Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Enjoy Every Sink Bath: Songs of 2011

Last week I finished up my second ever year-end musical mix CD: "Enjoy Every Sink Bath," a collection of songs I was really into during 2011. Some of the songs were released in the past 12 months, and many were released long ago. A full track listing appears below, and with one exception, all songs are available for download on iTunes.

The project's title alludes to Warren Zevon's quote on death and dying -- "Enjoy every sandwich." -- and extends the playful theme of that advice while honoring the departed Buffalo Bill, our family's pet guinea pig, who is seen above, enjoying his sink bath.

My first try at a mix CD was in 2008, which was when Buffalo Bill passed away. I got the idea of compiling a gift CD from a co-worker, Ryan, and in tribute to Buffalo Bill, I named my annuary "The Year of the Buffalo" and slapped a photo of him on the cover. That mix was a lot of fun to put together, although it was challenging to fit all my favorite (at the time) music onto a single CD.

Since then, I've spent less and less time discovering new music, have been listening to music less, in general. Part of that is because listening to new music actually requires time and effort. Whereas I used to check out new tunes during periods at work when I was performing dull, data entry-related tasks, lately my work has required greater concentration and fewer uninterrupted blocks during which I can immerse myself in whatever's hot on Pitchfork/Stereogum/AV Club/etc.

Mostly though, I blame it on Ryan leaving our company nearly two years ago (don't worry, his mix CDs are still going strong)

Anyhow, this year I was re-energized with respect to engaging in music. I trotted out to local festivals (Outside Lands, Bridge School Benefit, Noise Pop), became smitten with Spotify, and actually purchased new music for the first time in lord knows how long. Even better, I learned that several of my favorite co-workers share my musical tastes, and they have pointed me in the direction of new stuff all year long.

Once I decided that I wanted to make a mix CD to say "thanks," the main challenges were 1) ordering the various songs in a enjoyable flow, 2) getting my track list under 80 minutes, and 3) choosing only one song per artist. I had to cheat a little bit (removing 25 seconds of near silence for space consideration, editing two tracks into one) but the night before I wanted to hand them out, I finally had to stop tinkering and sat down to spend a few hours burning 30 copies.

Well, I thought it went off without a hitch, but a few folks have started to tell me that their CDs do not contain track data. I confirmed this when I inserted one of them into my hard drive and iTunes displays the list as "Track 01," "Track 02," etc. I was initially totally bummed about that because the whole point was to share music with my friends, so I decided to post the track list at the bottom of this blog entry, and also provide a back story to the album name.

Enjoy Every Sink Bath | Songs of 2011

Track | Artist
Los Peces En El Rio | Gipsy Kings
Who Could Win A Rabbit | Animal Collective
Fine Fine | Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations
Bleecker Street | Simon and Garfunkel
The Breakup | The Rural Alberta Advantage
Blue Spotted Tail | Fleet Foxes
My Favourite Book (Flack) | Stars
Need You Now | Cut Copy
For Better or Worse | JF Robitaille
The Ghost Of Tom Joad | Junip
Drmz | A.A. Bondy
Fell Thru Ice (Complete) | Memory Tapes
Call Me Back | The Strokes
Point of View | Pujol
I Saw The Light | Spoon
Desperados Under The Eaves (Live at WMMS) | Warren Zevon
Angel Is Broken | Atlas Sound
So Well | Dawes
Another Wave from You | M83
Little Lion Man (Live) | Mumford & Sons

If you didn't receive a copy and would like to, or if you did receive a copy and want me to correct the track info on your copy of "Enjoy Every Sink Bath," please get in touch; I'd hate for the reason you don't listen to this music to be that it required your time and effort.