Tuesday, December 11, 2007

American Pastoral

Insomuch as many readers of the former Audio For Drinking blog were longtime friends whom had grown accustomed to having me nudge them in the direction of music they might enjoy, I often found myself standing in person, face-to-face and toe-to-toe, with some rather unhappy folks . They weren't much unlike junkies whose favorite dealer had just skipped town. This was a problem and I needed a solution. So, although a little voice inside me (sounding suspiciously like John Cusack) said that a 30 year-old making mix CDs was kind of pathetic, I started a CD Club. It was also a financial decision, as I had at the time become unemployed and was without the funds to buy anyone a proper birthday or holiday gift. Ah, but the gift of music! 

I decided I'd distribute 4 CDs, one for each season. It started off simply- I mostly included new songs that I really liked, not unlike what I did on the blog.  Over time I came around to reaching into my back catalog. I later tried to set rules such as limiting the number of cover songs I included (a particular weakness of mine). I also tried to make sure there was at least one song that had some meaning for each person in the club, as while I was now making the same mix for 6-7 people, I still wanted it to seem somewhat personal. 

My latest innovation has been taking the CD completely out of the equation, saving both time and money burning and mailing out materials. Now I have a server that each club member can log onto using a secret password and download an entire mix along with its album cover and track listing.

I've enjoyed doing this very much. It's certainly more manageable then trying to find something to write about everyday and I've always been most comfortable just playing the song and letting it speak for itself anyway. Today I'd like to share with you my favorite mixes that has come out of this little club. I call it "American Pastoral." It's got many of my favorite songs from this year including a wonderful track taken from one of the few music blogs I still read everyday. Let's take a peak:

Download American Pastoral

01. A House Is Not A Home by Field Music

02. Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning by Innocence Mission

03. The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks

04. Kid Gloves by Voxtrot

05. Your Rocky Spine by Great Lake Swimmers

06. It Ain't No Crime by Keren Ann

07. The Songs of National Freedom (Daytrotter recording) by Richard Swift^

08. Diamond Ring by Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts

09. Woman Made the Devil by Bongos Ikwue*

10. You're a Wolf by Sea Wolf

11. Black Magic by Jarvis Cocker

12. Dress Me Like A Clown by Margot & The Nuclear So and So's

13. Chick Habit by April March

14. Still You Don't Know Me by Heikki

15. Dark Matter by Andrew Bird

16. Rabbit by The Essex Green

17. Start A War by The National

18. Strapped For Cash by Fountains of Wayne

19. The Right to Love You by The Mighty Hannibal

20. The Year of Our Demise by Jon Auer

21. Be Your Man by De Novo Dahl

22. Silent Movies by Peter & The Wolf

*I got this gem from over at Aquarium Drunkard, seriously the only music blog I still read regularly. Where else can I find out-takes from Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack? Harry Nilsson worship? Donald Fagen sympathy? All sorts of stuff I love actually, so thank-you. But you already know all this I assume. After-all, he's nominated for a PLUG award in 08!

^Daytrotter also deserves a mention in any best of 2007 discussion. The site, the interviews, the illustrations  and of course the music tracks only keep getting better and better. this Richard Swift recording was vastly superior to the album version in my opinion. David Vandervelde's cover of the Rolling Stone's "Cocksucker Blues" is a revelation.


At 8:04 AM, Blogger josh Mueller said...

Ha! I just noticed the error on the graphic. Um, yeah maybe that'll make it a collector's item? I'll fix it when I get home tonight!


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