Category Archives: mix tapes

Great Moments In Mixtape Transitions

All this mixtape monkey nonsense has got me thinking about, well, mixtapes.

I am gradually sliding into putting the Green Monkey Music Project mixes into heavy rotation. Honestly, I don’t necessarily have the whole mix listened to as soon as it’s published — it takes me a while. Don’t be surprised if a couple weeks after the mix has been made, I say to you, “Wow, I really like that fourth song on your mix selection!”

Anyways, I was taking the Speed It Up mix for a test drive. I was struck by how much I enjoyed the transition between two songs selected by Tim. The exit from Pixies’ “Planet of Sound” into the Police’s “Deathwish” was really aesthetically pleasing. “Planet of Sound” is a really in-your-face song. It abruptly ends, and is immediately followed by a nice, laid-back drum intro by Stewart Copeland in “Deathwish”. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain exactly what makes a transition from one song to another work, it just works.

There is an art to crafting a mixtape. The overall flow of mood is a more obvious component of a satisfying mix. I find getting really potent transitions between individual songs as a more elusive art. Sure, you can have a good transition, but a great transition is something that doesn’t occur that often. I’d say that normally a mixtape won’t even have a great transition — it’s that rare.

I remember a mixtape I made in high school, that went from Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” into Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side”. A few months later, I was in the car with a friend of mine who was playing his own mixtape. My friend had used the exact same transition. I took that appropriation of my song order has the highest compliment (he had heard my mix before).

I was wondering about you folks in the business of making mixtapes, have you ever had a great transition, and if so, what was it?

Green Monkey Music Project

In an attempt to achieve maximum synergy with beth’s popular Friday mix tape feature, I’d like to announce a new endeavor in which I hope I can interest at least three people in taking part.

Some Background:

There are a few guys at work (I’ll call them sb, mf and ag) that have musical tastes that overlap with my own. We got to talking at one point, and one of us came up with the idea of doing a collective mix. We thought it would be cool if each of us came up with an idea for a mix, then the other three came up with songs that would fit in with that person’s mix.

For absolutely no reason whatsoever, I dubbed this the “Green Monkey Music Project”. You might think I’m sucking up to some apes or green amphibians I could mention, but that’s honestly what I called it. The image on this post was also created for the original project.

The Concept:

Here’s the basic rules of this new endeavor:

1. Each person will have an allotment of 20 minutes for each project. You can go under 20 minutes, but try not to go too far over. Try to get at least 10 minutes worth of music.
2. The originator of the project will set down any rules of the project that need to be followed.
3. The project originator’s songs will come first in their respective project.
4. At this point, if you want to be part of this project, I’m just asking for people to provide song titles. Let me worry about obtaining the songs you come up with. If I can’t provide them, I might ask you for the song if you have it.
5. Once a project is completed, I’ll post the project’s songs on this here blog.

Some Examples:

We ended up only doing one round of these mixes, but it was a helluva lot of fun. Here’s the results of our efforts.

Green Monkey’s Anatomy [sb]

1. Song titles must include a body part, like ‘finger,’ ‘kidney,’ or ‘artery,’ for example.
2. The body part need not necessarily be human or simian.
3. The body part should not be part of another word. For example, you can’t use ‘ear’ from ‘earth’ to satisfy the requirement.

01 – David Bowie – Sweet Head [sb]
02 – Les Fleur De Lys – Mud in Your Eye [sb]
03 – Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed [sb]
04 – Johnny Thunders – You Can’t Put Your Arms Round A Memory [sb]
05 – The Come Ons – Red Lips And Fingertips [sb]
06 – The Cramps – Rockin’ Bones [sb]
07 – Sun 60 – Out Of My Head [ag]
08 – Superchunk – Pulled Muscle [ag]
09 – The Replacements – Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out [ag]
10 – Bette Serveert – Leg [ag]
11 – Oingo Boingo – Skin [ag]
12 – Golden Smog – He’s a Dick [mf]
13 – Beck – Cold Brains [mf]
14 – The Flaming Lips – Chewin the Apple of Your Eye [mf]
15 – The Flaming Lips – You Have to Be Joking (Autopsy of the Devil’s Brain) [mf]
16 – The Flaming Lips – Slow Nerve Action [mf]
17 – Beastie Boys – Shake Your Rump[splotchy]
18 – Echo and the Bunnymen – Heads Will Roll[splotchy]
19 – The Velvet Underground – Andy’s Chest[splotchy]
20 – Lambchop – my face your ass[splotchy]
21 – Robyn Hitchcock – The Bones In The Ground[splotchy]
22 – The Feelies – Raised Eyebrows[splotchy]
23 – Ritchie Valens – Ooh! My Head [sb-bonus]

Common Ground [mf]

Songs by adult artists aimed at adults but also loved by kids. You can ride in the car and play this and the kids actually listen and enjoy, maybe even sing along, might even get requested by the kids. No lyrics you’d rather not explain. Funny words and situations OK.

I could have filled this whole thing with White Stripes so if someone else is hesitating adding more becuase I put in two, don’t, the White Stripes seem to have struck a chord with my kids.

01 – My Bloody Valentine – When You Sleep (dance party song) [mf]
02 – The White Stripes – Hotel Yorba [mf]
03 – The Breeders – Full on Idle [mf]
04 – The Breeders – Huffer [mf]
05 – Eels – Flyswatter [mf]
06 – Eels – I Like Birds [mf]
07 – The White Stripes – We’re Going to Be Friends [mf]
08 – Jonathan Richman – Back In Your Life[splotchy]
09 – De La Soul – The Magic Number[splotchy]
10 – The Breeders – Saints[splotchy]
11 – Talking Heads – Pulled Up[splotchy]
12 – Feelies – Doin’ It Again[splotchy]
13 – Wire – Outdoor Miner[splotchy]
14 – John Cale – Bamboo Floor[splotchy]
15 – The Apples in Stereo – Signal In The Sky [sb]
16 – The Ramones – Spiderman [sb]
17 – Komeda – Boogie Woogie_Rock’N’Roll [sb]
18 – Buddy Holly – Rave On [sb]
19 – The Von Bondies – Cmon Cmon [sb]
20 – The Ramones – Sheena Is A Punk Rocker [sb]
21 – Pizzicato Five – Twiggy Twiggy [sb]
22 – Marc Bolan & T. Rex – Ride A White Swan [sb]

Girls Girls Girls [ag]

1. Song titles must include a female name.
2. No duplicates allowed. A duplicate is a name spelled the same as another name. For instance, Anne and Ann are two distinct names.

01 – The Left Ba