Mixtapes

RIYL Mixtape / Missing the Sixties? Bands That Bring The Groovy Back

By Amanda DK

sixties, 1960, music, sounds like
Image from The Kitten Covers

It’s been in style to dress in the garb of past eras for a while now. Sure, media attention might be paid to different fashions one at a time (Get the Betty Draper look – this Spring it’s all about floral circle skirts! ), but in reality one could pull together an outfit from any of the past four or five decades and still look hip. Or hipster.

In music though, we seem to be having a flashback to one specific decade. One could argue that the sound of the 1990s have had a resurgence with bands like Yuck and The Walkmen, but I’m going to say that I’ve been hearing more flower children out there than any others. I’m talking about the 1960s. Whether because of production value, a catchy hook, or psychedelic guitar jam breaks, every one of the bands below I could imagine at Woodstock, The Original.

Anyone have a field I can rent?
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Got It Covered / A Few Of My Favorite Things…(Best Covers of 2011)

By Bekah Touma

The New Year is always exciting for me. I love to look back and make lists of some of my favorites of the previous year. It has been a ritual of mine for a while as a way to keep a nostalgic record of the years. Music is obviously a big part of how I experience life.  A favorite covers list is actually something I had yet to do until now, but I already feel that it’s going to be a necessity moving forward. That said, this was an extremely difficult process.  After a couple weeks (or a few months) of repeatedly listening to hundreds of tracks, I was able to narrow my engorged list down to 15.  Here they are below in no particular order – to rank them would have delayed this article until the Spring:

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TA Mixtape / A Mixtape For “The League”…Now Where Are My DVDs?

By Amanda DK

I’ve never been a football fan. Not a real one at least. I mean, I grew up watching the Giants and Notre Dame with my family. I made it to the occasional football game at Northwestern to support my alma mater. Now I guess I’m an Eagles fan, because I generally like it when my boyfriend is in a good mood Sunday evenings. However, I’m also innately attracted to anything that brings people together. So you know how some people are “social smokers”? They will only have a cigarette when out with friends, or after a few drinks at a party. I’ll call myself a social football fan. I usually won’t elect to watch a game on my own, but I do enjoy it with a group. Especially if I can provide the appetizers and craft beer.

All of that said, I do love fantasy football. I don’t play it – as you might guess from reading the above, I would likely fail miserably, or scramble my brain trying to learn everything I possibly could all at once – but still I find it way more exciting to watch the points climb for my boyfriend’s fantasy team than any real one. A battle between him and his old roommate feels far more important than two collectives of people I have no personal connection with.

It also increases the social aspect of football. You can connect with coworkers, friends and even strangers on a new level; now there are double, triple or quadruple the teams to commiserate with them about (depending on how many leagues you are in). It’s another common thread to bond over, like a favorite band or obsession with Greek cuisine. Fantasy leagues also have the power to create and maintain friend groups that otherwise may not exist – it’s amazing the bond some aggressive trash-talking can forge.

Which brings me to The League. I am woman, I am not a football fan, and I believe this is one of the funniest shows on television. Possibly the funniest. Yes, it features a group of friends who are all in a fantasy football league, but it’s more about their friendship and hilarious fumbles (pun intended) trying to pass off as adults. It never gets old to observe lawyers, married couples, doctors or divorcees, act like complete assholes win a trophy that was named after a high school nerd, in fact, it’s compelling television. Whether laughing or cringing, good luck trying to keep a straight face while watching.
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TA Mixtape / It’s True, Wherever You Find Love… (Merry Christmas From Tadpole Audio)

By Amanda DK 

Most of us have holiday traditions that we have adhered to since childhood.  Watching a particular movie (Albert Finney’s 1970 version of Scrooge). Attending the same neighborhood Christmas Eve fete. My brother and I knew that no matter how early we woke up we would have to say a prayer before our antique nativity scene before we could even see our haul from Santa. When everything else had been torn open, we would always find a Clementine at the bottom of our stockings.

It is impossible to imagine Christmas without these rituals.  The first time it was suggested that we maybe open presents on Christmas Eve (rather than Christmas morning), the idea was treated as blasphemy and shot down almost immediately.

Holiday music retains an equally precious place in our hearts.  From hymns and carols (“O Come All Ye Faithful”) to modern classics (“All I Want For Christmas Is You”) creating new versions of these old favorites is a delicate proposition.  Done incorrectly and the listener feels violated; that scene in The Santa Clause where Scott Calvin is utterly horrified to see Santa Claus ditching his sleigh for a panzer.

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