Monday, February 26, 2007

Mixtape Monday: Through Being Cool, Side One

(What is Mixtape Monday?)

Subtitled “music for a guy just turned thirty,” revisited here by a guy just turned forty.

The challenge was—and still is—to find music appropriate to my age and station; neither to go chasing after the music of The Kids like some sad auld fucker desperately insisting on his own continued relevance (not to adopt a reflexive dislike of the Top Forty, either—I quite like some of the emo-screamo canon my own girl is into—but to recognize that I am not the target audience, and that I will always be an unloved intruder on that scene), nor to retreat entirely to the safety of the familiar and admit into my domain no music made after I turned 25 (although a great deal of my musical development in the intervening years has been an investigation of older musics that I missed out on the first time around), but to keep finding music, new and old, made by and for grown-ups. (Neither will I try to create the pathetic illusion that I’m still the koolest kid in skool by attempting to mold my children’s musical tastes to conform with mine, and Neal Fucking Pollack can eat a bag of dicks.)

This collection doesn’t entirely nail the idea. Trying to find music both adult and contemporary, I kind of ended up in the marketing category “Adult Contemporary.” It’s a solidly-crafted collection of songs, but it’s weirdly self-conscious: This is the mixtape of a grown-up, goddammit. Clearly, I was trying too hard. Less so, these days; As I grow older, I grow younger.

Through Being Cool

A few notes on the songs: There are a number of errors and omissions in the atribution on the J-card. “Lay My Love” is from the album Wrong Way Up, jointly credited to Brian Eno and John Cale, and indeed, there’s as much Cale as Eno in it. I suspect I left Cale’s name off because he’s got another song on the same side, and I didn’t want to look like Johnny One-Note.

The correct title of the FFKT song is “A Blind Step Away,” as it turns out, but I have an excuse; I was dubbing from an unlabelled tape that one of D’s workmates had given us.

A bit of wink-nudge here: not just following up “Spin the Bottle” with “Blind Man’s Bluff” (ho-ho), but following up a McGarrigle track with Kirsty MacColl covering the McGarrigles. So clever, yes? Even moreso because the McGarrigle song is itself a cover—of a Loudon Wainwright song, no less, said Mr. Wainwright being ex-spouse to one of the McG sisters. The wheels, so subtly they spin, hein? (Just to extend the circle a little, here’s a Kirsty cover for you.)

Like I said: Trying a little too hard.

Download Side One (40:46, 46.4 meg file: YouSendIt link good until 3 March), and play with the big boys.

[ MP3 expired - so sorry ]

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