February 7, 2005

100: Centennial Mix

I wanted to celebrate the 100th mix (almost 12 years since my first numbered mix tape) with some kind of retrospective. At first, I tried assembling a 20-song collection of my favorite songs of all time. That proved to be to all-encompassing. Eventually I settled on a 20-track collection of the best songs which had appeared on my mixes in the "CD-R" era, which began with Mix #49.

The definition of "best" is a flexible one. Many of these songs are some of the best songs of their time, but in this collection, "best" also means a song which fits well on a collection, many of them are fun to sing along with, have a good beat, or have some strong emotional connection for me. The songs don't necessarily date from 2000-2004, but they all appear on one of the 50 mix CDs I had made in that five year span. The track listing below includes info about what CD the songs originally appeared on.

The cover design (main photo covered with checkerboard of smaller images) was inspired by Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club. I am not as pretty as Sheryl, but that photo of me (taken by my friend Robert) may be the best photo of me ever. If it weren't for that photo, at the top of my online personal ad, my now-wife may not have ever met me!

01> Sick Of Myself (MIX 65; My favorite Matthew Sweet song and a hell of an opening track.)
02> Chemistry (MIX 65; the second would-be hit from one-hit wonder Semisonic.)
03> Bohemian Like You (MIX 84; Speaking of one-hit wonders, this is the only Dandy Warhols song I know.)
04> Supernova (MIX 72; Maybe Liz Phair's best song.)
05> Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town (MIX 62; this Pearl Jam acoustic b-side is better than the album version.)
06> Clocks (MIX 94; this Coldplay song is WAYYY overplayed and overdone now, but it was THE song of the year at the time.)
07> Forget About It (MIX 52; this melancholy Alison Krauss song means a lot to me.)
08> Einstein on a Beach (for an eggman) (MIX 57; a leftover song from the August & Everything After sessions, this is my favorite Counting Crows song.)
09> Peace Tonight (MIXES 60 & 78; from the Indigo Girls album when they hired the "JB" horns to add some muscle to their sound.)
10> Some Fantastic (MIX 50; a "deep cut" from Barenaked Ladies that I always liked.)
11> High & Dry (MIX 77; a perfect song from Radiohead.)
12> Barrel of a Gun (MIX 55; I love trying to sing the harmonies on this Guster song.)
13> Murder (or a Heart Attack) (MIX 55; a cool song from The Old 97s about a lost housecat.)
14> Malibu (MIX 55; liking Courtney Love's music is a guilty pleasure.)
15> Circles (MIX 80; this hypnotic Soul Coughing song has me in its spell.)
16> Little Plastic Castle (MIX 88; I love the 12/4 time signature and the awesome rhythm section on this Ani DiFranco song.)
17> It's My Life (MIX 99; a great No Doubt cover of a cool 80s New Wave classic.)
18> Heavy Metal Drummer (MIX 81; it was tough picking only one Wilco song.)
19> Not The Same (LIVE 2002; this Ben Folds Live cut makes its debut here- recorded on the tour where my wife and I went to the same concert, one month before we met for the first time.)
20> Frying Pan (MIX 14; breaking the rules a little here- this Evan Dando solo acoustic cover of a Victoria Williams song originally appeared on mix tape #14, but I re-made that mix on CD-R in 2001.)
21> Strange Condition (MIX 86; a good ending from Pete Yorn.)