Monday, February 16, 2015

Ethno-autobio-historico-social-music: the last mixtape, Jason Kohn's Brazil

Well, again, this mixtape is unnamed, so I could give it a name based on the cover that Jason made:

Or maybe I could name it after the music in it. After all "Chimp sex" doesn't really let you know what you're in for, but "Brazil" does capture some of this mixtape's strong Brazilian tilt.

Side A:

  1. Gal Costa e Caetano Veloso - Baby
  2. Flaming Lips - The Spark That Bled
  3. Gilberto Gil - Aquele Abraco
  4. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Raining in Darling
  5. Jim O'Rourke - Women of the World
  6. Jorge Ben Jor - Por Causa de Voce
  7. Jorge Ben Jor - Choue Chuva 
  8. Jorge Ben Jor - Mas Que Nada
  9. Outkast - Rosa Parks
  10. Palace Music - New Partner
  11. Os Mutantes - Adeus Maria Fulo
  12. Arto Lindsay - Simply Are
  13. Otto - Bob
  14. Archers of Loaf - Assassination on X-Mas Eve

Side B:

  1. Commercial - Untitled
  2. hollAnd - Turpentine
  3. Tom Ze - Gene (UI remix)
  4. Dirty Three - I Remember a Time When Once You Used to Love Me
  5. Brian Eno - Golden House
  6. Kraftwerk - Pocket Calculator
  7. Sam Prekop - So Shy
  8. Jorge Ben Jor - Take It Easy My Brother Charles
  9. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See a Darkness
  10. Modest Mouse - Sleepwalking
  11. The Roots - You Got Me
  12. Brokeback - The Great Banks

Oh man, I just remembered that I went to the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2006 and saw Os Mutantes live. Or at least, I think I did. I'm reading the 2006 lineup and there are so many good bands on the list--Futureheads, Aesop Rock, Ted Leo, Art Brut, The National, Jens Lekman, Spoon, etc. I can't possibly have seen them all. Can I?

(I could just enjoy the mystery and unknowability, but who do you think I am, the Serial podcast? If you want to know all about my Pitchfork experience in 2006, I wrote up a report on my old blog.)

This is the last mixtape from my car; and, just like the first mixtape, there are some songs here that are carved into my skin, Kafka's "Penal Colony"-style, and some that never got in me, Kafka's "Before the Law"-style. Enough with the Kafka, already, let's talk about Modest Mouse and Kraftwerk and Archers of Loaf and Os Mutantes and the Flaming Lips and Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben Jor...

Maybe we should talk about Jorge Ben Jor since he's most represented on this tape and I don't really remember his stuff. Though now, thanks to the magic of the internet, you can find songs like "Take It Easy My Brother Charles."

And it's still good. I haven't listened to these tapes in a long time; even before I sold my car, its tape deck wasn't consistently working. (And when was the last time you heard someone say "tape deck"?) And somewhere along the way, I guess I started listening to more books on tape and podcasts. But, guys, music can be really good. That's a dumb conclusion--vague and impersonal--to a very long, specific, and quasi-personal trip through my mixtapes, but that's what I got.

That and: I miss mixtapes.

Or how about this as a thought: Before the internet made us all curators--and apologies to my friends who are actually curators!--the mixtape was the primary form of curation. Before the internet made it easy to reach out your hand (or your, ahem, Napster) and for all the music you wanted to come to you, getting music like this was a more personal or at least more physical act. Sure, it was harder back then, but there's still something very ineternety about the mixtape.

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