Posted by: cousinbrandon | November 17, 2009

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: breathe in. breathe out. rock on.

Yes, I’m hammering you over the head with some of Cousin Matt’s mixes, but it’s because A) they’re solid; and B) I’m having trouble finding more of my own.  Crazier still is that I haven’t even raided his best of the year CDs yet, so that means there’s a ton more where these came from.

breathe in. breathe out. rock on. is one of my favorite Cousin Matt mixes for many reasons, but perhaps the primary one is the artwork.  Cousin Matt always did (and, I think, still does) all of his cover art in Word.  Sure, I don’t use anything fancy (Microsoft Publisher is not high-tech, folks), but considering some of the elaborate, intricate stuff he’s come up with, I’m genuinely impressed on a regular basis.  See for yourself:

That big ol’ amoeba-shaped thing is actually a cloud.  That is, the front cover of the CD is the right-hand side of the image above, and the white page on the left is the inside cover art.  It acts a legend, of sorts, as the back of the CD case included a full color image of a cloud, with each of the songs “surrounding” it, so to speak.  The bands listed here correspond to said songs.  (Sure, it would have been easier to explain had I simply included the back cover, as well.  On the other hand, I’m notoriously lazy, so you get what you get.)

Based solely on the tracklist, I have to wager that this compilation was created in the 2000/2001 range, specifically nodding to tracks by Spoon and The New Pornographers.  Without even looking up the release dates, I am nearly positive Mass Romantic came out in 2000 (at least in the United States; it was initially released in Canada, I think).  Furthermore, I’m 99% sure that Girls Can Tell (Spoon) was released in 2001, as I still waffle between it and A Series of Sneaks as my favorite Spoon record.  (Cousin Matt, feel free to correct me if my dates are horribly wrong.)

I feel it necessary to point out some of the gems on this list.  Not the individual songs, mind you, but the records they came from, as I feel there is some truly unsung stuff this time around.  Of the albums represented below (that is, the lesser-known albums below, hence my decision to avoid naming, say, De Stijl by The White Stripes), you must do yourself a favor and pick up For Stars’ We Are All Beautiful People, Silkworm’s Lifestyle, Flake Music’s When You Land Here, It’s Time to Return, and Burakumin’s Early Mourning.

breathe in. breathe out. rock on. (in):

1. AM/FM – “Mutilate Us”
2. Home – “Make It Right
3. Gwens – “Outside Influence
4. Spoon – “Take a Walk
5. The White Stripes – “You’re Pretty Good Looking
6. Centro-matic – “Huge in Every City
7. Lenola – “Unsettling Down
8. AM/FM – “A Best Man (Put My Girlfriend On Fire)
9. Mazarin – “Chasing the Girl
10. Blonde Redhead – “Melody of Certain Three
11. Q and Not U – “Hooray for Humans
12. The Fire Show – “Please Kill the Barium Swallows”
13. Mates of State – “Nice Things That Look Good
14. For Stars – “How It Goes
15. Enon – “Get the Letter Out
16. Grandaddy – “L.F.O.
17. Home – “Reprint
18. Jurassic 5 – “Quality Control
19. The Essex Green – “Mrs. Bean
20. Quasi – “Which Side are You On, Colonel?
21. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – “Poodle Rockin’
22. The Olivia Tremor Control – “Beneath the Climb
23. Three Mile Pilot – “Kill the Racehorse

breathe in. breathe out. rock on. (out):

1. Rainer Maria – “Artificial Light
2. Mates of State – “Proofs
3. Silkworm – “Raging Bull
4. Je Suis France – “He Had Metal in His Head
5. Number One Cup – “Just Let Go
6. Death Cab for Cutie – “Pictures in an Exhibition
7. Flake Music – “Mieke
8. Kleenex Girl Wonder – “My, You Look Ravishing Tonight!
9. Burakumin – “How Are You Doing
10. The Magic Magicians – “Bored Ticket Taker
11. The New Pornographers – “The Fake Headlines
12. Spoon – “Figures of Art
13. Les Savy Fav – “I.C. Timer
14. Pele – “Nighttime Stomach
15. Guided By Voices – “Chasing Heather Crazy
16. Grandaddy – “Chartsengrafs
17. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – “Nomadic Revery (All Around)
18. Home – “Burden
19. Swearing at Motorists – “Flying Pizza
20. Aloha – “A Hundred Stories
21. Kilowatthours – “Kayla
22. Sigur Ros – “Olsen Olsen
23. Juno – “I’m Sorry You’re Having Trouble…Goodbye

That’s it, Folks.  The latest edition of the “Miscellaneous” Mixes series.  Don’t be alarmed, but there’s yet another Cousin Matt mix right around the corner, and it, too, is one of my favorites.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!




  1. A little sidenote for those who care: This was my very first CD mix. And it was created on a CD burner — meaning a stereo component, before the advent of burners on computers and iTunes, which naturally made things a whooooole lot easier.

    Thus, the recording process was more like making a mix tape — having to stop and start the blank CD at the end of songs, and timing the songs to make sure I didn’t go over the blank CD’s limit. It was pretty tedious.

    • I wrote about this same issue in a previous column. In fact, it must have been in the “Virgin” CD post. Moving from tape deck to CD burner opened a whole new world.

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