Part of the process of moving on from the previous year is making a Diarytunes mix. I’ve been doing it since 2009, inspired by Robyn Chapman of Paper Rocket Comics. The Diarytunes mix CD can be anything you want it to be. Most often its an audio yearbook of the previous year – the songs that made that year that year, or the story of the year told by other artists, sometimes it’s just a bunch of cool shit you want to throw together and share. It’s a blast.
Every year I tell myself I’m not going to stretch out and pick songs from all over, and every year I seem to make the mix about songs that are new this year (or, at least, new to me). Every year I mostly fail. Which is a nice problem to have, I guess. Too much cool new music.
This year, however, I raided my aunt’s collection of classic rock, so a lot more “new” music this year was old pop. Fleetwood Mac was my big discovery of the year. I get why they were so huge. They are epic. I am now an utter fanboy. Also, there seemed to be a real lack of free samplers for download from Amazon. It kind of reduced the amount of random obscure pop that I could get into. Bummer, labels, but I get it… I will look for new random music on the iRadio or something.
The Traveling Wilburys, maybe, should’ve included “New Blue Moon” instead of “Cool Dry Place,” but a song about a crazed collector just resonates too true to me as this year was a year of compromise on how much stuff I could display in an apartment with (now) two people. It’s all a weird sort of affection.
It was a pretty mainstream year; frikkin’ Dawes? But the video to that “Things Happen” song found me at just the right time; I love a nice short film. And it was the first year I saw the tUnEyArDs live, which was awesome. Courtney Barnett seems to be having a pretty huge year. I ran into her songs during my half-year of Funemployment. I am buying the New Basement Tapes songs one at a time, about every two-three months. I slowly love each one. I think “The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box” got some hate on Pitchfork for being too easy to listen to, or something. All I know is I’ve listened to this song so many times this year it’s insane. I can’t believe I haven’t downloaded any more music by Big Data yet. Have you seen the video to “Dangerous“?! It is an incredible little subversive gemstone. I couldn’t stay away from No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney. It’s a truffle I’m still, slowly unwrapping. Wish I bought it on vinyl. (Oh man, I realized I never added anything by “Against Me” this year. Damn!) Shamir is a recent revelation. His NPR Tiny Desk Concert is so frikkin’ fantastic. Daft Punk, man, I have just loved the hell out of them this year. I don’t care how much they love cheese, I’m in there with the love too.
Really, I was pretty in love this year, so, duh, a bunch of silly love songs.
I made a Spotify playlist of almost all of them. If you’d like to listen, they’re right here.
Oh, and I just hijaked a bunch of Scud: The Disposable Assassin art by Rob Schrab. I bought his giant “Whole Shebang” collection this year… which was very, very satisfying. I can’t believe he wrapped the story up as well as he did.