In Praise of Messy Lives: A soundtrack

God it feels weird getting up on this TGW stage again. It's been a real long time since I was up here. It was May 2012. It was to share something called Farrell and Trixie's Memorial Day mix. That was nine months ago. Just weeks before all the changes. All the conclusions. The untanglings. The moving truck.


Actually, the real title of this mix is: Songs to play really loud and drive your car too fast to (or run too fast to) or just kind of feel fucked up to. or feel fucking rad to.

Long pause.

Fuck. Staring into the spotlight. Tapping the mic. Is this on?

So, it's been an expectedly bad time here in Philly. Thank you thank you for all of your visits and mailings and messages and prolonged sad hugs and kind words and sacred tones of voice and knowing looks and buoyant hand waves and purchased drinks and back-patting and future plannings. Even when the possibilities seemed absurd. Youse have been sitting shiva with me. With me and R. And W. I felt you out there. Your goodwill and love and sadness. Thanks. It's been so touching, so uplifting. Mercifully, time moves on. Things are really much already just so much tons better. Better for sure!! Right?! The sun is moving North again. There's a spring coming. And Bryan just keeps on pushing. (Thanks Bry!) Clearly, it's about time to emerge again and send along my mixmas.

This one is quite unique, a compendium, an urgent-care compress of sorts, a cocktail, the perfect pill, of some of last year's most played, most helpful songs. Because this mix is really exactly that. Helpful. Maybe not tonight. Or this month. Or this year. Or this decade. But someday you might need this mix. And I'm sorry when that day comes for you. Really sorry. But these songs are little pain killers. Physically comforting songs. Useful for discharging very ugly emotions. Discharging them with that unavoidable mix of self-pity and fuck-the-worldness that comes so natural to these situations. I call it canarthacism ™. (catharsis and narcissism) These songs grab your hand and say let's get the hell out of here, you beleaguered hero. You don't deserve this. There is a better place for us. Run, hurry, let's get there! Hurry! Come on precious, we'll make it!!

In the mean time, these songs still work well in a variety of other less aggrieved, less crisis-ed, heart-broken situations. This mix is great for losing weight. And being ok with losing security. And for training for half marathons. And for collecting things. Like speeding tickets. And knee injuries. And hangovers. For flooding your brain with dopamine. Or alcohol. For imagining new futures. For the exquisite pleasures of crying. For dreaming big. Delusionally gigantic. And feeling awesome. And horrible. In the fast lane. In the ocean by night. Driving 100 miles an hour. Running seven minute miles. Not knowing which direction is the surface. Come there with me. It's full catastrophe living. It's beautiful. It's rare. It's brief. You have a body for fucksake. We are young. We are all still sensation seekers. Let's do this!

And I'll be back in three weeks with another mix. Quite different. Just as rewarding. God, it's nice to be back on this stage. Now go listen to this mix and come back and say something really dickish and smart and sneery. I wouldn't want anything less. I've missed youse! Oh, and happy Valentines Day! (fart sound!)

The playlist:

1.) “Be above it” Tame Impala
2.) “The house that heaven built” Japandroids
3.) “Home tonight” Eux Autres
4.) “Heart full of Pentagrams” Film School
5.) “Year of the Glad” Marnie Stern
6.) “You already know” Ghost Light
7.) “All United Grocery” Neighbors
8.) “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)” Crocodiles
9.) “The Best Part” Letting up Despite Great Faults
10.) “Deconstruction” Fanfarlo
11.) “OX4” Ride
12.) “Railways Nos. 1-27” Gangi
13.) “No Destruction” Foxygen
14.) “On Blue Mountain” Foxygen
15.) “Say no to love” The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
16.) “Ecoutez Bien!” Eux Autres
17.) “Hearts” Johnny Neon
18.) “The Veldt” Deadmau5
19.) “I Can Only Imagine (feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne)” David Guetta
20.) “Werkin' Girls” Angel Haze
21.) “Dream Analysis” Jesse Ruins
22.) “Hex Girlfriend” Neon Indian

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23.) “Midnight Sun” Isaac Delusion


18 responses to “In Praise of Messy Lives: A soundtrack”

  1. T-Mo says:

    Farrell! Thank you for the mix. I am so, so glad to see your lovely words and thoughts here. Of course, you know that we all wish we could reach right through this screen and give you a big hug and smooch. Thank you for laying the healing sounds on us, like a warm compress on our aching foreheads.


    P. S. I have nothing dickish or smart to say (yet) about the mix, but I did just become aware of Foxygen a few days ago. They. Are. Awesome!

  2. Bryan says:

    Well this is a welcome surprise. Much better than a 9-minute long Bowie cover from Beck.

  3. Rachel says:

    Downloading now.

    Initial thoughts: that Japandroids song is killer, no? I had it on my year-end mix and removed it only at the last second, but as you may have intuited, that was a Questioning-Every-Life-Choice-I’ve-Ever-Made batch of songs, and it fit right in.

    While I’m unlikely ever to run a 7-minute mile, the sentiments behind this mix make COMPLETE sense. Will listen with an open heart. Embrace the infinite potential realities of the future, my beautiful brother.

    p.s. still working on thinking of something dickish and sneery…will get back to you asap.

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m with Tim. Is it too late to nominate “On Blue Mountain” as the best song of 2012?

  5. T-Mo says:

    Um, something dickish: there’s a little mix-up in the track listing. Foxygen’s “No Destruction” is missing from the dl, and Airborne Toxic Event’s “Numb” is not listed but is in the mix. Just, you know, trying to help.

    [Looks around at lowered brows and slight frowns on friends’ faces]

    What? He wanted us to be dickish. He said so!

  6. Farrell Fawcett says:

    Thank you T-Mo. You made me laugh really hard. I needed that. You’re a fucking dick. You’re brain is also woefully under-used. I love that you saw the fucked-up tracks. I realized it last night and thought, good, there should never be two songs by the same band on a mixmas. Even if it’s Foxygen. (Who play Philly in a couple weeks. Woohoo!) But the “No Destruction” song was featured as a PF best track a while ago and so I figured that it was well-enough-known to all you out there. (I also twittered about this several weeks ago, but I guess some of you might not have got the message. Jayson Greene’s PF reviews are nuggets of beauty and power and his review sealed the deal before it had heard a note. I only use twitter when it matters.) But if for some possible reason, you haven’t heard that song, run and download it. It’s available everywhere. It is great of course. But, it is also very inarguably a song from 2013, not 2012, as is their whole album. Which brings me to Rachel’s comments. Because, the voting for best song of 2012 might be over, but 2013 is still very much up in the air. I’m totally with you so far though. It’s got my vote. And the Japandroids, yes, of course, I imagined that you loved that song this year. And it would have sounded great on your WTF-mix, would’ve fit in very neatly. It’s important to stop here and recognize that Dave actually posted the youtube link back in July or August. Nice one Dave. It’s the best song of 2012.

    I’ve changed the link to the mix. I think it will download better now. Let me know if it doesn’t. These sites are so tricky these days. Fucking cease-and-desists. Grab it while you can. xo!

  7. Bryan says:

    Ok, so here’s my dickish comment. I tried listening to that Foxygen record the other day and thought, “Really? Is this a joke?”

    I’ll try again. Maybe the context here will reveal something to me.

  8. Rachel says:

    Best track of 2013, then! I just normally assume that when I hear something this wonderful, I’m behind the curve. (Not, however, when I have you as my Virgil, FF.)

    I can’t tell whether Bryan is serious. When I first heard “On Blue Mountain,” I thought: “hm, hypnotically epic track, weird Stones-via-ELO vibe, frickin’ faux-naif *children’s chorus*…BW might love this.” What do I know.

    p.s. It makes me wonder which tracks on the BWNW mix are whose! I was so sure i knew…

  9. T-Mo says:

    I’m starting a Foxygen tribute band. It’s going to be called Love is Like Foxygen.

  10. Bryan says:

    8. I know, right? I listened to most of the album again today, starting with Blue Mountain, and I thought, “I really should like this more.” The song right after that really spoils it for me — the SF/LA song. And his voice. I keep thinking. “I know, so you’ve listened to Village Green Preservation Society. Next!” I’ll give it another spin.

    9. Maybe I would like them more if their name was actually Love Is Like Foxygen. Seriously. A much better name.

    Farrell, I completely expect that they will be great live. If the guy has a shred of charisma on stage.

  11. Jeremy says:

    love love love. always. and, well, shit. i’m feeling the pressure now.

    and, btw, nobody narrates a mix quite like you. it’s a beautiful thing.

  12. Jeremy says:

    is it just me or does that Foxygen song sound a bit like “Suspicious Minds”?

    Or is it, like, some obviously covert hipster cover of “Suspicious Minds” and everyone’s gonna be all, “duh, Jeremy, how did you get so stupid after you abandoned TGW?”

    But now I’m worried that everyone’s gonna be all, “that sounds nothing like ‘Suspicious Minds’; how could Jeremy be so stupid?” And then I’d be all, “Listen to the chorus! Not the rest of the song, I’ll grant you that. But that chorus!”

    OK, I’m totally drunk right now. You probably knew that already. (Gotta go back and edit this shit before I click “submit comment.”)

    Looks good? OK, pretty much. I think so.

    Submit Comment.

  13. Bryan says:

    Ok — and I’ll admit it, “Blue Mtn” sounds much better in the context of this mix than it does on the album itself. Still not 100% persuaded, but it’s got a nice melody line to it.

  14. T-Mo says:

    As it happens, J-Man and I saw Foxygen last night. They have an incredibly charming stage presence. Where the record is a very controlled, highly produced affair, their performance was looser, less concerned with reproducing the songs than with having fun and making sure the audience was having fun, too. All the referenced influences were there, but a couple others came to mind for me, chiefly Ariel Pink and Beck. They hit all the changes and nailed all the parts to the songs, but improvised, too, and didn’t seem to care if something went wrong. They cracked many jokes and repeatedly declared their love for each other and their friends and family. The overall vibe was Muppet cabaret. I was, of course, prepared to be charmed, and charmed I was.

    P.S. I keep meaning to point out how much I love your portmanteau, canarthacism. It perfectly describes what one needs to undergo during times of traumatic change.

  15. J-Man says:

    Jeremy, yes, it totally sounds like “Suspicious Minds”. There’s another song (or maybe it’s the same song?) where they plagiarize a Stones riff. (Did I say “plagiarize”? I meant “quote”). It’s good though.

  16. swells says:

    i thought it was a cover of “suspicious minds” too. if that helps. but then again, i’m drunk too. and i too was perplexed by the sf/la song they do–thought i liked it, but then wasn’t sure. I think fanfario and johnny neon both beat them.

  17. lane says:

    gosh… and to think that Barbara Holmes showed up this weekend.

    wow, i think there actually might be a god… and her name is barb.

    check your fb account. she’ll be in touch… she promised.

    : – )

    keep smiling!