Today is my old friend Fiona’s birthday. Poor Fi was raised in difficult circumstances: a household in which classical was the only music allowed. (How Child Protective Services never got involved is beyond me.) So when we were both in college, I tried, to the limits of my abilities, to edumacate her in the ways of popular music. One way this was accomplished: mix tapes.
Flash forward to this time of year three years ago. I’d just arrived in Dallas, and for her birthday, I mailed the then-Boston-based Fiona a special birthday mix entitled “JB Music 2000.” (She called all music I liked, from Public Enemy to American Music Club, JB Music.)
When I drove to Louisiana for Christmas last week, I rummaged around my apartment for cassette tapes. (Longtime crabwalk.com readers may remember someone stole my car’s CD player a few months back.) I stumbled on JB Music 2000.
This was, I believe, the last mix tape I ever made. (I got a CD burner in March 2001, I think.) So, in the interests of archivists everywhere, I present the track listing on that 90-minute tape:
Beth Orton, “Stolen Car” (from Central Reservation)
Morphine, “The Night” (The Night)
Ben Folds Five, “Alice Childress” (Ben Folds Five)
Macy Gray, “I’ve Committed Murder” (On How Life Is)
Buffalo Tom, “Summer” (Asides from Buffalo Tom)
Sloan, “Delivering Maybes” (Between the Bridges)
The Rentals, “Getting By” (Seven More Minutes)
The Faces, “Ooh La La” (Rushmore soundtrack)
Wilco, “She’s A Jar” (Summerteeth)
Morrissey, “Nobody Loves Us” (My Early Burglary Years)
M. Ward, “Fearless” (Come On Beautiful)
Tahiti 80, “Made First” (Puzzle)
The Elevator Drops, “Public Transport Authority” (People Mover)
Slobberbone, “Pinball Song” (Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today)
Mojave 3, “Anyday Will Be Fine” (Excuses For Travelers)
Primal Scream, “Blood Money” (Exterminator)
The Dismemberment Plan, “The City” (Emergency & I)
Robbie Fulks, “She Must Think I Like Poetry” (Let’s Kill Saturday Night)
Richard Buckner, “Goner W/Souvenir” (Since)
The Flashing Lights, “Where the Change Is” (Where the Change Is)
Gomez, “We Haven’t Turned Around” (Liquid Skin)
The Promise Ring, “Skips A Beat (Over You)” (Very Emergency)
The Jayhawks, “Baby, Baby, Baby” (Smile)
A few thoughts:
– Between the Bridges is really the last great Sloan album, I’m afraid to say. A great disc in the underrated Sloan tradition. The two since then have crapped out on me.
– “Blood Money” rocks to its very core. Perhaps the best freeway driving song ever recorded. This one made it onto the August 2002 CDMOM.
– I can still wholeheartedly recommend the Mojave 3, Dismemberment Plan, Flashing Lights, Gomez, and Richard Buckner albums, plus the Rushmore soundtrack. Classics all, from start to finish. With all the others, small doubts have crept in since 2000. The Morphine album was a weak swan song for Mark Sandman, the Orton gets boring on repeated listens (although “Stolen Car” is a great song), and the Wilco seems strangely flat.
– Where did Gomez go wrong? Liquid Skin was absolute genius, an amalgam of gutbucket southern rock and British steely reserve. Too bad their work since has been so mediocre.
In any event, happy 28th, Fi!