A while ago, I started a Mixtape Club on NZM. The first assignment was a mixtape based on other mixtapes you’ve received. It took a fuck of a long time to get everyone’s submissions in, but finally I (kind of) did. Here are the linear notes that accompanied mine, so you can play along at home!
1. Patti Smith: ‘Free Money’
This song should be on every mixtape ever made, it?s just that awesome. My number one fantasy until recently has been based around sitting on someone?s floor while they play me all their favourite records which would definitely include this from Horses. But then I decided to stop waiting for the fantasy and to just buy my own bloody record player.
2. The Dead Souls: ‘One More Little Death’
“Oh yeah Jo, we all know why you put this track on”.
“Shut up, voice in my head. I really like this song”.
3. Liz Phair: ‘Fuck and Run’
When I started ninth grade, the American school I was at had a Big Brother/Big Sister programme in place. I’d circled that I didn’t want either a big brother or a big sister, and had listed ‘Grunge/alternative/weirdo music’ as my interest in life, which meant that I got matched up with one Brittany Tobiason, who wrote me a letter going “you seem about as interested in this as me, so how about we team up?”. It was 1994, and Brittany was from SEATTLE. She was basically God to me, the way she wrote lines of poetry on her cigarettes, drank rum from a Superman drink bottle and discussed philosophy over endless cups of coffee. She also made me my first ever mixtape called Jerry, which introduced me to many bands that would be incredibly important to my development, like Liz Phair, and PJ Harvey and Hole. Brittany was so fucking awesome.
4. American Music Club: ‘Last Harbour’
I once received a 23 page letter from someone who reads Hubris who’d emailed to say that since he read my site every day and it made him feel happy he wanted to send me a present for my 21st. Some people would go “freeeeeaaaaak” in reply to that, but I said “hell yeah” and he included this song on one of the compilations he sent me.
5. Bright Eyes: ‘Lover I Don?t Have to Love’
As the divine Miss Fur said on NZM “It seems to win Joanna’s affections musically you need to include songs about sex… see Bright Eyes – Lover I Don’t Have to Love…” well, that?s what she did. I heart this song and while I am of course not a shiny Emo rockstar boy, I can relate somewhat.
6. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood ‘Summer Wine’
All good mixtapes should have some auld-skool gem on it. That’s the rules. I remember singing this song on long long family car trips, and more recently I resurrected it for a compilation of summer songs I gave to everyone I was friends with that summer. I’m sorry if it puts Jessica Simpson in your head though.
7. Augie March: ‘Asleep in Perfection’
When my friend Annabel had to borrow an episode of The Secret Life of Us that I’d taped off me, she made me a mix CD called Cherries in return. This waltzy song from the Australian band who were played on the show quite a lot ties it all together.
8. Ani DiFranco: ‘Soft Shoulder’
“I will say I have saved / every letter you ever wrote to me”.
I am a prolific letter-writer, but what I hate is that if it’s an actual pen and paper affair, you give it to someone when you’re giving them metaphorical pieces of your heart, and then you don’t get it back afterwards, when it turns out that the letter receivee totally wasn’t worth your words. I don’t think the boy who used to play me this song ever kept my letters. He made sure I had very few physical momentos of him as well. But you can read all about that in my zine 101 Stories That I Want to Tell You. Haha, advertising myself in linear notes. So classy.
9. The Cure: ‘Fascination Street’
Yeah, you’ve probably heard this one many times before, but have you ever heard it loud enough? I don?t think I have. This is one of those songs that needs to be turned up so loud that all you can do is drown in it ? and “move to the beat like you know that it’s over”. It gets to be included here because the man mentioned in #4 put it on a mixtape (an actual tape!) of songs about lust. Ahhh long distance impotency, how amusing you are.
10. PJ Harvey: ‘A Perfect Day, Elise’
The boy from #8 gave me Is This Desire? with a note taped to it saying “Yes!” and I thought that was the most romantic thing in the whole wide world ever. Then he left, and I lost this CD, and when PJ played the BDO she didn?t play anything off this album, and for a while I started to think that maybe it didn’t exist at all. But of course it does, and this song is so awesome that it makes me hold my breath while it’s playing, and then I get all light-headed and that makes the song even more awesome.
11. Fur Patrol: ‘The Lover’
This song is so underrated. I put it on a compilation of all my favourite Nu Zulland Music for someone a long way away, and they said they loved it too, and that’s good.
12. Big Star: ’13’
Phew! After all the intensity of most of the other tracks on this mix, I thought it’d be good to finish off with something incredibly sweet and simple. This came from a CD called Pimpu wa doko desuka? (Where are the pimps?) that arrived in my old work PO box, and I had no idea who the hell it was from for a long time, because it had someone’s real name on it, when I only thought of them by their online nickname. So there you go.