Thursday, February 24, 2011

Birthday Music Mixes: A Great Tradition Continues

Here’s a dilemma worthy of a Seinfeld episode: a birthday for someone you’ve gone out with twice (albeit on very long and involved “dates”). What to do? You don’t want to go overboard and scare her off, but you don’t want to underdo it and come across like a cheap, insensitive bastard (aka a man).

When I faced this situation in 2007, I solved it with a small leap of faith: I made a music mix and burned it to a CD with a personalized insert. Did it work? Well, that same woman is now my wife – and yesterday she received another birthday music mix, the fifth in the series. (I could probably get away with just the CD, that’s how much she likes these, but I do give other presents as well!)

Each mix has a different approach. The first included songs that captured how I was feeling (and hoped she was feeling). The second continued this theme in that there are a lot of lovey-dovey songs. The third was a quieter, moodier mix, and the fourth was a big more upbeat and cheery. The latest is different again, featuring some funky dance music, plus some slower acoustic numbers. Here are all five lists for those who are interested.

2007:
  1. Skydiggers, "Pull me down"
  2. Ashley MacIsaac (w/ Mary Jane Lamond), "Sleepy Maggie"
  3. Grant Lee Phillips, "Lily-A-Passion"
  4. Jane Siberry, "Bound By the Beauty"
  5. R.E.M., "You Are the Everything"
  6. Sarah Harmer, "Lodestar"
  7. Robbie Robertson, "Somewhere Down the Crazy River"
  8. Damien Rice, "Volcano"
  9. Lucinda Williams, "Right in Time"
  10. Fiona Apple, "Slow Like Honey"
  11. Joules Grave, "Drive Me Wild"
  12. Josh Ritter, "Snow Is Gone"
  13. Me'Shell Ndegéocello, "Beautiful"
  14. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "(Are You) The One that I've Been Waiting For?"
  15. David Gray, "Be Mine"
  16. Death Cab for Cutie, "Transatlanticism"
  17. Van Morrison, "Sweet Thing"
2008:
  1. Skydiggers, “I will give you everything”
  2. Rusted Root, “Rising Sun”
  3. Great Big Sea, “Sea of No Cares”
  4. Arcade Fire, “No Cars Go”
  5. U2, “All I Want Is You”
  6. Glenn Hansard & Marketa Irglova, “Falling Slowly”
  7. The New Pornographers, “The Spirit of Giving”
  8. David Gray, “You’re the World to Me”
  9. Josh Ritter, “Wolves”
  10. Ben Harper, “Steal My Kisses”
  11. Arcade Fire, “Rebellion (Lies)”
  12. Feist, “I Feel It All”
  13. Broken Social Scene, “Major Label Debut”
  14. Starsailor, “Love Is Here”
  15. Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, “Nothing & Nowhere”
  16. Ron Sexsmith, “Gold in Them Hills”
  17. Blue Rodeo, “Lost Together”
  18. Coldplay, “Green Eyes”
2009:
  1. Nick Drake, “Cello Song”
  2. M. Ward, “Chinese Translation”
  3. Nick Cabe and the Bad Seeds, “Into My Arms”
  4. Wilco, “Please Be Patient With Me”
  5. Bruce Cockburn, “Last Night of the World”
  6. Willy Porter, “If Love Were An Airplane”
  7. Josh Ritter, “The Temptation of Adam”
  8. Tom Waits, “Way Down in the Hole”
  9. Spoon, “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”
  10. The Tragically Hip, “Ahead by a Century”
  11. The Style Council, “You’re the Best Thing”
  12. Kate Bush, “Symphony in Blue”
  13. The Proclaimers, “Sunshine on Leith”
  14. Juliette Commagere, “Skyscraper”
  15. The Decemberists, “Valerie Plame”
  16. Joules Grave, “Meteor Shower”
  17. Iron & Wine, “Lovesong of the Buzzard”
  18. Van Morrison and the Chieftains, “She Moved Through the Fair”
  19. Sarah Harmer, “Open Window (The Wedding Song)”
2010:
  1. Regina Spektor, “Better”
  2. Lykke Li, “Little Bit”
  3. Fanfarlo, “The Walls Are Coming Down”
  4. Loney, Dear, “Saturday Waits”
  5. The Northern Pikes, “Kiss Me You Fool”
  6. Michael Franti & Spearhead, “Say Hey (I Love You)”
  7. Johnny Clegg & Savuka, “Are You Ready?”
  8. Paul Simon, “How Can You Live In the Northeast?”
  9. TV On the Radio, “Halfway Home”
  10. My Morning Jacket, “I'm Amazed”
  11. Neko Case, “This Tornado Loves You”
  12. The Waterboys, “Fisherman's Blues”
  13. Sting, “The Burning Babe”
  14. The Tragically Hip, “Queen of the Furrows”
  15. Jeff Buckley, “Hallelujah”
  16. Pearl Jam, “Just Breathe”
  17. The Moldy Peaches, “Anyone Else But You”
  18. The Waltons, “The Naked Rain”
  19. Dntel, “Last Songs”
2011:
  1. Jónsi, “Animal Arithmetic”
  2. Bend Sinister, “Things Will Get Better”
  3. Stars, “Fixed”
  4. One eskimO, “Kandi”
  5. The Civil Wars, “Poison & Wine”
  6. Beach House, “Zebra”
  7. Lykke Li, “I'm Good, I'm Gone”
  8. The Black Keys, “Tighten Up”
  9. Glasser, “Apply”
  10. The National, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
  11. Iron & Wine, “Godless Brother In Love”
  12. Sarah Harmer, “Silverado”
  13. Jason Collett, “No Redemption Song”
  14. Nicole Atkins, “Oh Canada!”
  15. Josh Ritter, “Lantern”
  16. The Tallest Man On Earth, “The Wild Hunt”
  17. Kendal Johansson, “Blue Moon”
  18. Kate Miller-Heidke, “Caught In the Crowd”
  19. Arcade Fire, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

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