The New

I’ve been spending the better part of the past couple days tackling an assignment that my mom only gives me because she knows that I love it: Making mix CDs.

We are spending Thanksgiving at family friend’s house, so I have been assembling a series of peace-offerings. One for the host, one each for his two kids and one for everyone to listen to while we eat delicious pie (this is the only part I truly love about Thanksgiving.)

I love doing this. If I could have a career of creating soundtracks and compilations I would take it for less than minimum wage earnings. Nothing could be better.

Now, here is the extra fun part.

The host’s kids are really cool. Extremely actually. The oldest is a freshman in high school, very smart, very articulate and extremely independent in action and thought. The kind of kid that I can totally root for.

So here I am, making these goodwill offerings of music, and can’t help but draw the (very faint) parallels between the hip, well-read high school freshman that this kid is and the slightly-dorky, bookish college freshman that I am now.

I needed to bestow the bets gift on this kid, the gift of things I wish I would have known when I was 14.

These are some excerpts from the mix I made (with extra-special added commentary!):

1)Center-Sweet Miss

This band was compiled entirely of Davis kids a couple years back. If nothing else, you should know that some good things come out of Yakima, even if they don’t make it very far.

3)Passin’ Me By-The Pharcyde

Always, always give hip-hop and rap a chance. If you don’t, you’re going to miss amazing things. Like this song.

6)That Teenage Feeling-Neko Case

I’ve listened to this song with my eyes closed too many times to count. Neko Case has the perfect woman’s voice. It is beautiful and lilting and amazingly powerful.

7)Cello Suite # 1-Bach

Because it is the cello.

11)No Name # 1-Elliott Smith

My favorite voice of any male singer. He’ll break your heart a million times. “Could’ve been a hero, if I wasn’t such a zero….”

12)I’ll Believe in Anything-Wolf Parade

This song has always inspired the oddest sense of hope in me. It’s always been a rousing call for…something.

14)How We Know-The Thermals

One solid punk band, no matter how soft, is always a necessity.

16) Still Ill-The Smiths

I know that maybe this song doesn’t fit with you right now. But persevere, Morrissey will eventually wrap his voice around your head and this will all make amazingly perfect sense. It is so worth the moment when it does.

17)I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone-Sleater-Kinney

Because chicks are cool, even more so than Thurston Moore.

18)You and Whose Army?-Radiohead

The image of Thom Yorke taunting the audience watching him from from hundreds of yards away is inextricably linked with the slow burn of this song. I know you have an activist’s heart, so just listen closely.

19)This Is Our Emergency-Pretty Girls Make Graves

A very similar sentiment. This song speaks to the desire to cry out in crushing moments and always be heard. It also has a great guitar part.

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