Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What You Should Have Heard #21

My Mix CDs

I’ve got a lot of music but limited space to hold it in, especially in my car. So I’ve gone the old tried-and-true way of making mix CDs to have access to as many bands as possible while driving. I’m going slightly old-school since I’m a bit backwards and have no iPod.

Most of the songs will be more upbeat, with probably only the occasional ballad or slower song included. I like to sing in the car, and the more upbeat songs are more fun to sing.

I’ll be going in alpha-numeric order with these, so if you’re wanting to argue with me about what Weezer songs should be included, you’re going to be waiting for a while.

My only limitations are that I use 80 min. discs, and I’m only going to use one disc per band/artist. I will make exceptions for only my most favorite bands with huge playlists (Foo Fighters and Self, off the top of my head), but I’d really like to boil everything down to just one disc.

Here’s the list guide:

Track # - Song Name - Album Name [Artist if album is by a different artist]

Better Than Ezra CD

  1. Use Me – Artifakt
  2. Burned – Before the Robots
  3. A Lifetime – Before the Robots
  4. Hollow – Before the Robots
  5. Misunderstood – Closer
  6. Extra Ordinary – Closer
  7. Closer – Closer
  8. Rolling – Closer
  9. Recognize – Closer
  10. Sincerely Me – Closer
  11. Briefly – Closer
  12. Juarez – Closer
  13. I Do – Closer
  14. R3Wind – Friction, Baby
  15. At the Stars – How Does Your Garden Grow?
  16. Like It Like That – How Does Your Garden Grow?
  17. Allison Foley – How Does Your Garden Grow?
  18. Live Again – How Does Your Garden Grow?
  19. Particle – How Does Your Garden Grow?

Better Than Ezra is a band I’ve grown to like a bit more with each new album. Well, maybe except for the most recent one. Right now I think they’ve peaked with Closer, and I’ve got a real problem with “A Lifetime” being included on two separate albums. I didn’t see the point of it. Granted, I like the newer version better, but it just didn’t sit well with me. Anyways, Deluxe started out all right, but it wasn’t until the sophomore effort, Friction, Baby, that the group started sounding like the group they’d become by the time Closer came around.

I could almost do a double-disc mix with BTE (I’ve got 29 songs included in the first cut), but with this group I really want to knock it down the a good 80-minute CD that I can really get into in the car.

I had originally included both versions of “A Lifetime,” but I’m sticking with the version from Before the Robots. It’s crisper and cleaner, whereas the version from Closer has this breathless quality to it that I don’t dig so much. Going through the rest of the included songs and picking out enough to cut was tough. I ended up nixing some of the more popular songs in favor for stuff that gets me going, stuff I like to sing along to in the car. I mean, that’s the point of these mixes. Otherwise, I’d just get a greatest hits CD or stick solely to the released singles.

Most of the tracks from Closer are included in this mix. I loved that CD, and I remember playing it almost nonstop when it was released. It was the summer after I graduated and before I got married. I had my own apartment in Hermitage just outside of Nashville, and I had been at my first post-college, big boy job for a few months. I think “Extra Ordinary” first caught my ear, and the rest of the CD was soon to follow. Like I said, it was in heavy rotation that summer, and I was lucky enough to see the group live at Nashville’s now defunct cheap summer concert series Dancin’ in the District. They were amazing, and I ended up seeing them live one more time, this time at 328 Performance Hall (also no longer in existence) within the next year.

The title track to Closer is one of two songs that has ever brought me to tears, and they both have similar themes: new parents. I never gave the song any thought before my wife was pregnant with our first son, but one day it just hit me. I was driving on Briley Parkway on my way to work, and I actually listened to the lyrics, and everything I was feeling about being a new father just rang so true.

And the morning light was breaking
Slowly moving across the bed
He gets up without her waking
To the voices in his head

Through the shadows in the hallway
To the room they painted blue
And on the inside he is frightened
At a loss for what to do

Until he opens up his eyes
And the angels all look down

Even closer than this life
Closer than your faith
Closer than the things that you hold dearly
And in vain
Closer than this life
Falling through again
Giving more than anything
That you could hope to win

And he knows his life is changing
It's never easy letting go
For the first time you are mortal
As the child before you grows
And he wonders at the sight
Of the joy that he has found


And what would you intend to find?
Solitude? Your peace of mind?
Holding out for something less
Than touching the hand of God?


Closer than this life
Closer finally
Living for the only thing
You ever made complete
Oh, for the one thing
That you both did perfectly

Here’s the official video for “A Lifetime” and an acoustic version of “Closer.”

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