Monday, February 05, 2007

2006: Dark Mascara, Historical Deeds

Many Short Schrift readers know that I run a small end-of-the-year Mix CD exchange with friends past, present and virtual. My mixical take on the year in the music can now be found all zipped up on Rapidshare for anyone who didn't have the chance or the time to make a disc of their own, but would still like to take a listen.

Last year's comp turned into a two-disc extravaganza, the first ("There Is Nothing Left to Fear") being a loose concept piece about Hurricane Katrina, and the second ("Nothing Ever Falls Apart"), a more optimistic collection of the rest of my favorite songs from that year. These joined my 2004 and 2003 mixes ("Scare Your Son, Scare Your Daughter" and "Leave All These Moments Behind.")

For 2006, I stuck with one disc, and gave my comp the title "Dark Mascara, Historical Deeds," partly from a line in Belle and Sebastian's "Another Sunny Day," and partly to observe that over half of the included tracks were from female artists or female vocalists; even more included male-female duets. This is an unusually high sample rate for indie rock, but given the strength of the material this year, ladysongs are, if anything, underrepresented. I have a strong hope that 2006 will be remembered as perhaps the best year for female artists in independent and alternative music, if not pop music altogether. One listen to this album and I think any unbiased fan would have to agree that the ladies burn the men's houses down.

There's also a strong theme of mutation on my album -- especially people turning into animals, and vice versa -- so the album is subtitled "Transformations and Torch Songs." And there are lots of other resonances as well, some of which are intentionally engineered and others which I only discovered after putting the mix together. I'd love to hear feedback, especially if you find anything especially worthwhile. It's like a musical scavenger hunt.


1. Young Folks - Peter, Bjorn and John
2. Star Witness - Neko Case
3. To Go Home - M. Ward (ft. Neko Case)
4. Another Sunny Day - Belle and Sebastian
5. Let's Get Out Of This Country - Camera Obscura
6. Lived In Bars - Cat Power
7. The Crane Wife, Pts. 1 and 2 - The Decemberists
8. Thursday - Asobi Seksu
9. Wolf Like Me - TV On the Radio
10. The W.A.N.D. - The Flaming Lips
11. Omaha - Tapes 'N Tapes
12. Us Ones In Between - Sunset Rubdown
13. Cheated Hearts - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
14. Benton Harbor Blues [Edit w/ Missing Verse] - The Fiery Furnaces
15. Sawdust and Diamonds - Joanna Newsom
16. I Feel Like Going Home - Yo La Tengo

* I cut together this version of "Benton Harbor Blues" myself, using mp3directcut.
** The track order is largely variable, but I like this one the best.
*** The default track order is slightly different. In particular, I think "Cheated Hearts" and "Benton Harbor Blues" are switched.
**** If you use the album cuts of all of these tracks, it will not fit onto an 80 min. CD. Several of these tracks have been custom shaved so that they should in fact fit.

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