Mixtapes

TA Mixtape / Good Morning To You!

Georgia O'Keeffe "Sunrise" 1916

Mornings are by far the most polarizing time of day – most people either love them or despise them.    For some, waking up from a good sleep is an unfortunate necessity; they refuse to make Saturday plans any earlier than 3pm.  Others leap out of bed at 8am and run 3 miles before cooking a well-balanced breakfast.  Wake up the wrong way – on the wrong side of the bed, if you will – and your day is ruined.  Whether you’re a late sleeper forced to rise at the crack of dawn, or an early riser who misses the alarm – you’re cranky all day.

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TA Mixtape / Journey Into The Unknown

Considering my mix this week was inspired by Josh Ritter’s “Another New World,” I suppose it’s only appropriate that I went on a bit of a journey to make it.  At first I was thinking that I would stick to American poetry references that were vaguely about adventure and exploration – immediately settling on “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.  Just as quickly I decided that “Woods” by Bon Iver needed to be on it.  Then, however, I found myself veering farther away from the poem, focusing more on the theme of discovery and the unknown.  I tried to stick with songs tonally similar to the Bon Iver track, but it was hard to commit to one genre so thought I would at least strive for an “offbeat edge” for a common thread.  And so, like any long journey (at least any journey of mine) I probably got lost a few times along the way, but I’m pretty please with where I found myself in the end.

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TA Mixtape / Sleep Tight: You’re Naked and Late for Class!

I can't go to sleep after watching this. So effing scary.

After weeks of hype and buildup, “Inception” is finally in theatres. Many people I know rushed to see it this weekend, including myself. And the verdict?  Ultimately, mixed. Too much hype?  Too slow?  Too thick?  Except for the last moment, which I won’t reveal here, but I found bothersome – I thought the film was a marvel. Stylistically cool, amazing editing, action that kept you at the edge of your seat, and frequently baffling writing.  They just kept raising the stakes until I myself felt like I was experiencing everything with the characters. Most of all though, I was impressed by the richness of the world Nolan creates. What would the plane of your subconscious look like?  Who would be in there?  What would they do? He thoroughly and creatively capitalizes on dream experiences we’ve all had to answer those questions and set the rules – having a dream within a dream, waking up from the sensation of falling, etc.

Right before I went into the film, I found myself struggling with the last few songs on this nightmare mixtape.  It was a hard one, especially since a week before even starting it the perfect nightmare song fell into my lap via Strangers in Stereo.  It was “Cola” by Beaty Heart and it fit all my criteria: dreamy, strange and builds into a terrifying climax.  But then I couldn’t find anything to match it.  First off, I had a hard time finding songs about nightmares that sounded the way I wanted.  Tonally I didn’t want to go too electro, or veer into noise rock, or into ambient shoegaze – though I was tempted.  I sought the artists that represented the cross section of all three.  If you know any seriously let me know, because I had an impossible time.

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TA Mixtape / Sleep Tight: Sweet Dreams

Illustration by Clement Hurd

With pretty much everyone I know on the edge of their seats awaiting the opening of Christopher Nolan‘s next (hopefully) epic masterpiece, Inception, on Friday – it seemed only fitting to do dream-related mixtapes this week. After all, that is the only thing we really know about the film other than it seems to have some sort of crime-solving angle and features a slew of stars. Dreams are a pretty fascinating phenomenon if you think about it – they’re often so complex, with a totally different set of rules than waking life (and from dream to dream), you feel completely engrossed in them, and yet when you open your eyes every little piece seems to evaporate instantly, sucked back down the drain to your subconscious. So rather than expound further, here are a few cool facts I found about dreams (then a mixtape of course)…

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TA Mixtape / Happy Birthday USA: Explosions in the Sky

Ooh! Aah!

There was no question, we were GOING to see fireworks on the 4th of July.

It was 8:45pm on Sunday, and 10 of us were sprawled around my boyfriend’s living room having just finished Wet Hot American Summer. We had been drinking, eating and generally making merry since 2pm and were all in various states of food coma/nap.  Only one thing would get us all mobilized, even at the very last minute: fireworks.  There was no real decision made to go, it just was – a mad dash to all settle on a place, piling into cars and then in just 15 minutes or so we were there.  Even with 5 cars – some coming from other directions – we managed to find each other atop a winding hill in some park off Duquesne with much of the population of Culver City.

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