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The Bittersweet Mix

April 13, 2008

Laura’s Blog Entry

Feel uncomfortable being deliriously happy, but don’t have the energy for the slit-your-wrists-type angst? Then bitterweet might be the right mood for you. It’s where I feel most at home. And doesn’t every mood deserve a mix tape?

Using Muxtape, the latest incarnation of the mix tape, you can stream the songs I am blogging about. I love you, internets.

Click the link to listen in as I ramble on. Universe, I give you The Bittersweet Mix.

Highschool Lover
This is from the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides, that I blogged about way back when. It is so weird how these songs can transport me right back to the 1970’s. I was a little goth girl in the making. My family wasn’t aware that “being intense” was an entire lifestyle choice, as well as a personality trait.

Andrew Brennan
We played this on the March podcast and I still love listening to it. Sad with a hint of sweetness. I need this song in my life. (It’s not available commercially, but you can find Andrew on YouTube.)

Saw Something
Dave Gahan
I like the vibe of this song. It’s hopeful, in a doubtful kind of way. Ah, those Mode boys. Nothing like a rock guitar solo in the middle of a totally electronic song. Not everyone can pull that off this successfully. Well done!

Duncan Sheik
One of my favorite male voices. His recordings always sound like he is sitting next to me and singing. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking. There’s nothing more bittersweet than regret. Roll down the windows and sing harmony. You know you want to.

How Lucky We Are
Found this song as a “Single of the Week” on iTunes. If you don’t take advantage of this free song feature on iTunes then shame on you. Once a month or so I find a new artist that I really like. This clear, simple arrangement is lovely. If only I could sing like this.

Wild (at Our First) Beasts
Found this song as another freebie on the web from Dynamophone Records quite a while ago. The spoken word on the track is a poem by E.E. Cummings. This is from a 22-track album called Nowhere. Each song on the album is a different poem by Cummings, mixed into an electronic soundscape. From a very young age my writing has been influenced by Cummings. I learned from him that simple words, artfully chosen and arranged make all the difference.

Imogen Heap
From her first solo album I Megaphone. Someone this young should not be able to write songs like these. Mind blowing. Imogen lives the most creative, interesting life. This is what I want for my chiId – to believe in herself and live life as a creative expression. The piano on this one really reminds me of Tori Amos.

Silent All These Years
Tori Amos
Speaking of Tori Amos… see how I did that? If I had to pick a Tori Amos song that best fits my life, this would be the one. We are getting reacquainted, Tori and I. When Mari was born, she had terrible colic and I remember one of the few things that made her stop screaming was the album Boys for Pele … and anything by Depeche Mode. In Mari’s first year I kind of went into a crazy place called overwhelmed and stopped listening to music for a few years. It was like I could not take in any more input from any source. So I lost touch with Tori. I’ve missed her. Working on Neil’s album I’ve been listening to my favorite vocalists, trying to figure out what kind of voice I have. I hope I have at least a teeny, tiny bit of Tori in me.

1 & 2, Ghosts I-IV
Nine Inch Nails
We’ve been listening to this quite a bit lately as Neil put his video together. It seems fitting to follow Tori with Trent, as she puts Nine Inch Nails references* into her songs and Trent sang on the song “Past the Mission.” I’ll have to go on about Trent’s amazing voice in another blog, because these tracks are instrumental. But there was no skimping on mood for Ghosts. I think every emotion I’ve ever experienced can be found somewhere in those 32 songs.

The Internal Locus
This is from the album This Binary Universe. The song starts off with a thunderstorm. I adore thunderstorms. There is nothing better than sitting with the windows wide open and listening to rain. This album is great when I want to do some writing or journaling. It somehow seeps into that meditative part of my brain. This song in particular is very filmic to me. It gives me that opening credits kind of anticipation I used to get when I went to the movies.

Easy Tiger
Depeche Mode

Not the album version. The long version, thank you very much. This is an underrated track from an underrated album, Exciter. Our boys can kick it with an instrumental. I’ve done a mix of just DM instrumentals that’s pretty darn sweet.

Ok, putting this entry together took about four times as long as I thought it would. See what I do for you, my bloglings? But to me the music is worth it.

*“With their nine-inch nail and little fascist panties tucked inside the heart of every nice girl.” – Precious Things

“Made my own pretty hate machine.” – Caught a Lite Sneeze

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