Posted by: cousinbrandon | November 3, 2009

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: A Long Way to Santa Fe

For the first time ever, the music/mixes portion of the blog is being graced not by Cousin Brandon but by Cousin Matt.  That is, I’m still doing the write-up; Cousin Matt is responsible for the mix.  With that, I give you A Long Way to Santa Fe.

I left for my first year at the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the Fall of 1996.  I was 21-years-old and transferring to CSF after one year at Carnegie Mellon (‘93/’94), a year-and-a-half of waiting tables and smoking dope, and a semester at the local community college, where I took Biology, Speech, and Introduction to Theater Studies. (Strange trio, no?)  After dicking around for two years, I realized two things: 1) I wanted to study in a legitimate creative writing department; and 2) I wanted to go west.  And even though I never visited the college (or even the state, for God’s sake) before signing my letter of intent, I couldn’t have been more pleased to get as far away from Central Pennsylvania as possible.

Knowing I was making tracks, Cousin Matt recorded me a nice compilation of “Of the Moment” tunes, or Zeitgeist Music.  As was always the case, Cousin Matt recorded it to a TDK cassette, which was our blank tape of choice.  It’s hard for me to remember, but I believe TDK was the first to switch over to those more rounded cases and away from the right-angled, boxier ones.  Regardless, there was something he and I both preferred about TDK to Maxell or Memorex.  I’d like to say the sound quality was that much better, but perhaps I just liked the cases.  Who knows?  In any event, Cousin Matt, like me, is both anal and obsessive when it comes to the construction of a mix.  Granted, A Long Way to Santa Fe is an earlier and less “accomplished” effort in comparison to the masterpieces he’s putting out these days (which, by the way, I’ll be blogging about at some point).  Look at it this way, Cousin Matt: even Will Clark didn’t homer in his first at bat.  Oh?  He did?  Oh.  Never mind.

A couple notes on the mixes below.  First, I couldn’t find a link to The Multiple Cat’s “My Planet,” which is off of the fantastic record “Territory” Shall Mean the Universe.  Additionally, the only link for “Grant Hart” I could find was a solo acoustic version performed by Ken Stringfellow.  Unfortunately, it looked like he was playing at some type of “Products of the Future” convention and the sound quality was awful.  So, pass.

Fall of ’96. CSF. King Hall. My pal Mike’s dorm room. With a beer. And a ponytail. Fuck you. 

A Long Way to Santa Fe (Side A):

1. Built to Spill – “In the Morning
2. Rob Pollard – “Flat Beauty
3. The Multiple Cat – “My Planet”
4. Sebadoh – “Ocean
5. Unwound – “Dragnalus
6. Beck – “Lord Only Knows
7. The Sugarplastic – “Soft Jingo
8. Guided By Voices – “To Remake the Young Flyer
9. Sebadoh – “Hillbilly II
10. Modest Mouse – “Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Birds
11. Archers of Loaf – “Vocal Shrapnel
12. The Grifters – “Day Shift
13. Pearl Jam – “Red Mosquito
14. The Sea and Cake – “The Transaction
15. Built to Spill & Caustic Resin – “When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough
16. Modest Mouse – “Space Travel Is Boring

A Long Way to Santa Fe (Side B):

1. Unwound – “Message Received
2. The Sea and Cake – “The Biz
3. Archers of Loaf – “Chumming the Ocean
4. Barry Black – “Cockroaches
5. Weezer – “Getchoo
6. The Posies – “Grant Hart”
7. Archers of Loaf – “Smokin’ Pot in the Hot City
8. Built to Spill – “The Source
9. Modest Mouse – “Exit Does Not Exist
10. Sebadoh – “Beauty of the Ride
11. 311 – “Visit
12. Weezer – “El Scorcho
13. Rob Pollard – “Get Under It
14. The Grifters – “The Straight Time
15. Archers of Loaf – “Telepathic Traffic
16. Beck – “Novacane
17. Tobin Sprout – “It’s Like Soul Man

So, there you have it.  The first non-Cousin Brandon mix to grace these pages, and assuredly not the last.  Thanks for the assist, Cousin Matt.  Prepare for greatness!

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!




  1. Hi Brandon.
    This is a nice mix. Makes me feel all 96-ish, which was a positive thing until I started to think a little more about what 96 was all about. Particularly Harmacy, which was a huge favorite of mine for a particularly awful spell brings back some really good memories of having some great laughs over slowly coming totally unglued with some good friends (that sort of pocket between 18 and 20 was pretty unkind to all of us). Beauty of the Ride is a marvelous track.
    This one is probably the one that I can come the closest to recreating. A lot of really great tunes on here.
    Thanks for posting this, and all of these. This one got me inspired to dust off the Biz, and maybe Pinkerton after a pretty long time. Hope the week is treating you really well man.

    • Thanks for the nice comments, as always. Yeah, I was 21 at the time, so I was doing little more than getting drunk and high while music played endlessly. And for the record, Pinkerton is ALWAYS worth going back to. If nothing else, it contains two of my favorite Weezer tracks, “Across the Sea” and “Pink Triangle.”

      • Yeah. I was just reading that list of songs and visualizing an ashy driveway with empty beer bottles and red plastic cups and a crappy litle stereo, connected via orange extension chord. A weird Orion fixation too.
        You’re right about Pinkerton. That record is just a monster. Top to bottom, just a fantastic album. What the hell happened there? I wonder if there is any truth to the rumour that Rivers basically decided that he never wanted to be broke again and made the music to make sure of it.

  2. Firstly – nice hair, hippy. Secondly – TDKs did, in fact, have superior sound quality. Maxell, Memorex, Sony, Fuji in all their warbly badness just couldn’t compete. Thirdly – man, 33 songs and only 17 artists. How limited we were back then.

    • Firstly, it’s “hippie,” not “hippy.” I was smoking dope, not eating cupcakes. Secondly, I wish I could remember whether that was true. And by the way, what’s a tape? Thirdly, limited indeed. It pains me to see the repetition of a band on a single mix. [Tears.]

      • Ugh, I’m a moron. I was wondering why I got the red squiggly when I wrote “hippy”. Anyway, if you were smoking dope then you were most likely *also* eating cupcakes.

        It’s funny, the repetition is pretty sad, but it’s good to see/remember how albums had numerous mix-worthy tracks on them back then. As we’re all well aware, it’s not consistently the case these days.

    • Seeing these also kind of bums me out because all of my good old mix tapes got stolen when my car got broken into a ways back. I mean who steals mix tapes? Jerk. I guess that’s what I get for carrying everything with me all the time and not converting to cds in the car until like 2003. I’d love to be able to go through old tapes though. It sucks.

      • That, Sir, is a goddamn travesty.

  3. One of my favorite years of all time!! One of my top ten albums of all time, “This is a long drive….” is an instant time warp back to the days of mushu pork wallpaper and crushing yard long pizzas from Little Skeezers. Not to mention, do you remember singing “Pink Triangle” to Paul B. He ended up actually marrying that lesbian. Awesome!!

    • This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About puts me immediately inside the walls of The Dingo Bar in Albuquerque, which I believe is now defunct. The bar, that is, not the city. And nothing says Santa Fe like three feet of pizza and stairwell take-out. Ah, the good old days.

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