Year-end mix: Too much of a good thing edition

Part 1: Cookies

Here in the midwest, December rolls around and you start getting invited to Christmas cookie parties. Everyone makes their favorite recipe. Much hilarity ensues, with (literally) too many cooks in the kitchen and the oven going full-blast for hours. The smell of butter and sugar permeates your clothes. You leave your neighbor’s house exhausted, with a delightful variety of goodies. Unfortunately, your bakery booty is more than you will ever, ever be able to consume. You hope never to see another cookie again in your life.

Part 2: A white Christmas

It’s great to see some snow on the ground at holiday time. Festive, magical, pristine snow. Not so nice: eighteen inches overnight, blizzard-level winds, and snapped trees everywhere. As you probably noticed this year, nature is awesome, but she can be a total bitch.

Part 3: “Learning experiences”

Once in college, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by circumstances and the general pace of change, I said to one of my professors, “Does it always feel like this? Do things ever get any simpler?” She thought about it and said, “Life doesn’t get easier…but your ability to manage it steadily increases.” For years I hung onto that bit of insight whenever it felt like the universe was having a laugh at my expense.

This year I turned forty, and when my former professor was in town we went out to dinner to catch up. It had been a particularly bumpy several months, so I thanked her for giving me strength to get through tough times. “It’s so amazing how wise you were back then,” I said. “You knew exactly what to say. And you were so much younger than I am now!”

“I have absolutely no recollection of telling you that,” she replied, laughing, “but I can assure you I felt every bit as overwhelmed as you. I was just faking it!”

And just like that, she hit me with another epiphany. ‘Imposter syndrome’ never goes away. And we are always somewhere right near the edge of what we feel like can handle.

So anyway, here’s to slightly less character-building adventures in 2013.

Download here.

1. Over the Border—Saint Etienne
2. Motion Sickness—Hot Chip
3. (I’m In Love With Your) Girlfriend—Citizens!
4. Love Is Greed—Passion Pit
5. Hypnose—Lescop
6. Lost In My Bedroom—Sky Ferreira
7. Der Microarc—Violens
8. Never Come Down—Alice Cohen
9. Disappearing Industries—Grass Widow
10. Cherokee—Cat Power
11. Grown Up Blues—Chairlift
12. Cold Shoulders—Gold Motel
13. Free—Noisettes
14. Devils Work—Miike Snow
15. Roskilde -94—Familjen
16. Controller—Blouse
17. & & &—Rebecca Gates & The Consortium
18. Do My Thang (ft. Janelle Monae)—Estelle
19. By Your Side Part 2 (ft. Pacific!)—Breakbot

    5 responses to “Year-end mix: Too much of a good thing edition”

    1. Bryan says:

      Hurrah! Thx. Can’t wait to listen. Nate and I are working on one as well. Coming soon, I hope.

    2. FPS says:

      You know, I think I am sincere when I say I would be fine with not seeing another snowflake again ever. Christmas cookies, on the other hand, are always welcome.

      OMG I HAVE SO MANY MIXES TO DOWNLOAD.

    3. Bryan says:

      We’re kicking off our New Year’s party to this mix as I type.

    4. Farrell Fawcett says:

      Rachel–
      Since I’m here posting comments tonight I would be very remiss not to mention just how much I’ve loved this mix. I think I’ve played it more than any other previous mix of yours (which is saying a lot! Was it all my flights lately?). I don’t know how the Sky Ferreira song escaped my notice this year, but I have had a huge crush ever since you put it here. Thank you! It’s the kind of song I totally LOVE. It reminds me of something Robyn woulda put out this year. Do you get that too? Anyway, I only knew three songs here. So a great intro to cool songs I never heard. The best kind of mix tape. You rule. Like BW and NW’s year-end. (And Tim and Jen’s obviously). I still love love the cultural usefulness of TGW. Cheers to you honey! Stay cool! XO!

    5. Rachel says:

      Farrell, you really are the sweetest. It is always so gratifying how much attention you devote to discovering the music in these mixes. There’s a theory in lit crit that all authors write to an “ideal reader,” someone who will catch all their references, get the jokes, appreciate the language. You, sir, are the closest thing to an ideal listener that could possibly exist. And I eagerly await your latest mix!

      Great call on the Sky Ferreira song. It makes me want Robyn to cover it immediately. Sky is still so young that she is casting about for a style of her own–one song sounds like Tracey Thorne, another like Shirley Manson, certainly the Robyn thing. I’m also hearing a lot of Alison Goldfrapp in there too. But I hope that eventually she will outgrow the magpie thing and sound more uniquely like herself.

      Like Bryan, I finally stopped resisting the 80s throwback sound. That Violens album (“True”–a deliberate Spandau reference?) is especially magnificent.