At the end of 2004, I considered putting together a mix cd of favorite songs from the previous year. It had, in fact, been a bumper year for songs I liked, and when Jen Scott gave me a copy of her Christmas mix for that year, I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, she had beaten me to the punch on including Cake's "Wheels" and the version of Jay-Z's "99 Problems" from the Grey Album. Dagnabit. But I put together the 2004 Beukemix, recycling a name I had used for mix tapes I made my friend James in high school. I've done one each year since then, and I am working on getting the '07 mix distributed.
Jen tends to include with the CD some background on her selections, why she likes them, where she heard them. I haven't in the past, but now that I'm in the business of blogospheric navel-gazing, YOU, dear reader, reap the dividend. Below is the track list for the Beukemix 2007, with some chatter for each song, and if possible, a link to a Youtube or other Thing you can use to listen to the song. Links may require certain plugins to listen or watch, and in many cases, I have not seen and therefore will not comment on the video. Enjoy!
The 2007 Beukemix
1. Insistor – Tapes & Tapes
The Beukemix is a mostly chronological mix of songs from the past year, so the first songs tend to be leftovers from the end of the year before that. I got the Tapes & Tapes album after hearing "Just Drums" on The Current in December '05 (they're a Minneapolis band, but got some good national attention). I ended up not using them in '05 or '06, but started loving this song just after finishing the '06 mix.
2. Born To Be Wild – Fanfare Ciocarlia
(Note: the video begins with some high pitched Japanese chatter. Bear with it for the awesomeness.) This song was in the end credits of the Borat movie, and is fantastic. If I ever go insane, I think I'll run this song inside my head all the time. I enjoy a good horn section, and for a horn section, you can't go wrong with a Gypsy Brass band.
3. Kingdom of Doom – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Another all-star side project of Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). Produced by Danger Mouse (The Grey Album, The Gorillaz' "Demon Days," Gnarls Barkley).
4. Feeling Good – Nina Simone
My wife became somewhat obsessed with this song early in '07, and we had many full-volume sing alongs.
5. Dreaming of You – The Coral
My friend Hetz was using my PC to dump a bunch of songs on his iPod, and he suggested I might like this song. He was very perceptive. Horn section count = 2.
6. Hold Tight – Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
"For your information, Pete Townsend, at one point, almost quit The Who. And if he had, he would have ended up in this group, thus making it Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, Tich and Pete. And if you ask me, he should have." As discussed in "Death Proof," Quentin Tarantino's half of "Grindhouse." This video, from a British talk show in the 60s, makes me embarrassed for the band.
7. The Moon – The Advantage
The song is from the Ducktales game for the NES.
8. Kid On My Shoulders – White Rabbits
Heard this a bunch on the Current in the Spring.
9. Breathe Me - Sia
This one almost made the mix a couple years ago when it was on the radio. Made the cut this year due to its prominent use in the devastating last ten minutes of the TV show "Six Feet Under." Don't watch that second clip if you're not ok with spoilers or crying in front of your computer.
10. Knights of Cydonia – Muse
Nels recommended this on his blog a while back. It's amazing. I've spent much of the year anticipating its inclusion in Guitar Hero III. I was not disappointed, and have never had more fun having my ass handed to me by a video game.
11. Just – Mark Ronson feat. Alex Greenwald
Sweet cover of an old Radiohead track. Horn section count = 3.
12. A Martyr For My Love For You – The White Stripes
The White Stripes are a perennial Beukemix favorite. Narrowly decided on this song instead of "Icky Thump."
13. Nice Day – Persephone’s Bees
Melissa and I heard this on the Current running errands one day. It immediately made the list.
14. Tarantula – Smashing Pumpkins
This could've been on one of their albums in the mid-90s, and appeals directly to the part of my brain that loves "Siamese Dream" and about 30% of "Mellon Collie".
15. A Million Ways – OK Go
Coworker Quin recommended the OK Go's self-made music videos. They're fantastic. The video for "Here It Goes Again" is actually cooler, but this song fit the mix better.
16. Fixing a Hole – The Beatles
Melissa suggested on the way to a movie one night that I consider the greatness of this song, one from "Sgt. Pepper" that I'd largely overlooked. She's more of a lyrics than sound person, and I'm the opposite, so the greatness of the song for me is all about the echo on McCartney's vocals and the bouncy George Harrison guitar solo.
17. Can’t Tell Me Nothing – Kanye West
A late addition to the mix after I realized I didn't have any hip-hop on here. The alternate video (linked) is what got me into this song. Kanye can be kind of pretentious, but his ego is sort of a necessary component to his persona. The video featuring comedian Zach Galifianakis and musician Will Oldham nicely sends it up.
18. Junior Kickstart – The Go! Team
Several friends were super-into the Go! Team a year or so ago. Had seen and loved the video for this, too, but finally borrowed the CD from Joe in October. Now I play this when I drive recklessly in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Horn section count = 4.
19. Little Boxes – Tim DeLaughter
We watched all three seasons of Weeds this fall, and as we became convinced that Nancy Botwin is a terrible mother, drug dealer, and person, we enjoyed the all-star variations on the opening theme, a song about suburbs from the early 1960s, and the origin of the phrase "ticky-tacky." This version, by the leader of the Polyphonic Spree, is a good one. Horn section count = 5.
20. Powerman – The Kinks
Featured in "The Darjeeling Limited". Couldn't find a good link to the whole song.
21. Still Alive – GLaDOS (Jonathan Coulton & Ellen McLain)
This song comes in the end credits of "Portal," the best video game of 2007. In it, a robot, the antagonist of the game, sings a song to you, the protagonist, about how proud she is of you even though you killed her. Spoilers abound, if you think you might play the game sometime. This is the single nerdiest entry in the Beukemix, ever. If you are, in fact, a nerd, check out the works of Jonathan Coulton, who wrote the song. I especially like his acoustic cover of Baby Got Back.
22. Say It Ain’t So - Weezer
I discovered when playing Rock Band at Joe's house that I really like this song, and especially like singing along with it. The faces Rivers Cuomo makes at the beginning of the video are the same ones I would make if I could play guitar for real instead of just in video games.
If I ever write a blog more self-indulgent than this, I will be surprised.