This mix got started, like most mixes do, when a couple of songs got stuck in my head like malignant earworms and refused to let my brain and heart go. In this current Facebook-fueled "share everything" culture, I'm not afraid to say that I talk to myself a lot, and on most days I engage myself in day-long conversations that might contain rehearsals for phone calls I have to make at work, verbalizations of my plans for this evening, or repeated karaoke renditions of lines from songs I haven't heard in forever, followed by mental notes to listen to those songs. I almost never follow through on those urges though, because I've probably heard those fuckers enough to internalize them, and who really has the time to listen to every classic song every day?! There's just too much culture to keep up with these days, and looking backwards inevitably seems like a cop-out because there's more than enough out there to get lost in, and I've always felt like looking forward is a better alternative to nostalgic navel-gazing.
If you've read this blog with any regularity, you'd know that I like a whole lot of current music, find the recorded output of the 2000s mostly detestable, and hold the 90s up on a pedestal as a golden age of music and culture. This mix touches on some malignant earworms from all three periods. "So this is goodbye more or less, and things have changed a lot I guess" is the opening line from "Deep Deep Down" by Mr. T Experience, and it sounds just as good as the first time I heard it fifteen years ago. Has it really been fifteen years since Love Is Dead came out and blew my mind with it's mix of Ramones muscle and Jonathan Richman awkwardness?! I guess so. It took me this long to decipher that the lyrics were about burying your girlfriend six feet deep and moving along, because back then I was a horny and impressionable teenager, and my brain never could understand irony and humor when matters of the heart were concerned. I was all, I'm the man on the mountain, come on up. I'm the man that brings you roses when I ain't got none. Cutting off the object of your affections isn't always an option, and when you're puffing your chest on top of the hill, you can't really grasp the concept of a slick metaphor. You're too busy roaring, and there's no shame, no pain, no gain.
Turning off your brain, shutting up, and opening your heart can be a revelation, and it's really fucking hard when you've spent your life listening to music made by frustrated and emotionally-stunted rock n' rollers. Everyone's read on the Internet recently that pop songs are a highly advanced form of brainwashing, and I've been suckered in more than your average fellow. I'm a hopeless fuckin' case. You're young. So what? I'm young, so what?! Being young really is a fucking curse, but once you make it over that hump, it's all gravy. You spend those first couple crucial decades accumulating grey hairs, scars, and life lessons, and once you realize that there's more important big-picture shit to work through, all that piddly stuff seems embarrassing and insignificant. Why look backwards and reflect on all the things you've done in the past when the future offers limitless potential and beds of dreamy California stars?
Anyways, this mix is perfect for romantics that still get excited for hoodie weather. These thirteen songs are about love gained, love lost, love unusual, love of the spirit and heart, and love both happy and unhappy. There's a good bit of acoustic strumming for driving past miles of fall foliage, a fair amount of Americana harmonizing, and an honest depiction of what happens when an obsessive soul that still talks to themselves too much emerges on the other side a smarter, happier person almost by accident. Hope y'all enjoy it as much as I did putting it together!
That's The Curse Of Being Young: Fall 2011
1. The Strange Boys - "I See"
2. Wilco - "California Stars"
3. Beachwood Sparks - "The Sun Surrounds Me"
4. The Jayhawks - "Somewhere In Ohio"
5. Mojave 3 - "Some Kinda Angel"
6. The Rolling Stones - "Loving Cup"
7. The Ettes - "Love Lies Bleeding"
8. Screeching Weasel - "99"
9. Mr T. Experience - "Deep Deep Down"
10. Harlem - "Friendly Ghost"
11. Hunx & His Punx - "The Curse Of Being Young"
12. Shannon & The Clams - "Sleep Talk"
13. Primal Scream - "Movin' On Up"
Download it HERE.