This Year’s Gonna Be Ours – Mix 09


Time files, doesn’t it? Sure it flies, but it also files. It files the past away for the future. It files down the present until the future emerges.

It seems like I just made last year’s mix, so I felt a little unprepared when other contributors started posting theirs.

Here’s mine.

Many of you know my year-end mix modus operandi. For the newcomers, here it is.

I like making mixes that make for satisfying listening: short-ish songs, nothing too challenging, and an arc that provides a coherent through-line (up-tempo, mid-tempo, down-tempo, etc.). I want something I can put on and be absorbed by, that won’t slip into the background but that doesn’t exhaust the listener. I try to keep it to 20 or 21 songs, so one can reasonably digest the whole thing in a single listening.

While I quite like all the songs that make the cut, I don’t make a “best of the year” mix, rather a mix of songs released in that year. Some of these songs I didn’t hear until I sat down to make the mix; some I might not listen to again outside the context of this mix. Yes, some were and are among my favorites, but many of my favorites didn’t make the mix because the songs just didn’t fit in, for whatever reason.

Akron/Family – Last Year
The Bird and the Bee – Love Letter to Japan
Nino Moschella – Continue to Call
The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)
Pink Mountaintops – Holiday
Balmorhea – Elegy
Circulatory System – I, You, We
Old Californio – Riparian High
Alasdair Roberts – You Muses Assist
Tom Brosseau – Been True
Trembling Bells – When I Was Young
Maata Haari – Walk Right
The Cave Singers – Leap
Lissie – Little Lovin’
Sonic Youth – Antenna
Eliza Rickman – Girl
Warpaint – Billie Holiday
Doug Paisley – Digging in the Ground
Dave Rawlings Machine – Sweet Tooth
Yo La Tengo – Periodically Double or Triple

Here are some of my favorite records from 2009 that, for whatever reason, didn’t get a song on this mix. Frankly, I’m really puzzled as to how this happens, but everything has an element of the random to it.

Espers – Espers III
Vetiver – Tight Knit
The Entrance Band – S/T
Michael Hurley with Ida – Ida Con Snock
Alela Diane – To Be Still
Lightning Dust – Infinite Light

While I’m at it and have the soap box, I’ve been comparing my go-to records of 2009 with all the year-end lists I’ve read, and have concluded that there are 3 records that came out last year that everyone, everyone, but me — loves. The first two I actually don’t even like. The third I like okay, but don’t swoon with enthusiasm about whenever it’s mentioned. You may already know what’s coming, but here they are.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

I’ve tried. Really, I’ve tried. Bitte Orca is palatable for me.

That AC record, though, man . . . I can’t even listen to any of it. It’s the aural equivalent of chewing on one of Milo Minderbinder’s chocolate-covered cotton balls: sweet on the outside, flavorless on the inside, and ultimately indigestible. I really do like some of their stuff, but this one just doesn’t move me at all (except to change to another station or song).

I loved the previous GB record and was so looking forward to this one, but wow it doesn’t even stay with me for about 15 minutes. I’ve put it on repeatedly and forgotten that I was even listening to music. I keep forgetting if I’ve listened to it all the way through to really give it a chance and put it on again, only to remember that I have.

I don’t wear this like a badge of honor or anything; I really *want* to like these records but have yet to find a way into them. It makes me feel a little freakish.

Anyhoozle, I hope you enjoy the mix! It was fun to make.

11 responses to “This Year’s Gonna Be Ours – Mix 09”

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks, Tim! I look forward to listening to this mix today during a day of airports and airplanes.

    (And it’s a relief to to know that I’m not the only one who isn’t loving those Brooklyn records.)

  2. farrell fawcett says:


    I haven’t gotten a chance to download your mix till just this moment, so I have no comments on that subject yet. BUT, man, do i ever feel like giving you big props for your confessional part of this post. I’ve felt so strangely ashamed for not connecting with those records you mentioned. For me it was the GB and TDPs. Ikes! It felt like hipster heresy. I told a friend a few months ago about my secret shame, it felt good. I’m glad to know there are others like you and Rachel. I’m actually quite aware of the minority backlash. If I remember, those three bands recently appeared in the top three spots of Pitchfork’s reader’s poll “most over-hyped bands” of the year listing.

    Also, while I’m at it. I really enjoyed the conversation you had last week about art with Lane, Jeff Koons, and D. Judd. I finally got caught up on TGW yesterday (I was away for a while) and it was a great read, really engaging, well written and argued. I didn’t know how well you knew the art world and loved that Donald Judd. (me too, in big part to that guy Lane, actually). Anyway, and speaking of Lane, props to you for maintaining your side of the argument and despite holding a minority opinion, not caving in, but writing really effectively too. And a special thanks to Koons for keeping it real. Ha! I said real.

    Love to Tim and all my peeps!

  3. swells says:

    I too felt a sense of relief as you outed yourself for not getting Grizzly Bear (or at least the new album). I have never gotten it! Can Bryan still respect me? Where are the beats?? Farrell, I didn’t know we shared that shame as well. Had I known how crowded that closet was I might have groped around a little while I was in it . . .

    T, I look forward to wallowing in your mix, and seeing you soon!

  4. Jeff Koons says:

    Thanks for the props, man. And for the record, I can’t get through Veckatimest either.

  5. Peeps says:

    Love to you too, Farrell!

    You did mean us, right?

  6. Nice mix, Tim — started listening to it in the car this morning and it’s a lot of brand-new sound for me. I loved “Love Letter to Japan” and “Hazards of Love” (heh — you’ve got a Love theme going on in the beginning of the mix anyways.) Also your mix took the maidenhead of my brand-new computer’s CD burner!

  7. Sterile rams and simulacra! OMG

  8. thls says:

    I’m with you on grizzly bear, dirty projectors, and animal collective, though we are unquestionably out of step on these.

  9. Jeremy says:

    God, I gotta start reading TGW more often. I had totally missed Tim’s mix! I have always admired your taste in (and encyclopedic knowledge of) music, and I find your mixes to be such a treat. And I don’t think I ever told you how much I love that Espers’ record you gave me for my birthday…. And that Tom Brosseau song might be my favorite song of the year…

  10. Tim says:

    THLS! Oh no! I had hoped you would like Cave Singers, Tom Brosseau, Doug Paisley, and Dave Rawlings, anyway. Nothing? Damn.

    JZ, I probably wouldn’t have known about that song if it weren’t for you. The trick to good taste and wide knowledge of music is to have friends who have good taste in music and take from all of them.

    “God, I gotta start reading TGW more often.” That’s for sure!

  11. Dave says:

    Nice mix. Love the Tori AmosEliza Rickman.

    Bitte Orca is great but weird. The new Grizzly Bear is challenging. I admit I haven’t heard the whole Animal Collective album; I try to stick to their live shows.