December 12, 2008

Yankee Swap 2008: "The Future"

The theme of this year's Yankee Swap was THE FUTURE. I was very pleased when a CD-R of my mix got "swapped" several times around the party!

When I first thought of this idea, all I had in mind was "In The Year 2525" by Zager & Evans, "Mr Roboto" by Styx, and "The Body Electric" by Rush. I had an OK first draft done when I asked my lovely wife for her perspective. She thought it was too focused on robots and spaceships, and she started suggesting songs about "things that will happen someday" which are NOT sci-fi oriented. Her ideas vastly improved the mix, as you will see...

  1. Battlestar Galactica Theme: My brother used this song (from the classic 1970s TV show) as his wedding ceremony recessional theme. I kid you not.
  2. "1999" Prince: A 26-year-old song, about partying 9 years ago, IS about the future.
  3. "Fly Like An Eagle" Steve Miller Band, aka "Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin... into the future!"
  4. "Until The End of the World": My wife thought of this one.
  5. "Robots [live]" From the Flight of the Conchords CD THE DISTANT FUTURE: 'It is the distant future. The year 2000.'
  6. "The Body Electric" Rush
  7. "Someday I Suppose" I found this Mighty Mighty Bosstones song because it's next to "Someday, Someway" in my iTunes.
  8. "My Science Fiction Twin" Elvis Costello: Another suggestion from my wife.
  9. "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" Timbuk 3
  10. I found the Leonard Cohen song "The Future", from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, by searching for FUTURE in iTunes.
  11. I bought the Flaming Lips song "One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21" especially for this mix,
  12. "Robot Chicken Theme" The show Robot Chicken isn't actually about the future per se, but this Les Claypool instrumental is short and fun.
  13. "Pets" by Porno for Pyros song is perfect for this mix. I first heard this song as Beavis & Butthead were watching the video for it on MTV!
  14. "In The Year 2525" The words to this Zager & Evans hit are kinda weird!
  15. "Robot Parade" There were many They Might Be Giants songs to choose from.
  16. "Mr. Roboto" Styx
  17. The Jetsons Theme: I could not find the original theme song on iTunes, so I settled for this barely-better-than Casio keyboard recording.
  18. "Attack El Robot! Attack!" Calexico
  19. "When I'm Sixty Three and a Half" After the Beatles recorded "When I'm Sixty-Four" in late 1966, Paul McCartney, intending to make his voice sound "younger", asked producer George Martin to speed up the master tape, just enough to shift the key of the song a half-step sharp. To undo this change, I have pitch-shifted the song a half-step down (flat), to match the key in which McCartney originally sang it. The tempo has not been changed.)
  20. "Someday We'll Know" New Radicals
  21. "Someday, Someway" Marshall Crenshaw
  22. "My Flying Saucer" Billy Bragg & Wilco
  23. Star Trek Theme
  24. "Tomorrow Never Knows" The Beatles

December 08, 2008

Two Minutes, 42 seconds

As I write this, I am listening to a mix of songs which only have one thing in common- they're all 2 minutes, 42 seconds long. There's this internet "meme" going around which says that 2:42 is a "magic number" for great songs, so I'm putting it to the test. I sorted my entire iTunes library by length (13,000 songs). Then I selected ALL the songs which clock in at 2:42. Then I weeded it down to about 30 songs, down to a small group of songs or bands I especially like. I haven't sequenced this group at all. Here's the result:
  • "Under The Boardwalk" The Drifters
  • "Streets of Fire" New Pornographers
  • "Lighten Up" Beastie Boys
  • "Oceans" Pearl Jam
  • "September Gurls" The Bangles
  • "The Way You Do The Things You Do" The Temptations
  • "In My Room" Grant Lee Buffalo
  • "Divine Hammer" The Breeders
  • "Sheila Take a Bow" The Smiths
  • "Revolving Dora" Fountains of Wayne
  • "Leggy Blonde" Flight of the Conchords
  • "Lovely Rita" The Beatles
  • "Poison Ivy" The Coasters
  • "May Queen" Liz Phair
  • "Come See About Me" Supremes
  • "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day" Nick Lowe
  • "Don't Worry Baby" Beach Boys
  • "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)" Bruce Springsteen
  • "Pictures of Lily" The Who
  • "I Second That Emotion" Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • "You Never Can Tell" Chuck Berry
  • "Go Home" Barenaked Ladies
  • "California Dreamin'" The Mamas & Papas
  • "Teen Beat" Fleetwood Mac
Not surprisingly, the mix leans heavily on the early 1960s, and the 1970s and 1980s are barely present!