The Muxtape

Muxtape CassetteLike any child of the 80’s, I heart the mix tape. I make them all the time, for every possible reason. I’ve even considered writing a book about the soundtrack to my life, but this guy thought of it first (and I’m not the only one bitter about it).

I’m always trying to figure out a way to embed mixes into my blog – not just song lists, but the actual mixes. I waste hours trying to make it happen, only to be foiled by copy write infringement laws, or programs that don’t have access to all the music I want to use. Forgetting I’ve been through this a million times before, I said to Bryan the other day, “Hey, I had a great idea today!” [Bryan braces himself for another project that involves his tech support]. “Wouldn’t it be cool to embed song mixes into my blog?”

I’m not really sure why I have selective memory when it comes to this particular idea. Perhaps it’s subconscious tenacity. Either way, I keep forgetting it just. can’t. work.

Or can it?

This time he says to me, “I’ve heard buzz about a new site call that lets you do that.”

So I looked into it. I won’t share the entire story of how I loved it, then hated it, then loved it, then hated it, then loved it again. It’s funny to me, but I think Bryan would experience post traumatic stress if he saw one more Twitter from me about Muxtape. At the very least his ears would turn red.

At any rate, I landed on loving it.

I had to compromise, though. I can’t embed the code for it to play right in my blog. I have to link to it, but I think it’s a compromise worth making. Also, I can only make one mix. If I want to make a new mix, I have to replace the old mix. I didn’t like this at first, but Bryan made a good point about the value of the limited time offer (he’s so smart, that one). So my mixes will be available to listen to only until I’ve amassed another 12 songs to share with you, which could actually be awhile since I’m not really that cool.

To listen to my first mix at Muxtape, click here (open in a new tab or browser window), then come back and read below about the songs I chose while you listen. (This mix is no longer available to listen to.)


Are you back?

Here’s the song list:

West Indian Girl – What Are You Afraid of?

I first heard this group on Seattle’s KEXP (90.3 for the locals) a couple years ago, and downloaded the whole album from iTunes. Then I somehow lost it. I think it never made it to our server, so when I got a new laptop I forgot to move the mp3 files. Bummer! I couldn’t bring myself to pay for the whole album again, so I just bought this, my favorite song from their album titled, West Indian Girl.

The Republic Tigers – Buildings & Mountains
I heard this on and loved the sound, particularly the disco-like beat and the ensemble vocals.

Long Range – Madness and Me
Who knew that the girl who loves The Indigo Girls would also love electronica? It has to have just the right sound for me to like it – smooth and round, not sharp and choppy. Though I likes me a good beat, too. It also helps to have a chick singing with a breathy voice.

The Weepies – Gotta Have You
I’m not sure I totally agree with a portion of these lyrics (“No amount of coffee, no amount of cryin’, no amount of whiskey, no amount of wine – no, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do. I gotta have you…”), but this fits right in with the kind of music I listen to most of the time.

The Weepies – Hideaway
This was actually the first song I heard by The Weepies on I went to download it from iTunes, but discovered we already had this song! Turns out The Weepies was featured on Paste Magazine‘s music sampler recently.

St. Vincent – Jesus Saves, I Spend
Bryan bought this album awhile back, telling me this gal used to sing with Sufjan Stevens. And I’m tellin’ ya what, but any friend of Sufjan’s is a friend of mine.

My Brightest Diamond – Inside a Boy
This is another former Sufjan vocalist. She is apparently trained in opera, which added a pretty interesting layer to his music when we saw him live at The Paramount ages ago (ahem, where’s the new album, sufjan?!). I love her voice, but to be honest I can’t take a whole album of it. Hence, adding her to the mix.

Tracey Thorn – By Piccadilly Station I Sat Down and Wept
I heard this on Dave’s mp3 blog, Goodnight Believer awhile back and loved it so much I bought the album with some gift money. I should have done my homework better, because this and one other song he reviewed were the only songs I liked on the album. Oh well, you live and learn.

Luna – 23 Minutes in Brussels
I heard this song on KEXP last summer while driving around on a sunny day without my kids. I cranked it up, hung my arm out the window, stuck my chin out, and bobbed my head just a little. For about five minutes I thought I was riding in a 1960’s Mustang convertible painted chartreuse (shut up). Bryan heard this play on one of my mix tapes shortly after and said, “Is this Luna?” And I was like, “Yeah, why?” And he was all, “Did you download this?” And I was all, “Yeah, why?” And he was all, “This band is really big right now.” And right then and there he fell in love with me all over again for being so cool.

Blue Scholars – 50k Deep
Another song to showcase my wide range of musical interests. I don’t know what you call this genre, but driving around LA in December in our phat rental SUV with the kick ass stereo and sun roof prompted me to listen to this kind of music for three weeks straight. Bryan was glad to get the folk-lovin minivan back.

Lily Allen – Absolutely Nothing
I first heard this on Seattle’s KEXP and fell in love with its passive aggressiveness.

William Shatner – Ideal Woman
A little known fact about me is how much I love William Shatner. He’s totally weird in every possible way, but something in me says his brand of eccentric is exactly how I want to be when I get old. Imagine my delight when he came out with an entire album of spoken word pieces. I think it was written and produced by Ben Folds, which makes it even better. This is my favorite song off the album, and I put it on every mix I possibly can because I think everyone needs a little dose of William Shatner now and then.

If you like the mix and want a copy, comment below and I’ll send a CD out to the winner of a random drawing (contest closes Wednesday at noon Thursday at noon (updated deadline), when Ruthie will tell me how many pretzels she wants, between one and [ __ ] ).

9 thoughts on “The Muxtape”

  1. This is really neat. And now, my investigations of muxtape begin. It would be cool if you could embed the mix.

  2. I’m so glad you have two Weepies songs on there!! I haven’t listened to anything except The Weepies for the past week and I kept meaning to ask if you knew them, and you do!

    (Choose my number Ruthie!)

  3. Woohoo! I was just looking for some new songs to download. This post came at the perfect time. Great mix.

  4. I can’t remember what I said about the Tracey Thorn album – but yeah, I only liked the tracks I posted!

  5. Ugh – I’m feeling like an old MOM! Honestly, the only person I recognized was William Shatner. How sad. I used to be cool once…kinda…once.
    But, I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed your mix. I have a new (to me) list of artists that I want to go check out – and maybe buy some music from. I bobbed to the beats and looked up lyrics cuz, sometimes I wanted to sing a-long! I’m almost out of the Barney years. Why is it so easy to let the ME get swallowed by the MOMMY? ~v

  6. Jenny – I’ve seen The Weepies mentioned EVERYWHERE now since I’ve heard them the first time. We still don’t have the whole album, but we’ll see.

    ~v – You’re not an old mom! None of the music on this list (with the exception maybe of the Weepies, which I’ve been hearing a lot about) is what you would consider main stream, so it’s not like you’d hear it on your local pop station when you drive around town. That’s the downside to my musical tastes – I often don’t know who the pop stars of the day are!

  7. Thanks for sharing, Jen. I’m interested in checking these out. And very interested in getting that mixed CD you have . . .

  8. Jen,

    My husband just told me about I’ve only looked at the site, but it says that you can create your own mixes and embed them on your blog or myspace. And, it looks like you can use songs from their share, as long as you follow the typical rules. Like I said, I haven’t tried any of this, but that’s what the site says. Check it out. 🙂

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