Posted by: cousinbrandon | June 29, 2010

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: Fin

My buddy, Nick, came up with the idea of putting together a mix of “last songs”; that is, a compilation of tracks that close out albums. This was how he described it via email:

Last songs on albums. The songs where you can’t leave your car and go inside until it’s done. Usually the most sublime songs are the last ones.

Well, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Typically final songs on records resonate with me like nothing else, at least when considering an album as a whole. Obviously the opening track would be the counterargument (and, rest assured, an opening track mix is in the works), in that it sets the tone for everything else. The closing track, though, is what you walk away with. Sure, nowadays fans and critics alike argue that the album “is dead,” that we live in an age of digital music where we buy songs, not records. And while there is some truth to that, there still remains the handful of bands that recognize the significance of the album – of sequencing songs intentionally so that one moves “properly” into the next (kind of like a good mix). And while the concept album might not be as prevalent as it once was, I welcome them. I love them. I appreciate the moxie demonstrated.

With that, Nick and I put forth a joint effort on this mix. He selected the first 12 tracks, I selected the last 12. Track 13, though, is a “shared” selection. I picked it on my list of closing songs and Nick was nearly beside himself, as he forgot to choose it himself. So, we agreed to put it at 13, directly in the middle of our choices. There is no cover art to accompany this mix. In fact, Fin hasn’t even been recorded to disc as of yet. Right now, it’s merely a list. And for the record, I must admit that I pulled my selections mostly from my iPod. That is, I didn’t go through my entire CD collection nor did I dip deep enough into my brain. In other words, I’m sure I’m missing some obvious choices. And because of that, I included a bunch of Honorable Mentions. Again, the goal was to come up with 12 songs each, so I had to cut out a lot. (And yes, Matt, I know you want to throttle me for failing to include “Only In Dreams” on my primary list.)

Fin:

1. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “Raining in Darling” (from I See a Darkness)
2. Mates of State – “Running Out” (from Bring It Back)
3. Bob Dylan – “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (from Bringing It All Back Home)
4. The Olivia Tremor Control – “NYC-25” (from Dusk at Cubist Castle)
5. Neil Young – “Cowgirl in the Sand” (from Everybody Knows This is Nowhere)
6. Guided By Voices – “You’re Not an Airplane” (from Bee Thousand)
7. Silver Jews – “The Wild Kindness” (from American Water)
8. Modest Mouse – “Styrofoam Boots/It’s All Nice on Ice, Alright” (from The Lonesome Crowded West)
9. The Beatles – “A Day in the Life” (from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
10. Neutral Milk Hotel – “Two-Headed Boy pt. 2” (from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea)
11. Dr. Dog – “Wake Up” (from Easy Beat)
12. The Velvet Underground – “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” (from Loaded)
13. Smoking Popes – “On the Shoulder” (from Born to Quit)
14. Real Estate – “Snow Days” (from Real Estate)
15. Beulah – “If We Can Land a Man On the Moon Surely I Can Win Your Heart” (from When Your Heartstrings Break)
16. Catherine Wheel – “Show Me Mary” (from Chrome)
17. LCD Soundsystem – “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” (from Sound of Silver)
18. The Mountain Goats – “Pale Green Things” (from The Sunset Tree)
19. Songs: Ohia – “Hold On Magnolia” (from Magnolia Electric Co.)
20. Richard Buckner – “Once” (Bad cover of it here.) (from Since)
21. Son Volt – “Mystifies Me” (Another cover, unfortunately.) (from Trace)
22. For Stars – “If I Could” (from We Are All Beautiful People)
23. The Flaming Lips – “Waitin’ for a Superman” (from The Soft Bulletin)
24. Elvis Costello – “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” (from Armed Forces)
25. Pavement – “Fillmore Jive” (from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain) 

Honorable Mentions:

 

The Antlers – “Epilogue” (from Hospice)

Aqueduct – “Tulsa Trap” (from I Sold Gold)

Band of Horses – “St. Augustine” (from Everything All the Time)

Built to Spill – “Untrustable Part 2” (from Perfect From Now On)

Grandaddy – “The Warming Sun” (from Sumday)

Metric – “Stadium Love” (from Fantasies)

Modest Mouse – “Space Travel is Boring” (from This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About)

Weezer – “Only In Dreams” (from Weezer)

Rogue Wave – “Cheaper Than Therapy” (from Asleep at Heaven’s Gate)

The Thermals – “You Dissolve” (from Now We Can See)

Wolf Parade – “Kissing the Beehive” (from At Mount Zoomer)

The Beatles – “Her Majesty” (from Abbey Road)

The Pixies – “Havalina” (from Bossanova)

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – “Source Tags & Codes” (from Source Tags & Codes)

The Strokes – “Take It or Leave It” (from Is This It)

Clem Snide – “No One’s More Happy Than You” (from The Ghost of Fashion)

Red Stars Theory – “An Alarm Goes Off” (from Life In a Bubble Can Be Beautiful)

They Might Be Giants – “The End of the Tour” (Video includes “AKA Driver.”) (from John Henry)

Dinosaur Jr. – “Green Mind” (from Green Mind)

 

Okay, folks, here’s your chance to tell me what me missed. Again, I know there must be a ton of great closing songs that I omitted, so by all means let me know what you’ve got. I’ll happily add them to the list. And thanks again to Nick for his selections. Until next time, have at it, you vultures!

BD

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Responses

  1. Hey Brandon,
    I’ve got to say, this was a great idea for a mix, and I really like a lot of the choices. I’ve got to say though, Fillmore Jive over Fin? Fin is the closer of closers, and it’s even called Fin.

    I think I’ll try to throw one together kind of quick and see if it’s worth responding with.

    • For me, since CR, CR is the better Pavement record, I have to go with “Fillmore Jive” over “Fin.” What’s more, considering my typical exhaustion and insomnia, any song echoing the lyrics “I need to sleep” is right in my wheelhouse.

      • The CRCR v. BTC debate is a tough one for me. It’s kind of neck and neck. I just love the way Fin closes out the record. One of those cases where its position on the record makes the song even better. I like Fillmore Jive, especially as it gives us “See those rockers with their long curly locks. Goodnight to the rock and roll era, ’cause they don’t need you anymore, Little girl, boy, girl, boy.” Actually including how the streets are full of punks, they have spikes. That section just makes me smile. Great tune.

        • “The streets are full of punks, they have spikes” is my favorite line of the song. It kills me every time.

  2. And speaking of music, here’s a link to “I Don’t Believe You,” the first single from The Thermals’ upcoming record, Personal Life.

    http://pitchfork.com/news/39297-new-thermals-i-dont-believe-you/

  3. I know you beat me to the punch, but… not having “Only in Dreams” is completely unacceptable. But I guess I could see how Mates of State is on there instead (that’s sarcasm).

    • First, “Only In Dreams” was among my honorable mentions. Second, it was originally on my half of the mix, only I removed it because of its length. Third, while that Mates of State song might be lesser to the Weezer track, it really is a great song.

  4. Im glad you put the Red Stars Theory on the list. I completely forgot about this album (“Life In a Bubble Can Be Beautiful”). I know I had this album at some point, lost it, and completely forgot about it. Is it still in print? Also, to go back a couple of mixes to “Sleepytime”, Their first album “But Sleep Came Slowly” is an album I would fall asleep to on many times on those cool Santa Fe nights. You and me in King Hall snuggling in our single dorm room… oh, uhh, I mean…

    • Man, that is absolutely a fanstatic record, as is But Sleep Came Slowly. I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but I’m sure you can find it somewhere. If not, let me know and I’ll get you a copy of both.

      And for the record, you made me feel so alive in those days. I’ve said too much…

  5. Well, it took me a bit longer than I had hoped, but I concocted a “response mix” (or really a 2 parter) for this. It was a really fun project, but I found it to be really tricky as well. I wanted to focus on making mixes rather than a list of my favorites, and I did pass on some that I liked better because they just didn’t fit in. Innocent When You Dream by Tom Waits from Frank’s Wild Years is a good example of a track I really wanted to fit into part 2, but it just stuck out funny. That was just one of a few things I really tried to squeeze in but it just didn’t work and made room for some that may have been a ways lower on my “list.” Also, The Smiths tune Asleep is one of my favorite album closers (a lot of sentimental value with that record in general), but I felt like kind of cheapened and almost like it was forcing some sort of context that I wanted to avoid (I will say that it was a little lame to try to run with but the songs Suicides Underground by Air and Asleep by the Smiths do run intoeach other really nicely, really felt cheap though). The real problem though was that most of the songs are definitively trying to end something and there are still a few transitions that I am not wild about, and there are a few too many kind of stop, take a breath, move onto a new idea transitions. It was challenging, which was fun.

    Anyways, I initially tried to go with the CB signature up tempo/down tempo format, but it all kind of bled together in the middle with one. The vibes still kind of play that way. What can I say, I like mid-tempo music. So, here it is.

    The High End (part 1):
    1. Frank Black – Don’t Ya Rile Em (from Frank Black)
    2. A.C. Newman – All of My Days and All of My Days Off (from Get Guilty)
    3. Wilco – The Late Greats (from A Ghost Is Born)
    4. Weezer – Only in Dreams (from Weezer)
    5. Belle and Sebastian – Stay Loose (from Dear Catastrophe Waitress)
    6. the Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows (from Revolver)
    7. Stephen Malkmus – US (from Pig Lib)
    8. Dr. Dog – My Friend (from Fate)
    9. Paper Airplanes – Suburban Sprawl (from Boyhood)
    10. Fiona Apple – Waltz (Better Than Fine) (from Extraordinary Machine)
    11. Sonic Youth – Titanium Expose (from Goo)
    12. Tapes N Tapes – Jakov’s Suite (from The Loon)
    13. Modest Mouse – What People Are Made Of (from The Moon and Antarctica)
    14. Built To Spill – Broken Chairs (from Keep It Like A Secret)
    15. Fugazi – Argument (from the Argument)
    16. Blur – When The Cows Come Home (from Modern Life Is Rubbish)
    17. Pavement – Fin (from Brighten the Corners)

    The Low End (part 2):
    1. Beck – Debra (from Midnite Vultures)
    2. Delta Spirit – Ode to Sunshine (from Ode to Sunshine)
    3. Spoon – Chicago At Night (from Girls Can Tell)
    4. Elvis Costello – Watchin the Detectives (from My Aim Is True)
    5. the Pixies – Brick is Red (from Surfer Rosa)
    6. Simon and Garfunkel – At The Zoo (from Bookends)
    7. Elliott Smith – Say Yes (from Either/Or)
    8. The Shins – The Past and Pending (from Oh Inverted World)
    9. Television – Torn Curtain (from Marquee Moon)
    10. David Bowie – The Bewlay Brothers (from Hunky Dory)
    11. BBlitzen Trapper – Lady On The Water (from Furr)
    12. Silver Jews – The Wild Kindness (from American Water)
    13. Franklin For Short – Whisky River (from Swell)
    14. The National – Santa Clara (from Boxer)
    15. They Might Be Giants – Road Movie To Berlin (from Flood)
    16. Grandaddy – The Final Push to the Sum (from Sumday)
    17. Radiohead – The Tourist (from OK Computer)
    18. Aimee Mann – It’s Not (from Lost in Space)
    19. Tall Tales & The Silver Lining – My New New Song (from The Understanding)

    So, for what it’s worth. There’s my take. I can shoot you a copy if you’d like. I figure it’s not a lot of new territory though.
    Hope you’re doing great man.

    • Hey there, WUWRobots. Kudos to you, sir. Seriously, I applaud your effort whole-heartedly, and by all means, YES, send me a copy of both. That would be fantastic.

      Just a couple notes on your choices. My favorite pick of all might be your very first song, “Don’t Ya Rile Em” by Frank Black. I don’t know why it continues to be so overlooked, but his self-titled debut is so fucking good I can’t stand it. I mean, it’s an incredible record. Yes, Teenager of the Year whoops ridiculous ass, too, but how people continue to miss out on his debut is beyond me. Second, I was glad to see you considered not only some of my choices, but songs I also considered but didn’t include on my list, such as Delta Spirit’s “Ode to Sunshine,” Spoon’s “Chicago at Night,” “Jakov’s Suite” by Tapes ‘n Tapes, and, of course, “Fin.” Finally, I don’t know how I botched the Grandaddy thing. For some reason my iTunes was showing “The Warming Sun” as the final track on Sumday, so I made the adjustment above and removed it from my list.

      Two other notes of interest: 1) Cousin Matt was in town this past weekend and I had the honor of playing If I Had a Hi-Fi’s “Rebound” for him. He, too, couldn’t get over the resemblance to Pavement. [Again, If I Had a Hi-Fi is WUWRobots’ band, folks.]; 2) Cousin Matt completed two special mixes that will be up on my blog in the very near future, so stay tuned; and 3) I’ve had to put my first-song mix on hold, as my external drive where my music is stored is all fucked up.

  6. Thanks a lot Brandon. First off, I can’t tell you how flattering it is that you took to Rebound so well. Its very cool. Thank you. I’m also really looking forward to Matt’s new mixes. I saw the most recent blog. My cuts have stalled out a bit, but maybe with this project behind me I’ll revisit it. The great thing is that the mixes could be totally different, yet just as good. Just so much amazing material.
    Man, I’m sorry to hear about your drive (and it’s a little scary too. I have all of my music on an external drive). That just sucks. I hope you can have it fixed.

    You know what’s funny. I had the same problem that you did with the Grandaddy tune, but with My Aim Is True of all albums. My iTunes was saying it was Waiting For The End Of The World. The song actually made the first draft, but luckily it felt weird to me and I looked it up.
    Also, I know we’ve talked about it before, but I just couldn’t possibly agree more with you about the Frank Black debut. That record is just a monster. It felt like he had stopped having fun and finally regained his freedom.

    Thanks again man. I’m really glad the music posts have ramped up. It always makes me really happy to open my inbox and see “{New Post} The ‘Miscellaneous’ Mixes.” I’m really glad you liked mine and I’ll drop them in the mail today with another one that I worked up. Take it easy man.

  7. Hi, Guys. I am very late to this party. I was just perusing the music discussion thread on dameshek.com and I came across mention of a “final track mix” and that really caught my attention and I found my way here. I am a big fan of “constrained” mixes.

    I haven’t sat down to make my own last track mix yet but a couple I would say off the top of my head are:

    The Pixies – “Gouge Away” – Doolittle
    Camper Van Beethoven – “Shut Us Down” – Camper Van Beethoven
    Broken Bells – “The Mall & Misery” – Broken Bells

    I am a big fan of bands ending their albums on a very strong note. Conversely I can’t stand it when they throw a weak boring song at the end of an album as the finisher; which seems to happen far too often.

    The other thing I wanted to add is the constrained mix tape idea I did. A few years ago I had a mix tape party where everyone who came was supposed to put together a “track number mix”. Where each track number on your mix had to correspond to the track number on the source album. The idea was to pick your absolute favorite song in each track position. And you could go up to whatever track number you felt like.

    I don’t have mine in front of me but I know my number 1 was “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” by Wilco and I stopped at #18 with “I Am A Scientist” by GBV.

    I’d love to see what you guys have for the track number list and I can post my full one as well if there is interest.

    • Thanks for the comments, chunk_style. All I can say is better late than number.

      Your notion of a “track number mix” is intriguing. It’s honestly one I’ve never done or even thought of, but now I’m fascinated by it. This is something I’m going to have to pass on to some of my pals, simply because I hadn’t thought of it previously. If I ever get around to putting something together, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts it will be up on my site.

      Thanks again, sir.

      • It’s really funny that this came up because I was just thinking about it a week or so ago. I’ve been on a big All Songs Considered kick and they were doing a “best opening tracks” episode, and it came up that it seems that the third song on a record is quite often strategically where you put the best song (kind of analogous like a baseball line-up) and it had me thinking about making a track 3 mix recently. I never got around to it, but I’ve had it on the brain of late.

        • It’s funny you should mention that, as I was just thinking about “An Ear for Baby” by The Thermals on The Body, The Blood, The Machine and “Modern Man” by Arcade Fire on The Suburbs. Not sure why, really, but both of those tracks are track 3, respectively. I always thought track 6 or track 7 (depending on a record being a 10-song or 12-song album, respectively) was always intentionally placed, too, as it’s typically the first song of “side B,” so to speak.

          • That is the great thing about the track number mix. The terrible decisions you have to make. Like picking between your kids!

            I actually noticed the track 3 thing myself years ago. And there are definitely a ton of great songs at track 3. But for me that kind of was an easy decision. I had to go with “Girlfriend” by Matthew Sweet. My favorite song when I was just starting to get into music.

          • I love the idea of stacking records, part of why I enjoy mixes so much, and I think thats why them saying it stuck with me so much. When Hi-Fi made our record years ago, because I took on a good portion of the post work myself, I ended up ultimately deciding the track order (everyone signed off and everything, but I put it together and I think everyone just sort of agreed that it was a good order). Anyways I went into it thinking of it like a set list or really a lot of mix tape philosophy. You want to open with “the single” and close really strong and intentionally with a feeling of closure (because of the whole idea of people remembering the last thing by far the most clearly), but people may be very tempted to turn you off at track 3 if you’re not really strong. Obviously, you hopefully like and stand by all of your songs but song 2 lets you change gears a bit and you really want to have a nice punch at 3. I feel like if you can offer up a really strong 1 and 3 you’ll earn a lot of credit with the listener.

            I don’t know, I’ve just always thought that stuff was fun. Switching the order around can have such a huge impact on the strength of a record.

  8. Honestly, chunk_style, the more I think about it, the more unlikely it seems I’ll ever get around to it. I mean, it’s a daunting task to try to come up with a mix like this, as I’d need to pore over virtually every record I own. Like Sophie’s Choice times infinity.

    • I will admit it does take some work. But once you get started it isn’t so bad. Since the goal is to pick your absolute favorite tracks you can eliminate a lot of albums with nothing more than a glance.

      But I don’t mean to sound like I am pressuring you to do it. Some of my friends bitched at me when they were making theirs because they hated having to decide.


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