NOVEMBER MIX by Chelsea Martin
DEATH AND DYING
No mixtape can compare to the masterpiece of a mixtape I made at age eleven, perfect in both concept and execution. It was called “Oh Yeah,” and was a compilation of each and every oh, ooh, yeah, oh yeah, uhh, and uh huh from Hanson’s Middle Of Nowhere album. I made that mixtape at an age when I did not think about the term ‘art’ as I made it, and did not yet have the shame and ego and self-hatred that I now associate with the process of making art, which I can only assume, based on the slow increase of these feelings over time, becomes more intense with age.
1. Ready To Die — The Unicorns (Song wasn’t on Spotify so listen to the YouTube instead)
Feeling ready to die seems like a pretty good life goal, one I’ve felt fleetingly a couple of times, in a good way, just like this song makes it sound.
I’ve seen the world, I kissed all the pretty girls, I’ve said my goodbyes, and now I’m ready *cough* to die.
2. Who Could Win A Rabbit — Animal Collective
Animal Collective is one of the only bands I can write to, maybe because I’ve listened to them so much that I don’t even hear the lyrics anymore, though I feel like I listen to them so much because I can write while I listen. Either way, this shit rules.
Been hating on my new perspective, been hurrying along no meal is ever done / but you could win a rabbit!
3. Cool As Kim Deal — The Dandy Warhols
Hey, there’s nothing in my art / I’d rather be cool than be smart
4. My Life’s Alright Without You — No Age
I know I’m going to embarrass myself by trying to talk about “instrumental progression” and “drum fills” because I barely know what those terms mean and I only have the most tenuous grasp of what’s so great about them in this song but, uh, already losing track of my point, um… This song is two minutes long and has the same emotional effect of some of my favorite full-length movies and I think that has something to do with the “instrumental progression” and “drum fills” and maybe also these lyrics:
Of course you want me / of course you want me / of course you want me to feel the way you do
5. A Rose For Emily — The Zombies
I love The Zombies because all their songs sound like beautiful pop songs, but the lyrics are so fucking weird and dark. I like to sing this song to my cat, replacing ‘Emily’ with my cat’s name: Brenda can’t you see there’s nothing you can do? There’s loving everywhere but none for you.
6. Sister I’m A Poet — Morrissey
I love that “poet” is treated like a dirty word, implied but never spoken by Morrissey, who I imagine to be shaking his tits like a sexy middle-aged woman throughout the entire song.
7. I Want to Die — The Deadly Snakes
I’ve been playing this song at parties for ten years and nobody has ever asked me what it is. This song is awesome: I used to stand up in the face of my adversity / I used to think I had a woman that would care for me / I used to get up / when someone put me down/ I used to think I loved and cared about this spiteful town
8. This Blackest Purse — Why?
This is my number one most-played song in my iTunes library. I think the song has something to do with regret. I almost always want to cry when I hear this line: To listen up and send back a true echo of something forever felt but never heard but maybe only because it kinda sounds like Yoni is crying as he sings it.
9. I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore — New Radicals
I feel like New Radicals are one of the most underrated bands ever. This song is full of unsarcastically cheesy lyrics, which may be my favorite kind of lyrics.
10. Quantum Leap — John Maus
I listen to this song when I’m on public transportation and want to feel connected to everyone else but at the same time more intelligent than everyone else. My boyfriend told me he once cried while listening to this song and thinking about ancestry while stoned.
11. Thunderpeel — Beck
I didn’t know I wanted to be an artist until I started listening to Beck. Before I found Beck, I had no idea you could get away with being a total weirdo. It really opened some doors for me.
12. So What — The Cure
This early Cure song is half bratty love ballad and half jumbled advertisement about a cake decorating set. I imagine Robert Smith wrote this when he was really drunk while watching infomercials and contemplating “the meaning of it all” directly after a somewhat immature breakup.
Each set includes / a turntable / a 9-inch icing bag with 6 high-definition nozzles, an adapter, and 15-inch food decorating bag with three piping nozzles / Please send off this leaflet! Post it today! / And if you knew nothing / Could replace you / If you were sane your heart wouldn’t ache / But so what? / SO WHAT?
13. I’m Straight — Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Don’t know how this preachy straight-edge love song comes off as so adorable but obviously it does because obviously everything Jojo has ever done is adorable.
14. Opium — Marcy Playground
The whole song rules, but shit gets real at about 1:50 when he starts singing “Mom” repeatedly for 30 seconds, which has kinda been my experience with certain drugs.
15. DON’T LET ME GO TO THE DOGS — R. Stevie Moore
I’m sorry I broke your heart when I said you were bad.
16. When The Fool Becomes A King — The Polyphonic Spree
Please play this song at my funeral/party/whatever you guys end up doing. It’s literally my only request.
— Chelsea Martin is the author of Even Though I Don’t Miss You (Short Flight/Long Drive, 2013). Her website is jerkethics.com