Christmas Stuff – Originals and Oddities Mixtape Battle
Twas the fortnight before Christmas when all through the Web,
Not a creative was stirring not even the celebs.
The playlist was slow jams, standards, the usual fare,
Hopeful that St. 30Hz would soon be there.
The audiophiles felt weary, one more “Silver Bells” would drive them to drinker,
While visions of Meatwad and Tom Waits danced in their thinker.
Mama in her yoga pants and I in my Guster tee
Had just settled our butts down to enjoy bread and a hot, bubbly brie.
Then out of the Macbook there arose such a clatter.
I sprang from my sofa to see what was the matter.
Away to the Facebook, I flew like a blink,
Tore open the notifications and clicked on the link.
The gift was a collection of rarely heard gems,
That reminded not all Christmas tunes were regurgitated phlegms.
What to my wandering ears shoulder appear,
But a playlist of 16 goodies from 30Hz that made me say “Oh dear!”
“Christmas Stuff – Originals and Oddities”
Mixtape Battle INSTRUCTIONS!
ConstruxNunchux has once again challenged 30Hz to a Mixtape Battle to end all Mixtape Battles! (That is, until we regroup for Mixtape Battle III in the new year.) Below you will find one playlist from me, 30Hz, and one from the Nunchux boys. Once you listen to both playlists (limited to a mere 60 minutes to holiday tunage), vote below for which collection you enjoyed more. The winner this week gets extra gravy on his mashed potatoes so please vote with your heart and vote with your head, but please, sirs and madams, just vote.
Sales Pitch: I aimed for a balance of sincere holiday warm fuzzies and Scrooge-y cynicism with a side of yuletide jollies. The ebb and flow of the playlist remained imperative. Though holiday songs often require a different mindset, a less critical approach, I didn’t want to sacrifice listenability or the overall playlist integrity. Holiday or otherwise, I needed killer jams that fit a collective compositional theme.
I kept the blaspheming to a minimum, though you’ll note a few choice phrases and mention of hookers, affairs with siblings and Scott Stapp (the horror!). Be careful not to become too blissfully complacent or seasonally merry. After you hear that Paul Kelly song near the end… if your heart doesn’t grow three sizes, you might just be a Grinch after all.
I hope your holiday season brings family together, friends closer and allows you to imbibe heavily. Share our playlists with others and make your own. Give the gift of good music. Also books. People need to read more.
ConstruxNunchux Sales Pitch:
Mixtape Battle #2 – X-mas Originals and Oddities: The second challenge between your humble bloggers construxnunchux and 30hz Rumble was an easy one to pick. We decided to dig into the void of obscure X-mas music and pull out of best (worst) holiday tunes we could find.
Ian and I put together a formidable collection of X-mas songs for you all out there. I sprinkled in a few songs about dicks, and other unsettling topic as I tend to do and it turned out to be a great collection.
I have to admit there were dozens and dozens of a amazing songs I’ve never heard before from artists I never expected. This was an incredibly fun one to do and incredibly difficult making cuts to “essential” songs. We asked Santa for a 60m tape in our stockings and he obliged!
We are giving you bonus songs for free! So please, enjoy, have an amazing X-mas (or whatever you’re into) and spread some of that surplus holiday cheer to everyone around you.
It is a period of Mixtape ambivalence. 30Hz, striking from 12-track playlists on 8Tracks and Spotify, has won minor victories against the evil galactic iTunes empire of mindless streams of music. During the one-sided battle (that iTunes never even noticed), 30Hz managed to steal the attention of ConstruXNunchuX blogger, Paul Clemente, who challenged 30Hz to a mixtape battle that could bring balance to the universe… or at least Pittsburgh… but probably nothing will happen.
Pursued by the “evil” agents from iTunes and probably Pandora, ConstruX and 30Hz comb through every Star Wars-related song they can think of to save the Mixtape and restore musical awareness to the Galaxy.
The following tracks cover or sample Star Wars music and/or contain goddamn catchy lyrical references to the Star Wars galaxy. May the force be with 30Hz and ConstruX NunchuX.
Star Wars Stuff Mixtape Battle INSTRUCTIONS!
Once you listen to both playlists (limited by 12-tracks or 45 minutes), vote below for which collection of jams you enjoyed better. The winner this week gets the puppy they’ve always wanted for Xmas so please vote with your heart and vote with your head, but please, sirs and madams, just vote.
I’m continuing my bl-g series devoted to bringing back the spirit of the mixtape. This past Wednesday I found inspiration in the song played at the end of my yoga practice. Though “practice” may be a bit of misnomer with me lately. Jen always plays a killer song during cool down. This particular evening she ended with Al Green’s “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”
As I laid in an ever-increasing puddle of my own perspiration, I contemplated the perfection of that song as an individual piece of music, as yogic wisdom, and workout turndown. The song’s pace and depth of soundscape that Al Green conveys with such minimal production. The choice inspired me to explore what other songs from my library might also function as admirably at the end of a brutal series of sun salutations and core strengthening. I humbly present Al Green and 11 other soulful songs to soundtrack your own personal well-earned exhaustion, yogic or otherwise, presented as both an 8tracks.com and Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.
Some time ago I unearthed a plushy Denon cassette tape case containing a few of my old 90’s mixtapes. I named all of them “Stuff Vol. x” for ease of organization. They were mismatched collections of my music of the moment. New or old, it really didn’t matter. I don’t ever recall compiling a themed playlist and I certainly didn’t find any in my old tapes. I didn’t believe in sonic constraints. From those tapes I created Spotify playlists to recreate the contents. You can find these “Mixtape Project” posts here, here, and here.
We music lovers of a certain age romanticize mixtapes. Sure, now we have unlimited access to music and can craft complex 100-track playlists in a wink and a nod because of our massive digital media collections. And that’s considered progress, but it’s removed the scrutiny and intent involved in making a 45- or 60-minute mixtape. Mixtapes were a labor of love.
I made all mine on a Kenwood stack system with a 5-CD changer plus extra tray. A Christmas present from my parents in the year 1991. The repetitive queuing and the corresponding play/record pressing on the tape deck. It would take hours to perfect one of these tapes, never mind the preparation and selection before the recording even began. I even used some of my dad’s records to add a scratchy, retro feel through a couple of vinyl-based recordings. I miss it, so I’m going to resurrect Stuff with a new weekly bl-g series. Each week, I’ll use some variety of prompt to create a new mixtape.
Thus I give you my first new offering, a mixtape of Halloween-inspired favorites new and old (but mostly old). If you’re back in the mixtape business, I’d love to see some of your creations. I’ll post links to fellow mixtapers in the posts. And if you created a Halloween mix of your own, post a link in the comments!
I will save this picture on the off chance that one day I can build my DREAM house and find this architect and this decorator and tell them to make me a dining room like this. I think it's one of the first formal dining rooms I've ever really liked.