Friday, October 24, 2008

To discuss how to properly mix a CD

So I gave Capricorn her one-month anniversary gift, bearing in mind that A) It's been one month, not one year, so we're not talking some crazy big thing, and B) She specifically asked for this a couple weeks ago, so this isn't just me being cheesy.

Capricorn wanted a Mix CD.
So, that's exactly what she got.
Now, when making a proper mix CD, as a guy, there are several elements to bear in mind.
  1. Do not put more than one song on there that makes strong sexual references. Even putting one on there sends the signal that, "When you are listening to this, I want you to imagine it's actually me saying I want to do naughty things to you illegal in the continental U.S." Which is fine if she is a prostitute or a character on "90210." Not if she's your girlfriend.
  2. Do not base your selections solely on what you like, because then it will be apparant you have no idea what kind of music she digs. Conversely, do not base your selections solely on what she likes, or it'll give the impression you left your junk in the panties drawer.
  3. Mix up the styles. Show a range of musical tastes. I don't mean salsa to baroque, just that if you only have Usher songs, the CD might get monotonous and it'll also have too many "Yeee-ah. OoookkKKK" moments with Lil' Jon. Lil Jon is the murderer of romance. And of enunciation.
  4. Put some thought into it. She will know if you don't. It shouldn't take longer to burn the CD than it does to think of which songs are most appropriate. What you want is to capture the moment in the relationship. If you're throwing a bunch of Boyz II Men, 112 and Whitney Houston on there, first off, you might want to update your iPod, and second, unless you're deeply in love at this point (or want to eat Peaches and Cream off her, which goes back to No. 1), you are likely slapping together a playlist that doesn't align with the relationship. She'll analyze this stuff. She's wondering what your intentions are with each song. If you put "I Will Always Love You" on there and you've been dating 2 weeks, expect confusion. And 14 weeks on the charts.
  5. Lyrics are key. Just because a song's got some romance to it, or was the song you both sang to one afternoon, or is just a fun one to sing, doesn't mean she'll want to hear it over and over when thinking about the two of you. There are exceptions, which you will see below. But a couple good songs with meaningful lyrics is much better than Top 40 crap that has canned lyrics about how God must have spent a little more time on her. Unless He did. And then go ahead.
So, now that I've set high expectations I'm certain to not meet, here's what I put on the CD, with short explanations... Capricorn did love it, for what that's worth, and she was given all the lyrics. Also: I'll try not to be sugary sweet, as I don't want to make those of you with a hatred of romance puke on the keyboard; I'm sympathetic to your disposition:
  1. "Beautiful" Flickerstick- This band was on VH1's "Bands on the Run," like, 10 years ago, and for some reason I still love them. Sample lyrics: "When you're coming around, I'm off of the ground, I gotta say."
  2. "Use Somebody" Kings of Leon- I listened to this a bunch during my St. Louis trip and Capricorn kept popping in my head. So, it's in. Sample lyric: "Off in the night while you live it up I'm off to sleep/Waging wars to shake the poet and the beat/I hope it's gonna make you notice/Someone like me."
  3. "I Wanna Love You Girl" Robin Thicke- Because it's not sung by Alan Thicke. Sample lyric: "Scientists say she's the second sunshine."
  4. "Just Friends" Musiq Soulchild- No, I'm not putting this in to tell Capricorn she's in the friend zone. It's about meeting someone who you really dig and want to take out. Sample lyric: "You ain't even gotta be my girlfriend/I just want to know your name/And maybe sometime/We can hang out/hook up/just chill."
  5. "My Love" Justin Timberlake- Switching to a little different style. JT has two things going for him. He has a good album, and he has his junk in a box.* Sample lyrics: "I can see us holding hands/Walking on the beach, our toes in the sand."
  6. "Ordinary People" John Legend- I wish I had a cool fake last name like that. Maybe Andy Extraordinaire. Andy Gasmic. Andy Noworsethanmostguysyouknow... Sample lyrics: "Cuz we're ordinary people/maybe we should take it slow."
  7. "Take a Look at My Girlfriend" Gym Class Heroes- Throwing something lighthearted in there, plus Capricorn likes the song. Sample lyric: "If I had to choose between her and the sun/I'd be one nocturnal son of a gun."
  8. "Let Me Be the One" Blessed Union of Souls- Kickin' it old school. Sample Lyric: "I don't make no promises I can't keep/And I promise to be a real good man."
  9. "I Got a Woman" Ray Charles- Now we're really going old school and expanding the musical palette. I think you have to put some unexpected choices on there. And, considering she lives about 40 minutes away, it works. Sample lyric: "I got a woman way over town/that's good to me."
  10. "I've Got You Under My Skin" Frank Sinatra- A karaoke favorite of mine that I sang on our first date, so a little nostalgia going, too. The song is not about scarabs in The Mummy, by the way. Sample lyric: "Why should I try to resist when baby I know so well/I've got you under my skin."
  11. "Stand By Me" Ben E. King- Because Capricorn really likes this song. And it's freaking Ben E. King. Sample lyric: "No I won't shed a tear/Just as long as you stand by me."
  12. "They Can't Take That Away from Me" Ella Fitzgerald- The last of the oldies on this. Sample lyric: "The way you wear your hat/the way you sip your tea/the memory of all that/No they can't take that away from me."
  13. "Big Poppa" Notorious B.I.G.- You didn't see that one coming, did you? Little do you know I rapped this song to Capricorn before to show off my street savvy, in case we get entangled with rival street gangs and we can't sing and dance our way out of it like on West Side Story. Sample lyric: "Whose he attractin' with that line/What's your name? What's your sign?/Soon as he buy that wine I just creep up from behind."
  14. "Sparks" Coldplay- This is before Coldplay started sucking with U2 grandeur. Sample lyric: "I promise you this/I'll always look out for you."
  15. "True Love Waits" Radiohead- This was the only true selfish choice on my side, because I always think a Radiohead song is available for any occasion, including bar mitzvas. The song's about wanting someone important in your life to stick around. Sample lyric: "I'm not living, I'm just killing time/Your tiny hands/Your crazy kitten smile." (Weird, yes. But there's a message behind it all. Ask Thom Yorke.)
  16. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" Frank Sinatra- Because Capricorn loves Christmas. And in case she listens to it during the holidays. And because it's awesome. Sample lyric: "I'll be home for Christmas/if only in my dreams."
  17. "Beau Soir" Debussy- I wrapped this CD up with a classical bow. It's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, by the same guy who did "Clair de lune." Sample lyrics (these are sometimes sung with this piece): "An exhortation to enjoy the charm of being alive/While one is young and the evening is beautiful."
* As to not ruin my stellar reputation on here by going all sappy for two days, I give you this image:


Ben said...

I would also like a mix tape please.

SaVanna said...

I want a mix tape too! I love all the songs...."Big Poppa" was a GREAT addition..."throw your hands in the air/if yous a true player"

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

I have to say that the best mixes I have are on cassette tapes from back in the day when I would always have one handy in my boombox in case a song that I really liked came on the radio. These tapes include the DJ announcing the call letters after the song when I forgot to stop the recording fast enough. That was the Gin Blossoms on C-C-C-C-CAPE! 104!

Classic and classic.

~Sheila~ said...

Yeah, put me in the line for a mix tape too.
I LOVE Musiq Soulchild.
I kinda figured you would throw in Big Poppa. I cracked up when I saw it on the list.

I'm thinking of making a mix tape for my husband (Angel) he likes to throw in some crazy stuff.
Mine will include:
Digital Underground-Humpty Dance and Geto Boys-My mind is playing trick on me (maybe even the scarface version)
ABC (Another Bad Creation)-Iesha

Something to that effect...Oh...
And...112-Peaches and Cream. Thanks for THAT reminder.

Miss Tiff said...

I so want a mix tape now. Definitely didn't see "Big Poppa" coming. Nice pic too. LOL..

Katie said...

very nice. glad to see you threw in some Radiohead.

I would have Thom Yorke's baby.

Anonymous said...

Great choices!!

If I asked my boyfriend for this, he'd turn into a puddle of confusion. Why? Well, his musical tastes surround heavy metal - Dio, Megadeth, Iron Maiden - none of which I enjoy. And my music (mostly punk) and popular music baffle him to where he has no clue what I'm talking about, ha.

Eh, you win some, you lose some.

kisatrtle said...

B.I.G. and Sinatra. And I thought my iPod was diverse. Happy Aniversary.

alexis said...

Oh my god! Someone who remembers Flickerstick!! Why can't they rerun that show?

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