year.

And guilt has nothing to do with it.

Note: Half of these songs are in .mp3, the others are .m4a. I don't feel like wrestling with iTunes right now. Ignore the last five seconds of "The Monitor," too.

*(Quoting Heart On A Stick on this: "If you have Weaponize in your year's Top Ten you're immediately a more interesting person than anyone Number-Wunning Fleet Foxes, because at worst it suggests that you're blindly loyal to something other than the release schedule/leak pipeline.” Specific album references aside, I couldn’t agree more with the principles behind the statement.)

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