Pretty songs to get you through your winter crushes

So here it is: the second half of mixmas 2012. This is a much more easy-going set of songs. These songs, unlike part one, don't demand running shoes and gas pedals and hurtling velocity. They feel comfortable in a living room. Or on a brisk walk with a hat and gloves. Or with a glass of scotch. But mind you, they're not sleepy. They're at the edge of their seats. Rapt and reverential. But restless. They have a strong pulse and they're hungry and curious. They still have a libido. Albeit one that's wrestling with melancholy. Oh, and mainly, they're wondrously (mercifully) distracting.

And by crushes, I mean anything that such an awesome word means to you. For me, it's all those things I plan on writing about in the coming weeks. Things like girls. And books. And ideas. And music. And TV. And drugs. I'm quite aware that I might be conflating crushes with private enthusiasms. And that's ok. I ain't dumb. Ok, a little. But I know that crushes are something bigger than enthusiasm, something closer to a mental obsession heightened by hormones. But I'm cool with expanding the tent and making room for those things that may not stimulate the endocrine system, but still might tickle your amygdala.

Here's my crush list lately (analysis to follow soon): Sheila Heti, George Saunders, the Pitchfork Golden Age dream team (esp. Laura Snapes, Katherine St Asaph, Jayson Greene…), Alice Neel, Kenneth Goldsmith, psychedelic drug therapies (LSD, psylocibin, ketamine, MDMA), the comedian Marc Maron's WTF podcast, the strange n+1 literary effect, Enlightened, Girls, Instagram and stupid Twitter and that stupid human girl.

Ok, so maybe crush is too strong a word. Marc Maron, a crush? No, but if a crush is something I want to think about every day, then yes, catching up on his podcasts is totally in there. But yeah, I suppose most of the other stuff is just really exciting personal obsessions. But still, I'm keeping the mixmas title. Cause it sounds cool and it feels true.

The tracklist:

NYC:73-78 (Invocation) – Philip Glass & Beck
Dropla – Youth Lagoon
That's that – Cass McCombs
We Feel Safer At Night – Takka Takka
Opus 36 – Dustin O'Halloran
Day Four – Bloc Party
Wonderland – Allo Darlin'
Gone Tomorrow – Lambchop
Song for Zula – Phosphorescent
Prettyboy – Dan Deacon
Rocky Took a Lover – Bell X1
Symphony in White No. 2 – Sun Airway
Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark) – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Come for it – The War on Drugs
Move Away and Shine – Tim DeLaughter
Omni – Jon Brion
The Daydream – Tycho
Retreat from the Sun – That Dog
A Wall – Bat for Lashes
You May Be Blue – Vetiver
Papa Was a Rodeo – Sara Lov
Is It Honest? – Woods
NYC: 73-78 (Benediction) – Philip Glass & Beck

A few words about this mix. Before Beck released his highly-praised sheet music album last year, he contributed a track to the Philip Glass 75th birthday tribute album with a dozen interesting musicians re-imaging and re-mixing anything from Glass' vast output. Beck's track is nearly 21 minutes long and based VERY loosely on several different Glass works. Jayson Greene finished his PF review like this: “It's not exactly a remix– it's a fantasia, a Glass house that Beck flies around inside like a ghost. It's also the most startling and original piece of music with Beck's name on it in a while, and the first new work to bear his own spirit in even longer.”

I love Beck's song. But the middle of the 21 minutes really starts to drag for me. So I decided to splice it out–cause the first and last five minutes are really the dreamiest parts. I turned them into a pair of bookends, two Gothic Vespers, five-minute evensongs, a pair of gaits to open and close on my own hallowed procession, where 21 of my most solemn spirit-stirring musical experiences of the last year march wondrously through them. I thought Glass and Beck would both be ok with another re-imagining of their work. Do grad students call these gestures postmodern anymore? (ugh, postmodern–it burns my mouth just to say it. ouch, and my brain, too! Don't try it!) I just call it a bunch of magical fucking songs.

The majority are from 2012 or the first month of 2013. A few are from the aughts and one from the 90s. All of them are new to me in the last nine months, except the 90s' song, which I just reencountered in November. And credit must be paid to Bryan for that sublime Dan Deacon song. Hell, Bryan wrote a whole post about it just a few weeks ago, featuring a youtube link. And it is definitely one of my 10 favorite songs of the year. And so I include it here as an mp3 so everyone can hear it with just a couple taps on your magic box.

buying prescription glasses online

I'd love to eventually hear if any of these songs get you all stirred up too. Don't be shy. Y'all's words are helping me get through this bitter season. And tell me about your own crushes. I'm totally ready to encounter my next one. Many thanks. I'll be back here again in another three weeks. Until then, xo!


12 responses to “Pretty songs to get you through your winter crushes”

  1. Smearcase, Mr. says:

    George Saunders is great. (I confuse him with George Sanders but I love both of them.) Dave gave me a “Best of 2012” short story anthology that had the I think title story from his new collection and it’s unsettling and very good.

    It goes without saying I have never heard of most of the people on your mix. I live in a cave of sorts.

  2. LP says:

    Farrell, I cannot wait to give this a listen. You know I love your mixes, and certainly not unrelated, you know I have a crush on you too. Big squeezes from this coast.

  3. Bryan says:

    Yay! Eager to give this a listen. Didn’t know Sara Lov did a version of Papa. I’ve only heard about half the stuff on the list. Now that we have a car again, your mixes are getting a lot of repeat plays, so we’re glad to have another one, though most days Charlie forces us to choose between his three favorite songs: Yellow Submarine, Call Me Maybe, and the Sesame Street theme. (Damn you/bless you for starting one of your old mixes with the middle of those three.)

  4. Bryan says:

    Ok, now that I’ve got all the track tags sorted out, relabeled, renumbered …

  5. jeremy says:

    Awesomeawesomeawesome. I love this theme, this direction. Thanks for this–and that last mix, which I also loved and needed and still need. I know a lot of these, of course (because I know you, of course), but there are many that I’ve been meaning to give a listen. That Phosphorescent song just slays me every time I hear it, btw…

    (Also, here’s to crushes!)

  6. Farrell Fawcett says:

    Hey Bryan, I just re-uploaded the mix with track tag numbers fixed. Maybe. Let me know if it still downloads all cattywampus. Cause the sequence of this mix meant a lot to me. Yes, JZ, like with that slaying Phosphorescent song, there’s a pathway to follow before you get to it.

  7. jeremy says:

    Btw, this also reminded me of a few lines from another That Dog song (all of their songs about crushes, more or less), “Long Island”: “By definition, a crush must hurt/ And they do/And they do…”

  8. Dave says:

    Farrell, you have outdone yourself with this mix. Amazing. Thank you.

  9. brooke says:

    Thanks Farrell! Stoked to listen to this – I’m starved for new music these days, especially pop-oriented stuff. Also happy to hear you’re liking Marc Maron. I had a very low opinion of him until he hosted the first annual Stitcher Awards a couple of months ago ( He was hilarious and irreverent – basically making fun of the audience for being at the “first annual” awards ceremony for podcasting.

    Keep the mixes coming!


  10. brooke says:

    I found the audio from his introduction:

  11. T-Mo says:

    Fantastic playlist, FF! I love the bookends, and everything just flows from song to song really well. Hurrah! XO

  12. Bryan says:

    Downloaded the update onto another computer and still had some tag cleaning to do, but not much. It’s a really great mix. Did I say that earlier?