Wooing by untsing
January 26, 2007 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to impress a girl, with a mix-tape. This is my second try since she failed to see the romance in Punks in the Beerlight and I Will Dare. She likes techno. Which I don't know nothing about. So I'd like some help, making a dance/techno mix-tape that spells romance with room for a plausible denial of any romantic feelings.
posted by I Foody to Media & Arts (47 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
By "techno" do you mean actual techno? Like, straight-beat thumping unsyncopated dance music? Or do you mean electronic dance music in general?
posted by rxrfrx at 5:30 PM on January 26, 2007

The Juan Maclean "Shining Skinned Friend" would be perfect.
posted by loiseau at 5:32 PM on January 26, 2007

Response by poster: rxrfrx, I so seldom listen to the stuff that such distinctions are beyond me. I think electronic dance music in general is fine.
posted by I Foody at 5:36 PM on January 26, 2007

I am trying to impress a girl, with a mix-tape.

This is my second try

She likes techno. Which I don't know nothing about.

STOP. You can not impress her with shit you know nothing about. Even if you get somewhere here to suggest the best techno mixtape ever, you still haven't impress her: you've gotten someone else do it. When she starts babbling away about techno music and all you can do is grin sheepishly, the game will be up and her panties will be forever denied to you.

That's ok, 'cause they probably already are. If she was into you as much as you seem to be into her, you'd know it.

Quit trying to be like her and try to be more like you and just ask her out on a date. Either she'll dig you or she won't, but at least you'll know and you can quit pussyfooting and find the girl who is into you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:48 PM on January 26, 2007 [15 favorites]

If you're on your second try, she's either entirely oblivious or she isn't interested. It stinks to go out on a limb and be shot down, but she is far more likely to respect your effort then if you try to fake it. Save the gifts until you're dating, then you get points for being thoughtful.
posted by arnicae at 5:53 PM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hey, why not help I Foody to expand his(?) knowledge of music as well as impress the girl?

I second loiseau's suggestion on the Juan Maclean.

You might also check out Trentemøller and Ellen Allien.

And Kraftwerk's live double CD, Minimum/Maximum, is good stuff too.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:54 PM on January 26, 2007

What Brandon said. Be yourself, ask her out, cut to the chase.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:54 PM on January 26, 2007

Oh, and Minimum/Maximum is a waste of time, to put in my two cents. Even after you've already heard all of their original albums, it's still a pretty big waste of time.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:55 PM on January 26, 2007

Such Great Heights by The Postal Service
Days Go By by Dirty Vegas
You Make Me Feel by Milosh
Mad About You by Hooverphonic
This Is The Dream of Evan and Chan by Dntel
Damaged People by Depeche Mode. Hell, anything by Depeche Mode. Especially off of Exciter.
Something To Do With My Hands (Arab Strap Remix) by Her Space Holiday
Emotions (DJ Copy Remix) by Mariah Carey
So Here We Are by Bloc Party
Brand New Colony by The Postal Service
Heartbeat (Phones Maximo Remix) by Annie
Protection by Massive Attack
I Lied by Telefon Tel Aviv

Mix Tape = Love by the Tah-dahs will help with your deniability.
posted by awesomebrad at 5:56 PM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Brandon Blatcher for the win.

loiseau is trying to help, but the juan maclean is about as techno as [something that isn't part of a genre that you like] is [genre that you like]. I hope that instructive analogy illustrates the situation clearly.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 5:57 PM on January 26, 2007

I am trying to impress a girl, with a mix-tape.

No one in recorded history has ever truly succeeded at this task. Step back and re-evaluate.

that spells romance with room for a plausible denial of any romantic feelings

There is no such thing. This is like jumbo shrimp, military intelligence and athletic scholarship -- concepts that don't go together.

Just kiss her, ya' big weenie.
posted by frogan at 6:09 PM on January 26, 2007

yeah, i just refreshed and still think the poser move is the bad one. dirty vegas, bloc party...you won't even make it far enough to even get dumped with a mixtape like that...you might as well record a bunch of car commercials for her off NBC. have her take you to a club and get some electronic education. that way you both win.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 6:20 PM on January 26, 2007

Don't listen to the haters, I Foody. Men have been making shit up to get in womens' pants since the dawn of time. There's a better than even chance that you owe your very existence to some retarded scheme your father or grandfather cooked up. So now it's your turn to play.

The mix-tape gambit, unfortunately, rarely works after high school. Still, pecca fortiter. The nexus of wikipedia, music blogs and bittorrent should give you all the material you need to dig up some interesting shit to put on a mix. Start here and work your way toward some tracks that grab your attention.

Do some research, pick things you like and, most of all, be prepared to talk to her about your mix if she, by some amazing stroke of luck, decides to listen to it. Play up the nerdy, throwbacky aspect of it. DO NOT GO SAPPY. Try Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Erlend Oye, Röyksopp...cool artists with a gently ironic vibe. If you even think of including the Postal Service, stab your eyes out to keep from seeing the emo wasteland in which you will wander out your lonely days.

Make a mix tape to start a conversation, not to touch her heart.

Most of all, good luck.
posted by felix betachat at 6:24 PM on January 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I've gotten girls in the past with stellar mix tapes. These girls were into the same genres that I like so I was better equipped to get their interest.

I am going to listen to suggested songs and see whether I like them and think that she will like them. If you think my approach is wrong headed that's cool. But I have so much more information about the nuances of what's going on than would be useful to tell strangers in the two sentences I provided, we work together so I have to be more oblique than I otherwise would be. Obviously I don't think my idea is stupid. If you do please just pretend that the question is "I want to make a romantic mix-tape of techno music."
posted by I Foody at 6:28 PM on January 26, 2007

I can't speak for this woman, but I tend to think it's weak when guys pretend like they know about something I am into and then it becomes obvious they are only vaguely familiar. If you want to honestly show interest in her, don't try to impress her with what you think she will like, just ask her.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:44 PM on January 26, 2007

It's called "wooing" Brandon Blatcher. It's a technique those of us who are unremarkable employ to get with women who would otherwise be out of our league. You should try it sometime; it's more fun than playing with your big balls.

I Foody: this also comes to mind: the Ellen Allien suggestion above is good. I think pretty much anything she touches is gold, so you might also look at her new album w/ Apparat Orchestra of Bubbles. Modeselektor on her Bpitch Control label is really cool. For something that's techno-influenced but a lot more interesting, check out Nils Petter Molvaer. Especially his album Khmer, which is fucking brilliant.
posted by felix betachat at 6:44 PM on January 26, 2007

It's a technique those of us who are unremarkable employ to get with women who would otherwise be out of our league.

So... you're suggesting men should lie to these out-of-league women to convince them that they are actually in the same league? This is ultimately a losing proposition.

I'm firmly in the "mixtapes are great for wooing" camp, but only if the mixtape represents some kind of music that both parties are interested in. It's a great way for someone to casually communicate his/her interests and good taste to someone else, and basically ask... "do you like all this stuff that I am so clever for also liking?"

But I Foody clearly has no idea wtf he's doing here (jesus, look at the title of this page). This will likely just lead to embarrassment, and if not, he'll just be eventually revealed as a big phony.

If he doesn't want to be all like "I like you, do you like me?" then he should attempt to relate to this girl on some other level, perhaps by seeing a movie and then discussing it, or chatting about the local sporting team.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:57 PM on January 26, 2007

You know what I would do? I would ask her to make you a mix tape so you can learn more about techno. Because while I was once successfully wooed with an awesome mix tape, an even more attractive trait in a guy is when he respects my taste and my knowledge and treats me like an equal.
posted by craichead at 7:14 PM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

If she wants to hook up or not is totally dependent on many factors, a good mix tape can merely show you are not quite as lame as she thinks.

Don't totally go dancefloor, she knows you aren't that guy. Try these artists

Working For a Nuclear Free City
Alias and Tarsier
Nathan Fake
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 7:40 PM on January 26, 2007

Mod note: please try to keep the topic at least sort of on "how to make this mixtape" keep meta "will it work" discussion on email or metatalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on January 26, 2007

The only memorable mix tapes I've gotten from guys were of music they liked, that I wasn't familiar with but that they thought I'd like. For example, a guy I dated in high school -- I was into punk, he was into industrial -- made me a mix tape with stuff like Corporate Slave by Snog and Black Steel by Tricky on it. I wasn't familiar with the genres at all, but the music had general themes of subversion and what not that I could get into. End result: I expanded my musical horizons, and yes, ended up dating said guy.

So figure out what she likes about the music she likes, and look for the same traits in the music you're into. Does she like the ambiance? The beat? Does it make her feel energized or chill? Most music snobs can at least appreciate that there's good music in any genre, so just because she's into techno doesn't mean that she won't like anything else. Oh, and just focus on finding music she'll like, whether or not it seems romantic. If she digs it, it will reach her on a deeper level than fuzzy emo lyrics.

Also -- I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- confidence is sexy. And contagious. Giving her a mix tape of 'your' music (carefully selected, of course) is one of those subtle ways to be confident without being arrogant.

(I understand that this isn't quite what you asked for, but I hope it's helpful even if it just gives you a little confidence. If you want to get into techno, there's definitely nothing wrong with asking her for some suggestions -- and you might gain some insight into why she likes it, too.)
posted by AV at 7:54 PM on January 26, 2007

oops, sorry jessamyn - feel free to delete my post if it's too off-topic.
posted by AV at 7:55 PM on January 26, 2007

Don't Stop by ATB
posted by unreasonable at 8:07 PM on January 26, 2007

Plenty of good advice above although I'm thinking if she doesn't like the Silver Jews, she ain't worth your time amigo. Give her one last chance with Tennessee.
posted by doublesix at 8:23 PM on January 26, 2007

"I Will Dare" may not have worked, but "Within Your Reach" might.

And if it doesn't...well, she wouldn't be the girl for me, I'll tell you what.
posted by padraigin at 9:12 PM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Putting "Days Go By" on a mixtape is liable to get you shot in the face. Unless it's 2001 and you're trying to get in the pants of that girl in the Mitsubishi commercial.

You're going to have to meet her halfway on this one. Imagine she were asking this question and asked, "What should I put on this mixtape to get this guy to like me? He likes indie rock. I know nothing about indie rock." Clearly there are going to be some problems. So I think the best strategy is to figure out what in your collection would best fit her tastes (while still being something you like), and then follow the trail a bit.

If you're keen on Annie, for example, and you know she likes the more straightforward poppy stuff, find the artists who've remixed her songs and track down some of their stuff. Mashups may also be a source of inspiration (though be careful with those, a lot of people either don't like mashups or are sick of hearing yet another combo of M.I.A and Amerie).

The idea here is to bridge what you know with what she might like. You'll probably be wrong most of the time, but at least you'll have put in the effort, and she might find something new to like. If you're keen on doing more research, some of the BBC Radio stations play a bunch of club/dance related shows that might help you get your bearings (Six Mix, Annie On One and Breezeblock are some examples). You can even find full mixes online, if you know where to look.
posted by chrominance at 10:33 PM on January 26, 2007

rxrfrx, I so seldom listen to the stuff that such distinctions are beyond me. I think electronic dance music in general is fine.

This is incredibly, not helpfully broad.

That said Goldfrapp has interesting, ethereal (romantic?) sounding electric "dance" (pop?) songs. So does Bjork. So does Portishead. Buy/borrow an album from each of those artists and include one song you like from each artist (if you think it sounds like the kind of "techno" she likes). Verve Remixed is 4 volumes of cool old jazz vocals mixed together with modern techno/dance music, look into it.

Here's what I want you to do though. Find out her favorite artists - pay close attention - go through her cd collection, try to observe the patterns of her tastes. Do the songs she likes include guitars? How fast is the tempo? Are there vocals? More male or female vocals? Are the themes bubbly/party-happy or melancholy/nihilistic? Wait a month or so to make the mix, your job now is researcher/observer. Be smart. In the meantime try to listen to electronic radio stations that you think most resemble her tastes. Online stations available through Itunes are good. Try Groove Salad and Secret Agent. The playlists are online, write down songs you like, and believe approximate her tastes according to your notes.

Next I want you to take her favorite artists/songs and plug them into Pandora, which presents similar songs based on the internal characteristics of the music you give them. I've had good luck with that site. Same deal, songs you like that fit your notes.

Next I want you to type her artists in Last fm, which again lists similar artists. Explore those artists.

Finally I want you type those artists/songs into radioblogs. Again you can explore what people with tastes similar to your coworker are listening to.
posted by dgaicun at 2:02 AM on January 27, 2007

Daft Punk - Digital Love

Wonderfully romantic techno song.
posted by wackybrit at 3:45 AM on January 27, 2007

Yeah, if you make this tape w/o Daft Punk, you make a mistake.

Same goes for Too Much Rain Over Paradise by ATB.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:01 AM on January 27, 2007

Best answer: 'Electronic dance music' really isn't very much to go on. Maybe you could list some artists she likes and we could tell you what genre they really are, perhaps some trivia about them, and similar artists she might like for the mix tape.

Until then, this is all I've got: Go down-tempo. Make a mix of downtempo and deep house spiced up with, well, something else to keep things interesting.

Look into these artists:

- Trentemøller (his album The Last Resort is pretty much perfect for what you want.)
- The Knife (quirky, some of it is nice and danceable.)
- Blue Foundation (down-tempo and maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but something like The Run Jeremy Band/Trentemøller remix of As I Moved On would be perfect.)
- Mikael Simpson (lyrics in Danish should impress her, no?)
- MSTRKRFT (danceable. They kind of remind me of Daft Punk but unlike Daft Punk I wouldn't be embarrased to put it on a mix tape.)
- Plej (nice melodic deep house)

Good luck!
posted by sveskemus at 7:34 AM on January 27, 2007

Oh, and don't use any Daft Punk, ATB, The Postal Service, Depeche Mode, Mariah Carey(!!), Bloc Party, or Massive Attack!
posted by sveskemus at 7:37 AM on January 27, 2007

if you haven't heard the dj copy cd-r the mariah carey remix comes from, don't go hating on it... i thought it was actually one of the more interesting/better suggestions given.

but yah, postal service is so "hey, don't you love garden state?"
posted by noloveforned at 8:20 AM on January 27, 2007

I'll throw down a rec for Freezepop. Its shitty but almost everyone I know who likes techno (techno techno, not 3 minute dance songs) thinks its hilarious. If you're serious about this, DJ Tiesto, Pete Tong, and Sasha & John Digweed have some sorter remixes that aren't bad. One of Oakenfold's 1999 essential mixes also has a good mix of a radiohead song, although I'm forgetting which one at the moment.

But seriously, the entire point of a mixtape is to show someone stuff they wouldn't know already. You have NFI what she knows because you don't know it yourself. If you want any hope of this working, just make it funny... at least then you have an excuse for everything on it.
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:20 AM on January 27, 2007

i'm seconding "the knife", and nthing the sentiment that the mix tape won't help you get into a relationship...it's better as a little love note once you've gotten to that stage.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 12:01 PM on January 27, 2007

If you put The Postal Service on it she'll never touch you.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:16 PM on January 27, 2007

I am a chick and I am into electronic music. When I started going out with an indie rock guy he made me a CD of indie rock music and I made him a CD of electronic music. Now he says, "I can't believe I put some of that stuff on there -- I would never do that now because I know a lot more about what you like."

It is one of my favorite CDs of all time, and I am marrying him.
posted by nev at 12:30 PM on January 27, 2007

No no no no. If she likes techno, you're wading into dangerous waters here. If I were to say I liked techno, I would be telling you "I like a specific kind of music that is generally considered techno by the layfolk, or is loosely based on the techno concept, because you obviously won't be able to tell the difference." No person who likes techno says they like "techno" in my experience. There are way too many kinds of techno to guess -- because there's so many kinds and styles, that more than likely you may even be filling up a tape with exactly the wrong kind. I like my particular ilk of "techno" and loathe most everything else. Don't go make loathing-tapes. I swear.
posted by vanoakenfold at 12:55 PM on January 27, 2007

I don't think I can help much unless you managed to sneak a peak at her CDs and gave us an idea of the music that she's into it.

For all I know, she's an ex-candy raver who still listens to Anabolic Frolic mixes.

If you could name a few artists she likes, though, it gets easy.

I'd say the people above who recommended The Postal Service, The Juan Maclean and such are probably onto something if that's her taste.

And then there are the semi-corny electronic artists from the 90s, which would either annoy her or impress her, depending on if she's totally "over" them:

Massive Attack - Angel
Tricky - Christiansands
Bjork - Like Someone in Love
Lamb - Cotton Wool
Kosheen - Hide U

posted by atomly at 1:17 PM on January 27, 2007

Oh, and don't use any Daft Punk, ATB, The Postal Service, Depeche Mode, Mariah Carey(!!), Bloc Party, or Massive Attack!
posted by sveskemus

Or Dirty Vegas. With all due respect to awesomebrad, his list sounds like one made by someone who is not really into electronic music. All those selections would seem dated and played out to someone who is really into this genre of music -- which I gather describes your "target".

The Postal Service is electronic music for people who don't like electronic music (e.g. indie rock fans). It has very little rhythmic, sonic, or melodic complexity.

Trentemoller, Ellen Allien, and The Knife are all very innovative and current artists, and you will find them on the "best of 2006" lists of many electronic enthusiasts (including mine).
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:39 PM on January 27, 2007

atomly writes "For all I know, she's an ex-candy raver who still listens to Anabolic Frolic mixes."


Seriously, I Foody, you can't do this. When you said that 'any sort of electronic dance music' would be fine, you have shown that you know absolutely nothing about this girl. She might only be into serious Detroit techno--or she might be like you, and use 'techno' incorrectly, and mean that she likes Euro shit like Ian Van Dahl (*shudder*), in which case some stuff off Plus 8 records will leave her going "who's banging all these pots and pans?"

I'd suggest you do a quick browse through Ishkur's Guide so you can get an idea of how unbelievable broad the range of styles in electronic dance music are.

To put it another way... think about how silly this would sound if you had said "Oh, I don't know. Anything with guitars will do."

Mix tapes can be very very sweet. But you're in for disaster unless you know some labels, artists, or tracks that she likes.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:41 PM on January 27, 2007

If she doesn't like "I will dare", dump her.

btw - ever heard the hard to find, bootleg only "airshaft version" of Can't Hardly Wait? That song made me fall in love with Paul, and I am a hetero male. Might work on her.
posted by vronsky at 3:21 PM on January 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to let everyone know, I am not insane, I listened to a mix she made, and while I can't give recall the artists I do know what it sounds like. I am planning on listening to some songs recommended and based on my somewhat naive assessment of what she likes and my own taste, I'm going to try and put something together that I think she'll like. I'll put what I decide pretty soon, I know that someone could fuck this up, but I'm willing to bet I fuck it up far less badly than any of you suppose. I don't plan on impressing her with my limited knowledge of techno, but with my thoughtfulness.
posted by I Foody at 4:03 PM on January 27, 2007

Response by poster: And honesty if she made me a mix with Kings of Leon, the Bravery, the White Stripes, and Cold Play, thinking that "indie rock guys like those , right?" I would be take it as a sign that she dug me, and I wouldn't care too much that her choices were bad and obvious. I'm trying to do the same thing in reverse, but trying to make it as unlame as I can muster.
posted by I Foody at 4:11 PM on January 27, 2007

I would be take it as a sign that she dug me

Yeah, but you've already got the hots for her. If you think she has the hots for you, then kiss her. But obviously, you're trying to do more of the wooing here, in which case, you can't just imagine what you would like her to do to you.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:50 PM on January 27, 2007

The track listing you are looking for is found where the music you already like intersects with music you think she will like. The best mix tapes have given me glimpse of what turns on someone else's brain and possibly helped me pick up a new favorite song or two.
posted by the jam at 10:07 PM on January 27, 2007

Best answer: figurine! plenty of 8-bit songs about love. Try "Impossible" or "Rewind". sample lyrics like:




If you are really punk rock, another choice might be something like EC8OR, Atari Teenage Riot, Alec Empire, or Field Manual by Bomb 20. These people are part of the "punk-techno movement" (digital hardcore). Think Crass and german house music mixed together. It is very raw, so watch out. 180bpm wall of happy hardcore and jungle noise with a lot of "smash the state" piss in the pigs' disembodied necks" kind of stuff.

However, VanOkenfold is right. I used to listen to techno too, and if you think punk rock peeps are picky about their music, man, techno peeps are waaaaay worse. Billions of subgenres; you can even make a subgenre based on a fuckin drum machine. This means that somewhere out there, there are people that only listen to casiotone house music at a specific BPM on specific drugs. You bring postal service, she is gonna laugh so hard.

Don't try to pick something she's gonna like, she can do that. Pick something interesting you can both talk about. There aint no techno that's a panty-dropper unless you're a dj, so just be yourself and forget the music snobbery.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 11:35 PM on January 28, 2007

Response by poster: Took the general tenor of the less negative advice and I did some research too. This is what I came up with thanks for all the help.

1. April March - Somewhere up above
2. Barbara Morgenstern - The operator
3. Air - I like the way you look tonight
4. M83 - Teen Angst (Montag Remix)
5. Cocteu Twins - Loreli
6. My Bloody Valentine - Blown a Wish
7. The Knife - Marble House (Empire Machine remix
8. Ellen Allieen - Always (Club Vocal Mix)
9. Liberte - Vive la Fete
10. Heartbeat - Annie (mskrttrrtrrla remix)
11. Hot Chip - Glad to see you
12. Figurine - Rewind
13. Broadcast - Before We Begin
14. Ilya - Blatchford
15. Ada - Maps
posted by I Foody at 4:15 PM on February 10, 2007

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