Monday, 31 December 2012

Mixtape Wednesday:- Begin Again

No matter how good your intentions, the truth is that the start of the new year is very seldom actually a new beginning.  It may seem like a good time to change your life and strive to be better, but you can do that any time.  And if changing was important, wouldn't you have done it by now? You can do anything, any time.

  But now it's 2 January, it's Wednesday and mixtapes are awesome. You've probably broken all your new year's resolutions - I definitely have - so here's some great, great music about starting over, making changes, new beginnings and all that utter nonsense, as recommended by me and my friends (who also love making mixtapes). Sing loud. 

1 - Deap Vally - End of the World


It's kinda like Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson except female and punk. It's a morality tale about making the world better. It's an awesome video. There's someone lighting a spliff on the toaster.  I wish I was in this band. 

2 -  Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy



This is a laid back way of reminding yourself to chill out. And it's a HAPPY song, and such a simple song. And the video is funny. Maybe I'll just stop the list here. Do we even need anything else?

3 - Florence and the Machine - Dog Days are Over



This was the first Florence song I ever heard and I loved it. I didn't know what dog days were and maybe I still don't. But if 'dog' stands for 'black dog' then in my head it's a song about things changing for the better. And it's one of those buildy-uppy songs that I love so much (I should have been a music journalist, right?) 

4 - Maverick Sabre - A Change is Gonna Come



This Sam Cooke song has been covered a thousand different times, and it's been stuck in my head for weeks and weeks for some reason. I hadn't even heard this version until this week. My friend Tanya added it to the mixtape and it's amazing. Maverick Sabre's voice suits the song really well. Tanya's off to live in Australia this month, so her choice of track is fitting. 

5 - Foo Fighters - Times Like These



I really disliked this song until now. It's middle of the road radio friendly blurb. But my friend Helen suggested it for this mixtape and listening to the lyrics, maybe it's growing on me.

I am a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky
to hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
do I stay or run away
and leave it all behind?

6 - Bon Jovi - It's My Life



Also suggested by Helen, though she admitted it's a little cheesy. Bon Jovi are my guilty pleasure band. Not even a guilty pleasure, I don't care who knows how much I like them. When this song came out I loved it, especially the reference to Tommy and Gina. And the video was on MTV all the time. I know it by heart now. 

'This is for the ones who stood their ground/
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down'

7 - Arcade Fire - Ready to Start



I find The Arcade Fire really haunting. I love their music, I saw them 2 years ago in Hyde Park which was a disastrous experience and for all these reasons they make my heart hurt. That's a very Emo thing to say but I think The Arcade Fire are maybe the last of the Great Emo bands I remember from growing up and my early twenties. This song is beautiful. 

'I guess I'll just begin again/you said can we still be friends?'

8 - Radical Face - We're on Our Way


I had never heard of this song until last week. My friend Guy added it to the mixtape. It's nice. The video has lens flare and I like that. 

9 - Stephanie Dosen - Only Getting Better



I first saw the video for this on MTV2 in the middle of the night in April 2008, and fell in love with the song. It's uplifting and joyful and wonderful. 

10 - Gratitude - Dream, Again



One of my favourite favourite favourite bands and albums of all time. Jonah Matranga has existed in many incarnations and I know that many fans cite Far as being the best of these. But I loved Gratitude and years later I cannot get enough of this album. Here's a song from it. The video isn't the best quality but I love it because I was at that gig and it was a lot of fun. It's also a lovely and upbeat note on which to end this list. 

Tracklisting in full:-

1 - Deap Vally - End of the World
2 - Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
3 - Florence and the Machine - Dog Days are Over
4 - Maverick Sabre - A Change is Gonna Come
5 - Foo Fighters - Times Like These
6 - Bon Jovi - It's My Life
7 - Arcade Fire - Ready to Start
8 - Radical Face - We're on Our Way
9 - Stephanie Dosen - Only Getting Better
10 - Gratitude - Dream, Again