14 July 2006

Playlists in Slow Progress

Building coherent playlists carefully is hard to do once you have a certain amount of music, but if it's well done it can make a CD that's listenable for years, and takes with it the feel of the time when you made it. I'm working on two right now; the tracks that're on YSI are the ones I think are most representative of what I'm aiming for.

One: The Intuition of Mortality, or, We're All Gonna Die
Pedro the Lion - Priests and Paramedics
John Vanderslice - Nikki Oh Nikki
Headphones - Slow Car Crash (the live Undertow Orchestra version)
Death Cab - What Sarah Said
Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day
Psapp - Leaving in Coffins

This is taking me longer than most--I'm being pickier than most, but it's a good idea that needs to be done well. Somebody suggested Godspeed You Black Emperor - "Dead Flag Blues", but I found it too apocalyptic; what I'm really looking to convey is the moment when you realize you don't go on forever, to quote Rosencrantz; or the moment when you realize with Big Bird that Mr. Hooper isn't coming back--when the idea of death in all its strangeness and impenetrability comes close.

Two: Dress
Dirty on Purpose - Your Summer Dress
Sufjan Stevens - The Dress Looks Nice On You
The New Pornographers - Jackie, Dressed in Cobras
Margot & the Nuclear So-and-So's - Vampires in Blue Dresses
Belly - Sad Dress
P.J. Harvey - Dress
Mark Lanegan - Wedding Dress
Red House Painters - Summer Dress

Maybe because it's summer and too bloody hot for much else, or because my fashion-conscious friends are proclaiming it the Year of the Dress, but I've had dresses on the brain. Cool thing about this group is that half of the them are gritty and powerful (PJ Harvey and Mark Lanegan, unsurprisingly) and half of them are graceful and dreamy (Sufjan and Red House Painters); it could be cool, I think. That's one of the humps of making a good, coherent playlist: you get to a certain place where you have all the right songs, and then they're either too short or too long for a CD, and you have to decide whether or not to fix it, weaken the list and make it burnable, or leave it as it is.

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1 comment:

Squashed said...

you can use this sample tracks