In need of suggestions for a mix cd!
July 26, 2007 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Hey guys, I need help making a mix cd.

My really close guy friend (we dated previously for a year or so but now are close friends) is going away to school this fall. He is pretty picky about music, so I've always been too intimidated to make him a cd. I thought this would be a nice surprise and that maybe I could introduce him to some cool new music. I'm all for the lyrics and the meaning of the song. We had a rough summer, so I want to convey the message of I love you/ miss you/ I'm sorry for the terrible summer etc but more in a friend way etc. He likes music with actual instruments and classic/ funk beat sounds. If you know songs that incorporate that, that would be great. But ultimately I'm looking for good lyrics, because thats how i like to communicate. Thank you so much for you're help. I really need it!
posted by shelea to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of putting The Tah-Dahs "Mix Tape = Love" on all my mixtapes. As far as actual instruments and funk beat sounds, the album of the moment as far as I'm concerned is Mark Ronson's "Version," especially "Valerie" and "Oh My God." Macy Gray's good for a laugh, and in the vein of Ronson, check out Lily Allen.

Not as much for the meaning of the lyrics (which is about musical styles, not adultery), but just for an amazing song, check out "The Seed 2.0" by The Roots.

Josh Rouse is amazing as well, and the songs I recommend there are "Come Back (Light Therapy)" off of 1972 and "It's the Nighttime" off of Nashville.

The Dismemberment Plan has amazingly intelligent lyrics. Their best album is Emergency & I.

Also check out Peter Bjorn and John, "Young Folks" is great, as is the Girl Talk remix of "Let's Call It Off."

I think I just gave you a lot, but check them out. If you like it, let me know and I'll come up with more.
posted by awesomebrad at 10:02 PM on July 26, 2007

1) All mix CDs which are made with the secret ingredient (love) are appreciated. So don't stress about it being OMGPERFECT, and remember that you can't necessarily encapsulate your whole relationship with someone in a CD.

2) Lots of great new music out there that doesn't get much/any airplay in the US - check out the KEXP and KCRW websites.

3) Don't neglect languages other than English. Cesaria Evora and I have some sort of emotional link - often she sings about being a member of a diasporic people and what it's like to come home, and as I live abroad away from family and friends for work, she soothes me.
posted by mdonley at 10:06 PM on July 26, 2007

maybe this song?
posted by Industrial PhD at 11:37 PM on July 26, 2007

What's your time frame to make this mix CD? I ask because I have made mixes for friends before quickly, and without much thought, just sort of grabbing songs I liked, and sometimes asking for input from others.

But it's the mix CDs where I took a few weeks, spent time listening to all of my music (usually in the car) with that person in mind, and our situation, where I was able to make something really special.

I know I'm not suggesting any songs for you, so this might not at all answer your question, but that's what I'd recommend. Spend some time with it, if this person means as much to you as you say, it will really pay off, I think, because you will find songs that really personally say what you want to say.

This is obviously much more useful if you have an iPod or other MP3 player with the majority of your music in a way that you can listen to it on shuffle.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:44 PM on July 26, 2007

This song was put on a mix CD I got recently, and it never, EVER fails to cheer me up. It feels like a message of support and such to me. I'm a fan. (thanks hermitosis).
posted by piratebowling at 12:00 AM on July 27, 2007

For a song that (In my mind) screams "summer," try Ben Lee's "Catch My Disease" (that's an .mp3 link I picked up off of Dogpile's music search function.)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 12:57 AM on July 27, 2007

badtime, by the jayhawks is a great song
posted by dnc at 3:24 AM on July 27, 2007

"Summer Skin" by Death Cab for Cutie.
It's on their album called "Plans".
posted by DZ-015 at 4:31 AM on July 27, 2007

How about "In this Diary" by The Ataris?

"Here in this diary,
I write you visions of my summer.
It was the best I ever had.
There were choruses and sing-alongs,
And not a spoken feeling.
I’m knowing that right now is all that matters.
All the nights we stayed up talking
And listening to 80’s songs;
Quoting lines from all those movies that we love.
It still brings a smile to my face.
I guess when it comes down to it...

Being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up:
These are the best days of our lives.
The only thing that matters
Is just following your heart
And eventually you’ll finally get it right."
posted by triv at 5:23 AM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

posted by OmieWise at 5:46 AM on July 27, 2007

"Thanksgiving," by Poi Dog Pondering. Should express your sentiments pretty well. (It's off the album "Thinking Like A Mountain, Wishing Like The Sea.")
posted by Banky_Edwards at 6:42 AM on July 27, 2007

OmieWise is correct. Journey should be on every single mixtape, Especially those that will be listened to on summer drives with the windows down. Even if he seems like a music snob, chances are deep down he has affectionate feelings towards Journey.
posted by Loto at 7:34 AM on July 27, 2007

"Gone Away" by My Brightest Diamond is an outstanding song about regret and missing. Also, n-thing "Summer Skin" by Death Cab for Cutie. Maybe "To Be Alone With You" by Sufjan Stevens?

But honestly, to make this mixtape say what you want to say, you've got to find the songs in your heart.
posted by banannafish at 8:59 AM on July 27, 2007

I'm not going to be able to give you funk/beat sounds - like many here on the Filter, I come from an independent rock/pop background, but I've definitely made a few mix tapes that fit your description (linking to lyrics for each):

I'm Sticking With You
I made this for my best friend when I moved away from her to a different college. Made extra sure that these were songs about how much I loved her as my best friend, not repurposed romantic songs. This is the best mix tape I have ever made. I love every song and think any could work.
The Beatles - Two of Us
Belle & Sebstian - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
Ron Sexsmith - Just My Heart Talkin'
Rentals - Please Let That Be You
Frames - Your Face
The Shins - Gone For Good
They Mights Be Giants - New York City
Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
Grandaddy - "Yeah" Is What We Had
Ben Gibbard - They Don't Know
The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
Tilly and the Wall - I Always Knew
Devendra Banhart - At The Hop
Beulah - Wipe Those Prints and Run
The Velvet Underground - I'm Sticking With You
2:st ♥:lm
From an ex-girlfriend when I went off to college. We had a rough summer that year, too, and didn't quite know what was next, but loved, missed - just like you say. I've listened to this mix more than anything else I have. [On preview, I stole a few songs from this mix for that last one, so these are the unique ones]
They Might Be Giants - Another First Kiss
The White Stripes - Apple Blossom
Nico - These Days
Loquat - Swingset Chain
Colin Meloy - I Know Very Well How I Got My Name
The Beatles - I Will
PJ Harvey - This Mess We're In
Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
Yo La Tengo - Sugarcube
Dave Matthews - Stay Or Leave [live]
Radiohead - True Love Waits [live]
Bright Eyes - Pull My Hair
Iron & Wine - My Lady's House
The Magnetic Fields - You're My Only Home
Phew! That was a lot of hyperlinking. I hope it was worth the space it takes up! iTunes and/or All Music Guide should have previews of all of those songs. I have another two mixes that fit the bill, so email me if you like what you've seen so far.
posted by coolhappysteve at 9:28 AM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

My advice is to make a mix tape, not a mix cd. See, when you've got a vague and amorphous "Lemme show you that I love you, BFF" thing going on, it's better to have to listen to every song as you slide it on there, and think about what you're playing as you're doing it. Sure, it may take a little bit longer, and sure, he might not even have a tape deck anymore, but you can always use the track listing on a CD once you're done.

Too many people jump into mix cds before they're ready, and you don't want to give him something that he'll accept politely before filing it away and never listening to it again.
posted by klangklangston at 11:40 AM on July 27, 2007

Oh, and no one ever needs another Beatles song on a mix. They're a good band, they had plenty of good songs, but the chances of slotting them into the mix perfectly are low, and the stakes are higher because it's the fuckin' Beatles.
posted by klangklangston at 11:41 AM on July 27, 2007

Hopefully this isn't too late. I'd recommend "Knock Yourself Out" by Jon Brion. It's a nice, upbeat song I think you/he will like. You might like "Sea Green, See Blue" by Jaymay as well.
posted by thelongcon at 5:47 PM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

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