Since (roughly) my senior year of college, I’ve made a monthly mix CD (February 2002 might still be the crowning achievement), capturing what I was listening to, where I was, and what I was into at the time. Well, almost every month: a few months here and there I’ve slipped, but only, of course, to ensure that the next month’s mix was all the more glorious. Of course. And, inspired by my recent purchase and early reading of “Life,” Keith Richards’ autobiography—which, a few chapters in, is the most facemeltingly badass thing I’ve ever read—I’ve decided to grace this space with an account of my monthly mixes, with contemporaneous commentary on their construction, as appropriate.
Before we get into the down and dirty, though, I might as well (like any honest mix CD connoisseur) lay out the ground rules. First, it must clock in at less than 80 minutes. Thus, it must be burnable. Second, it must contain a significant number of recent finds, whether new songs or rediscovered ones, yet it must also reflect that month in the life of Young Master Wolford with as much fidelity as possible, whether lyrically, musically, or both (note that track 10 below falls squarely in the “musically” category, not the other two). Third, repeats across months are admissible (witness the shockingly frequent recurrence of Uncle Tupelo’s “Gun” from 2004 to 2005), but they must be significant (as in, my brief fascination with Kid Rock’s “I am the Bullgod” likely won’t result in frequent appearances). Fourth, the title must be both absurd and devoid of relation to the common thread of the songs themselves; it must be awesome, yet make no sense (sort of like my research agenda, no?). Finally, the sequencing must be flawless: to quote an old friend, anything less than the best is a felony.
With that said, here’s the October 2010 mix CD, entitled “Free Enes” (Google it if you’re curious, and if you’re a basketball fan, well, Free Enes) in all its glory:
- The End – Kings of Leon
- Rebels – Drive-By Truckers
- All Your Lies – Soundgarden
- Road Cases – Drive-By Truckers
- Church on Tuesday – Stone Temple Pilots
- No Money – Kings of Leon
- John the Baptist – The Afghan Whigs
- What Are You Willing to Lose – Lucero
- Wolves (Song Of The Shepherd’s Dog) – Iron & Wine
- No One Loves Me & Neither Do I – Them Crooked Vultures
- 3’s & 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
- Shot Shot – Gomez
- (Bang a Gong) Get It On – T. Rex
- You Wreck Me – Tom Petty
- Bring Your Lovin’ Back Here – Gomez
- Low Light – Pearl Jam
- No Hidden Path – Neil Young
All in all, a great month musically, but it’s certainly dominated by the Kings, yet punctuated by my recent re-discovery of how much of a badass Greg Dulli is (expect some Twilight Singers in November, folks). And, in the interest of full disclosure, track 2 (as well as Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy”) could be on every mix CD I ever make. It just happened to be on this one…and, perhaps, the next nine. November’s shaping up well, showing at this point a healthy dose of The Dead Weather and Pink Floyd…but we’ll see where it ends up…
…oh, and long live Ben Nichols. Just saying.