Mixtape: Senior Year

Finished this a couple weeks ago, shortly after I made my video, and promptly forgot about it. It was hard, ’cause I wanted a mix that would represent my senior year and still be enjoyable/worthwhile for others – both personal and accessible. So here, for your listening pleasure (hopefully): assemble it yourself, or ask, and I’ll burn ya a copy!

1. Time to Pretend
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

I guess this meant to be ironic since it’s the bkhipsterkings we’re talkin’ about here, but I also guess it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to interpret it that way. …I like to consider it both ways. “This is our decision to live fast and die young – we’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun! Yeah it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do? Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?”

2. After Hours
We Are Scientists – After Hours (Single)

My favorite to listen to as I’m getting ready to go out at 11pm and stay out til sunrise. “We’re all right where we’re supposed to be. Time means nothing. Say that you’ll stay.”

3. Blankest Year
Nada Surf – The Weight is a Gift

I don’t know why this isn’t my friends’ anthem: “Oh, fuck it. I’m gonna have a party.”

4. Come Around
Counting Crows – Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings

Not a huge fan of the latest CC album, but I dig this tune, and it makes me think of holding on and moving forward at the same time. “It’s one of the reasons when we say goodbye, we’ll still come around.”

5. Only the Good Die Young
Billy Joel – Greatest Hits Vol. I

Cliché but I had to.

6. Float On
Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Also kind of a cliché I guess but whatever. It’s something everyone should remember. “Even if things end up a bit too heavy, we’ll all float on, all right.”

7. Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances

The band of a dude who graduated here in ’08 and “made it” in the real world, AND a Shakespeare reference = double win. “And there’ll be no more cigarettes, no more having sex, no more drinking ’til you fall on the floor…you better watch where you run your mouth, ’cause you know what they’ll say to you. They’ll say, YOUR LIFE IS OVER…”

8. Flying Model Rockets
The Front Bottoms – The Front Bottoms 2.0

My senior year wouldn’t have been the same without numerous live performances by these guys. At least, I don’t think it would have been the same. “Look at our plans, try to understand, what could have happened to all of them?”

9. Sleepyhead
Passion Pit – Manners (or Chunk of Change EP if you wanna be a purist.)

A dance party staple this year that spread like wildfire, with a wonderful line at the end of the first verse: “You were one inch from the edge of this bed. I dragged you back, a sleepyhead…”

10. Sweet Disposition
The Temper Trap – Conditions

Okay, (500) Days of Summer was one of my favorite movies of last year. I watched it a lot with my friends this semester, and the soundtrack has been a constant companion of mine since last September. This song instantly became one of my favorite tracks, and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: it makes me nostalgic for things that never happened, as well as for things that have. “So stay there, ’cause I’ll be coming over while our blood’s still young, so young, it runs, and we won’t stop ’til it’s over, won’t stop to surrender.”

11. Let Go
Frou Frou – Details

“It’s all right, ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.” Mad snaps to the Garden State soundtrack. If there’s a single film of the past 10 years that manages to convey (if indulgently) the twenty-something angst, the quarter-life crisis, the post-grad-confusion, this is it.

12. Empire Ants (ft. Little Dragon)
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

One word: Georgia. More words: a stand-out track on a great album with haunting synths and lovely dreaminess: “And if the whole world is crashing down, fall through space, out of mind with me, where the emptiness we leave behind on warm air rising blows all the shadows far away…”

13. Once Upon a Time There Was an Ocean
Paul Simon – Surprise

In this, our moment of crisis, another clearly-defined time of transition, Paul Simon delivers empathy with every word: “Outta here, when am I gonna get outta here? And when will I cash in my lottery ticket, and bury my past with my burdens and strife? I want to shake every limb in the garden of Eden, and make every lover the love of my life. I figure that once upon a time I was an ocean, but now I’m a mountain range: something unstoppable set into motion. Nothing is different, but everything’s changed.”

14. There Goes the Fear
Doves – The Last Broadcast

I made a video of mah friendz to this song. It’s energetic but a bit nostalgic at the same time. “You turn around and life’s passed you by. You look to ones you love to ask them why…Think of me when you’re coming down, but don’t look back when leaving town today…”

15. Stillness is the Move
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

One of the lightest, happiest, most joyous songs I’ve heard in the past year. A declaration of faith that reminds us that we still have so much to celebrate! “Isn’t life under the sun just a crazy, crazy, crazy dream?”

16. Last Words
The Real Tuesday Weld – The London Book of the Dead

“So we sat by the laundromat with magazines and cigarettes and talked about a million other things.” Countless nights spent similarly to this, even though I don’t smoke. I wouldn’t trade ’em for the world.

17. Home
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes – Up from Below

“Laugh until we think we’ll die, barefoot on a summer night – nothin’ new is sweeter than with you…Home is whenever I’m with you.” Thanks #5bee.

18. Jesus, Etc.
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Dear Friends: “Don’t cry. You can rely on me, honey. You can come by any time you want. I’ll be around. You were right about the stars – each one is a setting sun.” Love, Me.

19. Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

The postscript. More cliché but I don’t care. I wanted something from The Graduate, but any S&G is enough for me, and this felt more applicable. Somehow “Mrs. Robinson” just wasn’t grand enough to place here. “Your time has come to shine. All your dreams are on their way.” ❤

Honorable Mentions: These are songs I wanted to add, but they just didn’t make the cut. I highly suggest you check ’em out anyway.

  • You’ve Got the Love – Florence + the Machine – Lungs
  • We Are Birds – Chris Ayer – This is the Place
  • To Kingdom Come – Passion Pit – Manners
  • Part of Corey – Akron/Family – Akron/Family
  • I’ll Be on the Water – Akron/Family – Akron/Family
  • Be Here Now – Ray LaMontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black
  • This is the Time – Billy Joel – The Bridge
  • Stop This Train – John Mayer – Continuum
  • Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson – Number Ones
  • This Will Be Our Year – The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle
  • Just in Time – Nina Simone – Nina Simone: The Tomato Collection
  • My Girls – Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion