In our digital age of music, the “Mix Tape” is becoming a lost art form. I rediscovered it in 2012 when I was asked to join a CD club. There are about a dozen members, and each month I get a mixtape in the mail from someone that I have never met.

My assigned month was September. I thought about doing something Fall-related, then decided to work on an idea for a mixtape that I’ve had floating in my head for awhile… My theme was road trip music. There are some songs that just seem so suitable for driving. They’re the kind of songs that when you’re playing them, and your exit on the freeway is the next one, that you almost want to miss your exit so you can keep cruising along to that excellent track. There are also some songs on this mixtape that convey a longing for being somewhere else, which I think was influenced by my current desire to live somewhere else. On our trip to New Zealand, we listened almost entirely to Sigur Ros, which seemed appropriate considering the soaring landscapes. The songs on this mixtape have an “American” feel to them, and would be great for any Great American Roadtrip. The cover photo was simply one taken on our trip to NZ.

Road Trip Music

Disc 1

  1. Factory – Band of Horses
  2. Holocene – Bon Iver A great video with beautiful scenery!
  3. Svefn-G-Englar – Sigur Ros Another great video.
  4. Lovesong of the Buzzard – Iron & Wine
  5. This Tornado Loves You – Neko Case
  6. Like, Love, Lust – Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter
  7. Everything is Moving So Fast – Great Lake Swimmers
  8. A Movie Script Ending – Death Cab for Cutie
  9. A Sorta Fairytale – Tori Amos
  10. The Sea – Morcheeba
  11. Fugitive Motel – Elbow
  12. The Wind – Cat Stevens
  13. Passenger Seat – DCFC
  14. Grown Ocean – Fleet Foxes Very hipster-ish, but a good video.
  15. On My Way Back Home – Band of Horses

Disc 2

  1. Walking Far From Home – Iron & Wine
  2. England – The National
  3. 405 – DCFC
  4. Run – Vampire Weekend
  5. Sleepdriving – Grand Archives
  6. Enjoy the Ride – Morcheeba
  7. Big Escape – Pearly Gate Music
  8. Edge of the Ocean – Ivy
  9. Fairlee – Matt Pond PA
  10. Go Do – Jonsi
  11. Down in the Valley – Head and the Heart
  12. Ragged Wood – Fleet Foxes
  13. Go Places – New Pornographers
  14. A Sort of Homecoming – U2


Valentine’s Day Mix, for Marc, February 2011.

Songs for my sweetie.


1. Asleep from Day –  The Chemical Brothers
2. Love Cry – Four Tet
3. White Sky  –  Vampire Weekend
4. Spring (Air France Remix)  –  Saint Etienne
5. Face To Face On High Places –  School Of Seven Bells
6. Silver Lining – Rilo Kiley
7. You’ve Got the Love (the xx remix)  –  Florence + the Machine
8. Venice – Beirut
9. Edge of the Ocean – Ivy
10. Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear
11. Melody Day – Caribou
12. My Love – The Bird and the Bee
13. Here to Fall – Yo La Tengo
14. Sleepyhead – Passion Pit
15. Holiday – Vampire Weekend
16. Walkabout (w/ Noah Lennox) – Atlas Sound


Best Music of 2010.

A slew of great music came out in 2010… Thus this CD needed to be a two-volume edition.  My favorite release of the year was Joanna Newsom’s triple album, “Have One On Me.” For those who are unfamiliar with her music, it can be downright annoying on the first several (dozen?) listens, but eventually her craft at song writing and arranging will grow on you until you realize she is a genius. At this point, her voice will even become endearing to you. One of my favorite songs from this album is “In California,” so at first, I was going to design the artwork to correspond with the “like a little clock that trembles on the edge of the hour, only ever calling out ‘cuckoo, cuckoo’.”

For the second CD, I was searching for images related to shepherds, and found this one of some gorgeous porcelain shepherd and shepherdess figurines. The line from the Chemical Romance song Snow, “Your love is lifting me higher,” became the title for the mix CD set.

Photoshopped CD cover

Disc 1

1. Factory –  Band Of Horses
2. England  –  The National
3. Horchata  –  Vampire Weekend
4. Excuses  –  The Morning Benders
5. 10 Mile Stereo –   Beach House
6. Love And Hate –   Blitzen Trapper
7. Tighten Up  –  The Black Keys
8. Fulaninha  –  Luisa Maita
9. Il Cielo In Una Stanza  –  Mike Patton
10.  Solitary Gun  –  Rogue Wave
11. Becoming a Jackal  –  Villagers
12. In California  –  Joanna Newsom
13. Marseilles –   Hey Marseilles

Disc 2

1. Go Do  –  Jónsi
2. Helicopter –   Deerhunter
3. I L U  –  School of Seven Bells
4. I Walked  –  Sufjan Stevens
5. Snow  –  The Chemical Brothers
6. The High Road  –  Broken Bells
7. The Suburbs  –  Arcade Fire
8. Odessa –   Caribou
9. I Can Change  –  LCD Soundsystem
10. White Sky  –  Vampire Weekend
11. Love Cry –  Four Tet
12. Creep  –  Scala & Kolacny Brothers
13. On My Way Back Home  –  Band Of Horses
14. Terrible Love –  The National

Flightless Bird, Fat Housecat Mix.

This mix CD came about after I became infatuated with the Iron & Wine song, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” aka Bella and Edward’s song from the Twilight movie… I was thrilled to see this song on the soundtrack, and hopefully the Twilight film introduced millions of teen-age groupies to the amazing music of Iron & Wine. I love the song, and the “fat housecat” line, so the rest of the songs on the mix refer to a bird or a cat somewhere, either in the lyrics, the artist, or the title of the song. I found the vintage, copyright-free artwork on line, and tweaked it a bit in Photoshop to become the mix CD cover. This mix was originally intended to introduce a few individuals to the kind of music that I listen to, but since then it has evolved to adhere strictly to the intended theme.

  1. Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car – Iron & Wine
  2. Magpie to the Morning  – Neko Case
  3. Bird on a Wire – Rogue Wave
  4. Living Proof – Cat Power
  5. Don’t Think Twice – Cat Stevens
  6. The Birds – Elbow
  7. Miniature Birds – Grand Archives
  8. Two Matchsticks – The Wooden Birds
  9. The Beatles – And your bird can sing
  10. Radiohead – Lotus Flower
  11. Sawdust and Diamonds – Joanna Newsom
  12. Pretty Bird – Jenny Watson
  13. Of Moons, Birds and Monsters – MGMT
  14. Winter Birds – Ray LaMontagne
  15. Birds – Emiliana Torrini
  16. Flightless Bird, American Mouth – Iron & Wine



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