A Mix Tape Left Behind

Mixes can be made for any number of reasons. Some mixes convey a message, such as “Unrequited love is terrible” or “I really like 1980s punk rock” or “I collect iguana skeletons.” Some mixes are designed to showcase the mixer’s musical taste or prowess through themes such as “Songs about Nebraska” or “Songs containing the words porpoise and turquoise.”

When I undertook to make a mix to put in a care package for my childhood friend Heidi, who is now working for truth, justice, and the American way at the ends of the earth, I did not have any of the aforementioned mix strategies in mind. “Clocks Unwind: Catherine’s Summer Mix 2006” is really just a bunch of songs that I like right now. No hidden messages, no gimmicks. Seriously. So don’t waste your time trying to figure out my subliminal themes. That is my public service announcement.

The mix is based off of one of my Ipod playlists. The contents are as follows, with some brief commentary. It’s probably the height of hubris to review your own mix tape, but it’s a good mix, and this way if you have these songs, you’ll know that they mix well together. But if you don’t have the songs and would like them, copies are available upon request at no charge so as not to break the law.

Rebecca….Pat McGee Band
This is a great summer song. Nice harmonies too.

Let Go…..Zero 7
I have already waxed eloquent about the Garden State soundtrack. This is a new addition to my playlist, but an instant classic.

Karma Police…….The Brown Derbies
Sometimes a cover is better than the original, and that is the case with The Brown Derbies version of Karma Police. I don’t even like the original Radiohead version. You should know that I’m not an Ivy League a cappella groupie, but I really do like this song (The Brown Derbies are from Brown in case you didn’t pick up on that), and have since I think senior year of college. Josh says some people don’t know about Ivy League a cappella. It’s a whole subculture of groups that go around singing a cappella versions of popular songs. It’s actually kind of amazing how an a cappella group can make a song sound as if it’s got instruments, just with their voices. Anyway, the Brown Derbies change the focus of this song to the line “for a minute there I lost myself” rather than the Radiohead verion in which that line is just an afterthought. That was a good move – Radiohead should take notes and do a re-release.

Love Will Come To You…..Indigo Girls
Indigo Girls harmonies are awesome. This is their best one, IMHO. I’m trying to learn how to play this song on the guitar, but it’s stinking hard, let me tell you. So I just sing along at the top of my lungs and hope for the best.

Seven Wonders……Nickel Creek
This is such a pretty song. It makes me wish I was a talented musician, because then I would play complex bluegrass songs too. I would be invincible. Probably best that I’m not.

The High Countries…..Caedmon’s Call
This is not a typical Caedmon’s song, but it’s really good. Very mellow.

Own Me……Ginny Owens
I love the piano in this piece, and I really identify with the lyrics, which are about the futility of trying to live the Christian life on your own strength and the importance of relying on God.

Believe…..The Schuers
This is also a great guitar song, and I’d like to learn to play it. The harmonies are great too.

In The Waiting Line……….Zero 7
Again, I believe I’ve mentioned the Garden State soundtrack. 🙂

The Luckiest………Ben Folds
Ben Folds is excellent on the piano. I kind of wish we had used this song as our first dance at our wedding. It was the runner up choice. Really a sweet song.

All I Want………The Smith Band
I like the Smith Band. Not your usual corny worship ditties.

God Be Merciful To Me (Psalm 51)…..Laura Wall
This is the only CCM psalm setting of which I’m aware. I wish more people would do them. I would buy it. This is a nice version of Psalm 51, which is one of my favorite Psalms.

Portadown Station……Sandra McCracken
Sandra is married to Derek Webb, who is the guy who made Caedmon’s Call great before he went solo. She’s got kind of a folkish feel, but in a good way. She does not have long hair like folk singer Crystal Gayle, but that’s ok.

Reasons Why……….Nickel Creek
Nickel Creek is such a talented band. I really enjoy all of their stuff, it was hard to limit myself to just two songs for this mix, but even two songs by one band on the same mix is pushing it, so I did.

Faith My Eyes……Caedmon’s Call
Yeah, about putting two songs by the same band on one mix….well, High Countries is sung by Danielle and Faith My Eyes is sung by Derek, so they sound reasonably different. And this is a great song.

Every Time You Say Goodbye………..Alison Krauss and Union Station
This is such a fun song. I really wish I could play the banjo. And the mandolin, and the fiddle. But not all at one time like a one man band, separately.

Nightswimming……….REM
This is my favorite REM song. I tried to put my second favorite REM song, the live version of Country Feedback, on this mix, but it didn’t fit. Once I asked if Josh thought I was trite for liking Nightswimming and Country Feedback as my top two REM songs, since I solipsisticly thought everyone must like those two best. Josh thought I was being weird and said no, those are not the two most popular REM songs. But they should be.

All The Miles…….Sandra McCracken
Sandra hits it again with this song. Gosh, that’s three bands with two songs on the mix. Oh well. It’s an 80 minute mix, it would have been hard to keep from doing repeats. And this is a great song to end a mix with.

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