After 2 years of allowing my CD collection to roll around free-form in the back seat of my car, I finally decided to impose a bit of order this week. The task was two-fold: (1) taking the CDs out of the plastic bag in which they were being stored and deposit them in a CD case, and (2) upload any un-synced discs to my digital music collection (go Zune, I still believe in you!).
Organizing a CD collection is a strange, nostalgic, hillarious, self-defeating, and simultaneously energizing process. You unearth long-forgotten memories, laugh at your erratic music taste, weep in shame when this appears from under the back seat, and come out the other end with a dopey grin & some peculiar new mix-tapes. In the spirit of nostalgia, here is a track-listing of the very first mix CD that I ever took on the road (8 years ago… yikes!). I encourage you to take a glimpse into my “pop-ey” musical past and to walk down your own memory lane with a CD organization overhaul.
1. Catch My Disease – Ben Lee
I don’t really like this song. I don’t know that I ever did. It has always bothered me a bit that it is the first track on this mix tape. C’est la vie.
Your body’s a dream that turns violent
And that’s the way I like it.
2. Golden Brown – The Stranglers
I do like this song. The Stranglers make some sweet references (my favourite being the Ulysses and the Sirens meets Trainspotting one that I quote below) and the melody is eerily enchanting. The song is featured on the Snatch soundtrack. I don’t have much to say about this.
Everytime, just like the last.
On the ship, tied to the mast.
3. 100 Years – Five for Fighting
Top 40 from early 2000s. Could have been a one-hit wonder except he had two or three hits. Not stellar lyrics but the tune is an undeniably catchy one.
There’s still time for you.
4. Empty Days – Augustana
Another song I don’t have much to say about. Not stellar and a bit of an odd pick. I guess I was feeling pretty angsty in my younger years.
I don’t know where I came from
I don’t know where I’m going
5. Divided – Tegan and Sara
A coup: I liked Tegan and Sara before they were mainstream-cool. Let’s be honest though, this pop-rock-folk duo from Cow-Town were always pretty darn cool. Vancouver has claimed Tegan and Sara as our own and I hope it stays that way.
I don’t wanna live my life like a story.
I was thinking I could have been something.
6. Fall Line – Jack Johnson
It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I still really like this song. Whatever, he has a nice voice.
Because we fell across the fall line.
Ain’t there nothing sacred anymore?
7. Son’s Gonna Rise – Citizen Cope
This song is here because I was a little bit gangster as a youngster. Or not so much. This kind of gangster.
Well a son’s gonna rise in a mile.
In a mile you’ll be feeling fine.
8. Scar – Missy Higgins
Missy Higgins rocks and as my water polo friend A once said, it has been WAY too long since she put out a new album. She is a kick ass song writer and her voice is killer. Additionally: I really like singing along to her music. Loudly. While driving. With the windows down. In the rain. Yay.
He left a card and a bar of soap with
scrubbing-brush next to a note,
That said “use these down to your bones”.
And before I knew I had shiny skin and
it felt easy being clean like him,
I thought “this one knows better than I do”
9. Until You – Dave Barnes
This song is catchy. Dave Barnes is like John Mayer only less famous and less of an asshole (though the two may be correlated… jury’s still out). That being said, I would not be surprised if this song appeared on the soundtrack to the next Twilight movie.
Love was kept from me like a secret.
10. Just the Girl – The Click Five
This girl seems like a bit of a dick. Just saying…
She pushed me in the pool at our last school reunion.
11. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
Possibly my most-listened track in the late 1990s. This is crazy catchy pop… oh… and it’s a cover. Wikipedia ruins everything.
I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor.
12. Firecracker – Ryan Adams
Dear Katy Perry,
This is how you write a song about fireworks. That is all.
Lady, your kicks of silence cough into your room
Kiss me slow and softly make me dream of you
Well, everybody wants to go on forever
I just wanna burn up hard and bright
I just wanna be your firecracker
And maybe be your baby tonight
Maybe be your baby tonight
13. Better with You – Five Times August
Another song that annoys me with its presence on this playlist. Just… meh.
I’m better with you.
14. Save Your Scissors – City and Colour
City and Colour (headed by frontman Dallas Green… get it? get it!?) is a cool band. They opened for Coldplay in Vancouver this year! Perhaps more importantly, it is still okay to like the band because Dallas was born in St. Catherines, ON (rowing shout-out!) and because Save Your Scissors was a massive under-dog hit in the mid-2000s.
So save your scissors
For someone else’s skin.
My surface is too tough
I dont think the blade will dig in.
15. The Legionnaire’s Lament – The Decembrists
Say what you will about The Decembrists being hopped up college lit-majors with a lyrical vocabulary that borders on the absurd (and you would have a point if you did say these things), I maintain that Picaresque is one of the top 10 greatest albums of the last 30 years. Yeah, you heard me. The Legionnaire’s Lament is not off that album… but it rocks nonetheless. I am mentally patting past-me on the back for including this song.
Also, this is one of the best songs about Paris ever written. I stand by that.
With the roar of cars
And the lolling of the cafe bars
The sweetly sleeping, sweeping of the Seine
Lord I don’t know if I’ll ever be back again
16. Island in the Sun – Weezer
Weezer used to be pretty big news. Kermit starred in one of their videos so you know they were big. Thanks to some uber-hits (including Island in the Sun) and a very recognizable front-man (think Moby, with hair), this band hasn’t really faded from memory in the way some others on here have (here’s looking at you Click Five!). Heck, Undone (The Sweater Song) still pops up on the Peak once every few weeks.
When you’re on a golden sea
You don’t need no memory
17. Anodyne – Speechwriters LLC
I was pretty cool as a highschool student… and by that I mean – some of my friends were pretty cool. One side-benefit to this coolness-by-proxy was the discovery of hip underground bands before it became passé to like hip underground bands. Speechwriters LLC is a two-man song writing powerhouse that really should have made it big. I can still listen to all of their songs in a row and feel pretty darn awesome about life.
Did you come here to say, I was too much play
Or did you come to explain, that life’s no game
Or did you think in your head, that life should be bled
Well I’ve already read those lines before
18. Desperately Wanting – Better Than Ezra
Another big 1990s hit-ish. This song hit #48 when I was 8 and I loved some poppy songs with romantic lyrics that I could not possibly understand.
I remember running through the wet grass
and falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
19. No Rain – Blind Melon
I don’t understand how Lady Gaga has millions of hits and this 90’s classic has racked up less than 100,000. Whatever, the bumble-bee girl was the talk of the town back in the day. 1 hit wonders just don’t hit as hard anymore.
All I can say is my life is pretty plain
I like watching the puddles gather rain.
20. Pura Vida – Braddigan
Dispatch was one of those odd bands that thrived under the Napster revolution (that is: free muzac on the interwebs for you nOObs). Apparently they used to invite Shawn Fanning to their concerts and publicly thank him for spreading their music with P2P. “Braddigan” is Brad Corrigan‘s solo outfit and he pumped out some pretty sweet tunes like this one, Pura Vida.
So let the wind be upon your back
And if there’s sun, let it shine on your face.
Let the rains rip across your path
Providing swell to last all of your days.
21. If I Could Talk, I’d Tell You – The Lemonheads
There are lots of versions of this song on the internet. I like it… I don’t really know why I picked it to end this playlist… but I do like it. Some of you may remember this band from the There’s Something About Mary Soundtrack.
You are far and away
my most imaginary friend