Gasp! An Elizabeth King Mix Review

9 11 2007

Note: So since Elizabeth King and I reconnected our nearly 10 year friendship just over a year ago, we’ve been making mixes for each and mailing them via snail mail. They typically fall in line with a seasonal change or weather or holidays (sans holiday music). Barring that one time I sent her a CD that never arrived (note: if you received it en lieu of Elizabeth King, you can keep it – I made her a new one), we can pretty much guarantee a new mix every few months – and for approximately 6 months I’ve been telling her I’d review her mix. I’m not sure why she needs to know that the music she collects together is good – she already knows that. And even if I didn’t like it, we’re big enough music snobs to write one or the other off for their own stupidity and lack of recognition of good music. We also have some sort of unspoken one-up-manship (that is nowhere close to a real word…) to make a mix that includes good music the other hasn’t heard of yet. She’ll tell you that’s not a motivation behind a mix, but deep down she knows it is. And it is for me too. So with all that said, here’s what I think of my most recent mix for Fall ’07.

The thing about Elizabeth King is that she really wants to have music playing all the time, helping add to the story of her life – some loud, driving the scene, or some carefully placed in the background, giving depth to the experience. She treats her mix CDs the same way I think. “The Leaves are Changing and So Are We – Fall 07 Mix” is full of songs you’d think were written for this season – from Laura Veirs’ dark but catchy indie-chick track, “Pink Light,” to the simple and endearing “West Coast” from actor-turned-audiophile Jason Schwartzman (a.k.a. Coconut Records). Also I don’t know if she cares as much about track order as I do, but all the songs flow well between each other through similar song structures – the laid back Southern roots of Matt Mays’ “Downtown” and Octoberman’s “Run From Safety”, the spacey reverb vocals on The Long Winters’ “The Commander Thinks Aloud” and Rogue Waves “Chicago X12,” and the sleepy lo-fi tracks by Feist (“How My Heart Behaves”) and Ola Podrida (“Run Off the Road”) to close it out. From top to bottom, this is probably the best mix I’ve received from Elizabeth and a lot of the songs that I know I’ll try to play, either in my head or in my car, to fit the next appropriate scene.

Hot Jams: Tegan and Sara – “The Con”, The Mohawk Lodge – “Wear Em Out”, Octoberman – “Run From Safety”

There, its done. Now maybe she won’t “forget” to invite me to go see Band of Horses next time, although she did remember to text me a photo from the show. Jerkface.

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