This is a new recurring feature. To read about the reasoning behind it, go here (summary: trying to make the map the territory [less abstract summary: making mixtapes of my whole memory])
Mixtape #1: Walking To School
((The Unicorns – Jellybones//Wolf Parade – Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts//Modest Mouse – Black Cadillacs//Andrew Byrd – A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left//Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position//Broken Social Scene – Almost Crimes//The Blood Brothers – Crimes//Interpol – Public Pervert//Neutral Milk Hotel – A Baby For Pree//Deerhoof – L’Amour Stories//Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress//of Montreal – Our British Tour Diary//Sufjan Stevens – Cum On Feel The Illinoise//LCD Soundsytem – Losing My Edge))
I think the moment when it clicked with me that I was maybe taking music a little bit more seriously than some others was when a girl in my class in fourth year told me that I’d blanked her twice that week in the car park in the mornings, and that I looked like I had been having a lot of fun walking along by myself with my big headphones on.
For a long time (okay, until I finished secondary school), my ‘favourite songs’ were the ones from walking to school. I spouted pretentiously a lot about how full albums were important (and I still do that), but if I really loved a song, I’d walked to school for an entire week listening to nothing else. Stepping out of the house, still dark at 8am on a rainy suburban December or sweating my way to an exam in June, and listening to nothing else but one song the whole way, skipping back to the start in my pocket as soon as it ended.
Really, as much as you can convince yourself you like this band that are cool or that band a girl likes, that mp3 player era version of wearing a record out is the truest version of fealty to a band and a song. You end up knowing every word, wanting to get into situations where you can shout them for some obscure reason.
A lot of what’s on this tape came from data CDs and USB sticks given to me by my friend Goo who was a couple of years older and connected to the world outside Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand by the Secret Unicorns Forum. A lot of it ended up pretty lame, but it was all the most important shit ever to me at one point.
One of my favourite life memories is playing A Baby For Pree in the school talent show in sixth year and having my friend’s mother ask if I was alright. Broken Social Scene was the only thing apart from The Strokes everyone agreed on at house parties when I was figuring how to have friends and drink beer. The band I was in attempted to cover at least two of these, and we probably subconsciously emulated three or four more. And yeah I was really into Matisyahu for ages. It’s not really clear in retrospect why. I saw him live on a fake ID and bought a t-shirt.
This is the generation of dude I was in school.
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME