Posts Tagged ‘Sufjan Stevens’

Wow…has it really been 3 years? Where’d all the time go?

Well…each year, this post has gotten less and less ambitious, but even with my blog being dead for a few months, I can’t resist doing this.

So here it is. The top 15 albums of 2009, along with single download links and links to where you can buy each record.

One thing that I’m adding this year is the “specialty” selections: Best Remix, Best Mash-Up, Best Sample, Best E.P., and Best Collaboration.

This should be an exciting one!

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I got this cassette tape image at http://says-it.com/cassette/. It’s pretty cool. You put what you want on the label.

I like songs with multiple parts or nice, abrupt but well executed shifts. It’s like getting two or more songs for the price of one. And while going through my music library to make a playlist of my favorite “medley” type songs, I decided I had more than enough to make a nice mixtape out of it. It’s been a while since I made my last mixtape (BDJ Volume 2 is nearly ready!), and I’m long overdue for another one.

So I am pleased to present to you all the first volume of the Melodious Medlies compilation mixtapes. This inaugural volume is culled from music mostly made in this millennium (there were a couple favorites I had to include). All of the tracks are filled with smooth and exciting transitions and bridges that connect their various parts. These multi-faceted songs will make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, and they’ll make you want to hug your loved ones — then dance with them.

As I usually do with mixtapes, I tried my best to arrange the songs so they flow together as smoothly as possible. This one proved difficult because I didn’t know it was going to be a mixtape while I was compiling the songs in a playlist. But I’ll make no excuses. This mixtape is still bloody brilliant. I’m a pretty stingy guy when it comes to my iTunes song-rating system…but ALL of these songs are no less than 4 out of 5 stars…yeah…these songs are gooood.

Update: I just realized that the program I used to calculate the run-time of this mixtape is a piece of crap. The whole thing doesn’t fit on a CD (by about a minute)…which was a big disappointment to me. So, of course, I had to re-work the songs and make it fit. I eliminated a track (to be sneaked into a later volume) to make it fit on one CD, then I decided to take this opportunity to adopt the true cassette tape limit of 12 songs by making the last 2 songs bonus tracks that fit on the “B-Side.”  Those of you who downloaded the first, now discontinued, edition of Melodious Medlies – Volume 1 have a real gem in your hands. I’m sure 20 years down the road, it will be worth thousands, maybe millions, of dollars.

So from now on, Melodious Medlies will be made up of 12 main “A-Side” tracks with a “B-Side” of a couple bonus tracks. Both A and B-sides combined will still fit on a regular burned CD.

Now, wouldn’t it be awesome to make a mixtape with both the A and B sides filled to the brim? I agree…so I’m going to make my bigger “Bomb Diggity Jams” mixtapes 24 tracks, split evenly into A and B sides. A more relevant question would be: Does anyone but me care about all this? In a word, no. But I’m excited about it.

Tracklist for Melodious Medlies – Vol. 1

1. The Beatles – “You Never Give Me Your Money”
2. The New Pornographers – “The Bleeding Heart Show”
3. The Postal Service – “Brand New Colony”
4. The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
5. The Format – “Dog Problems”
6. Sufjan Stevens – “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!”
7. Belle and Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown”
8. The Decemberists – “The Crane Wife 1 & 2”
9. Radiohead – “My Iron Lung”
10. Anathallo – “Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash)”
11. The Polyphonic Spree – “Section 24: The Fragile Army”
12. The Beatles – “The End”

Bonus B-Side:
13. Franz Ferdinand – “I’m Your Villain”
14. Silverchair – “Those Thieving Birds”

Download them all in a .zip file by going to the Divshare download page.

If you can’t download at the moment, or are too lazy and/or want to hear a sample first, here are the first 12 tracks streamed at my Muxtape page.

Why not stream the whole thing at Muxtape? ‘Cos 12 is the maximum number of tracks allowed on Muxtape — that being, more or less, the limit for one side of an actual cassette tape. I made my compilation with the CD-limit in mind…but I kind of like the retro cassette literal mix-tape concept. I might consider that for my future volumes…to pay homage to the mighty cassette tape.

Bonus Songs:

And just so no one rolls over in their graves or anything, I guess I have to give some representation to the O.G. experts at this multi-part song business:

Ludwig Van Beethoven – “Symphony #5 In C Minor, Op. 67 – 1. Allegro Con Brio”
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky – “Piano Concerto #1 In B Flat Minor, Op. 23”

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It’s Christmas Eve. All your shopping better be done by now…mine is. Fortunately, I don’t have many people to buy stuff for (or is that unfortunate?). Anyways, Melissa, a fellow blogger in the blogosphere (I like that word), wrote an excellent post inspired by the holiday madness. After I read it, I proclaimed it as “the bastard love-child of Dr. Seuss and C.S. Lewis”—and Melissa agreed with my description. (I also really like the phrase “bastard love-child,” especially when I come across it in otherwise serious book/movie/music reviews.) This is her lovely story, titled “How the Wench Stole Christmas”:

It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more….

I remember the first time I saw the Grinch get an awful idea. His Grinchy wonderful, awful idea. His smile grew and grew and grew until he should have run out of a face, but his face held a trace of a smile that made me brace, brace, brace, brace.

As a little girl, I thought he was just awful, stealing those poor Who presents, making their Christmas as empty as a Who peasant’s. But as I grew older, and wiser, and grim, I sort of made a anti-Who-shopping hero out of him.

That grinch who hated material wealth, who despised bee-bobs and doodads, and empty wishes for good health. The grinch became a hero, a green man in tights, who boycotted Who darkness by putting out their lights.

I hoo-rahed and hoorayed and snipped my own debt cards, feeling somehow more righteous for judging those Who-hearts.

And what happened then? Well, I grew up some more – and I realized something I’d never quite realized before. While Whos like to shop, like to shop til they drop, like to head to the store and hop hop hop hop. Deep down inside, I think most Whos will tell you, that Christmas is not about what the department store sells you. I believe that we Who-mans are not as dark as some naysayers say, but still largely believe in the Spirit of the day. There is an old saying, as old as the sun, about inner battles, since time was first spun. About lights shining in darkness, just like Old Tannenbaum’s, and giving, not getting, being second to none.

But I think in the stink of the inner cesspool of man, the lights sometimes go out, though that isn’t our plan. We Whos find ourselves working – working ever so hard – and in working, working, working, we forget the first part. We forget why we gift-wrap gifts in our houses, why we open our doors and even give cheese to the mouses. We forget Who first gave, and then gave some more, not out of His debt, but out of His store. While we Whos frantically try to honor his rule, that we love our family, our neighbors, and even the fool, we forget the Rulemaker in the midst of our Yule.

In our effort to serve, we go overboard, we sink in our own goodness, and become what we deplored. We buy what’s not needed – we buy what chains – we buy things for others so that our own identity gains. We buy for those who can likewise return, and then they buy us back so that we don’t feel spurned. On and on the buying goes so that no one remembers the end of their nose, or the simple cheer that came from a Christmas that snows.

But if we should wake and find the baubles gone, I believe man, in his better parts, would go on. Whether eventually, or at the first, I believe his hands would clasp those beside him, whether or not a gift was inside them – that he would welcome to this meeker feast, even the smallest in line to share the roast beast. I believe when you meet man, he can be angel or demon, and what he becomes may hinge on how you greet him. The war is inside, though Christmas is without; we may put out our own light, but the Star of Christmas will never go out.

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. ~ the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Song of the Day (follow link to download page):

Sufjan Stevens – “Get Behind Me, Santa!”

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