Saturday, September 20, 2008


Track selection is a form of divination. An oracle of sorts. In the Jungian sense, one is taking familiar images and aligning them is a subconscious manner, thereby utilizing the symbols as archetypes. It's magick, pure and simple. That's why every lonely boy makes a mixtape, in hopes that it will cast some sort of spell over the object of his desire.

For me at least, making a mix works better than the Tarot or I Ching. These are MY symbols. My archetype. The more (seemingly) random the tracks... the deeper insight I get into myself upon playback. It's a wonderfully useful tool, especially since my ex-psychologist is threatening to sue me for lack of payment. For real, he sends me emo letters like some jilted lover. For now, I guess this is a cheap, effective alternative.

So this morning, after posting before work I decided to attempt a mix in a more structured manner. When I used to play out for people, I cannot count the times I started sets with Lydia Lunch's "Dance of the Dead Children"/Sisters of Mercy "Bury Me Deep" and ended with Bauhaus' "Crowds." These are three of my most coveted Trump cards. Records with so much history that they can't help but dredge emotion out of every pore. They speak to me on a deeper level. they are familiar, yet they always work.

So I set to work while toiling away at my insipid job. I spent a decent hour jotting down a tracklist. Songs with history. Songs with meaning. Having work to do allowed me to not think about it too much. I just listed songs as they came to me, and before long had a decent hour of tracks I've listened to thousand of times and played out hundreds. My soundtrack. My Atu.

After work I hit the Soulseek crates (it's easier than actually looking through my collection) and found every last one of them. While looking and listening, I was amazed at how I can attach specific memories to every one of these songs. From the red light teenage years to the present... these songs somehow tell my life story.

Yes, a lot of New Ro/Goth and a little mid 90s Bristol. It would be easy to scoff at the obvious selection as a pretentious spotter's playlist (it sort of is) but it's more than that. Some of these genres have come and gone in my life, but these songs remain. and they remain strong. I can remember looping that guitar part in the middle of "A Strange Day" over and over again, until the 5 people at The Parlour got tired of it. But I didn't stop. I just slid the fader back and forth, hypnotized. I remember finding that green covered Anne Clark at Record Surplus in Santa Monica, just knowing it was going to sound good.

More than that... I remember finding Tricky's "Love Cats" earlier this year, while making one of my own "magickal mixtapes." I had given up on Tricky after "Angels With Dirty Faces" and didn't even know this little nugget existed. And boy does it sound good wedged between Siouxise and Tears for Fears. "She's Hit" IS me at 17-19. trading my polished new wave in for dirty beatnik... yet retaining that something that made new wave so special. "Wandering Star' reminds me of when I lived in East Hollywood and "Dummy" was the only thing that could insulate me from dealing with the beginning of a crumbling relationship. It was my Hexagram 23... and there was no advantage in any sort of movement at all.

Everything Falls apart.

Anyway, before I start crying into my keyboard... let the music begin:

Found Dead in a Crowded Space


Lydia Lunch - Dance of the Dead Children

Sisters of Mercy - Bury Me Deep

The Cure - A Strange Day

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Christine

Tricky - The Love Cats

Tears for Fears - Mad World

The Passions - I'm in Love with a German Filmstar

Anne Clark - Sleeper in Metropolis

The Rapture - Olio (DFA Mix)

Keep Your Mouth Shut - Nearly God

u-ziq - Daughter of a Child

Oingo Boingo - Running on a Treadmill
Shriekback - Faded Flowers

Portishead - Wandering Star

The Birthday Party - She's Hit

Bauhaus - Crowds

Thanks to: Aron's Records, DJ Naughty (who turned me to 'Olio' at the Echo,) Soulseek, Record Surplus, Manda, Toni, Koila, Gigi, Jobi, the 5 people at the Parlour on Sundays, the early Bellmore Crew - all for inspiration and sharing this music with me in the past, Grand Theft Auto (for reintroducing me to that Passions track I thought I forgot about.)

P.S. Granted, I'm no Peter Seville, but the graphic is actually inspired by those ubiquitous 80s Factory rip-off covers, not the aesthetic genius of Mr. Seville himself. It's amazing how that cheesy fauz Factory became the look of Windham hill New Age over the years!


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