Confession: I Like Starbucks Mixes

After years of successfully boycotting Starbucks, I succumb to the pressure and became a first time customer. I still don’t visit often, as I would still prefer to support local coffee shops and our local Starbucks locations involve driving – which I also try to avoid (whoa, does that sound granola enough for you…but it’s true).

Last March I was traveling with students and traveling with any large group seems to always involve a stop for coffee. It was during that visit that I picked up “Save It For A Rainy Day,” a compilation specifically designed to listen to on a rainy day. The compilation borrows it’s title from a Jayhawks song, who I love despite being from Minneapolis instead of Kansas.

Today I celebrated “Treat Yourself” day, an idea inspired by a recent episode of Parks & Recreation. For me this meant a failed attempt to upgrade to the new iPhone, some expensive nail polish that I bought purely for the name, and some new music. It also involved a Pumpkin Spice Latte, which meant a visit to Starbucks. There I found their newest compilation – “When Folk Meets Rock.”

Clearly, this is the perfect CD for me. Those that have been following along could have deciphered that this is my preferred genre. In fact, this blog might as well be called When Folk Meets Rock, though I’m still quite happy with The Crafty Audiophile.

So, despite it coming from Starbucks, I’m enjoying this CD and the mix of artists it represents. I also love the artwork and the frameable poster liner notes. You win this round, Starbucks. Well played.

Here’s the track listing for those that are interested:

  1. The Cave Singers – Seeds of Night
  2. Bob Dylan – She Belongs To Me
  3. DeVotchKa – You Love Me
  4. The Byrds – I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better
  5. M. Ward – Fool Says
  6. Love – A Message to Pretty
  7. Belle & Sebastian – Sleep the Clock Around
  8. The Beau Brummels – You Tell Me Why
  9. The Magnetic Fields – I Think I Need a New Heart
  10. Donovan – Celeste
  11. Nick Drake – Pink Moon
  12. Jeff Buckley- Last Goodbye
  13. Josh Ritter – Girl in the War
  14. José González – Down the Line
  15. Al Stewart – Nostradamus

A Better Way to Walk

First of all, my apologies for getting this started and abandoning it for a stretch.  Due to the insanity of my real job that will happen from time to time.  But I’ve realized that I really do enjoy having this as an outlet, and will try to do a better job of using it as my destresser.  On an unrelated note, if anyone out there is looking for a bright, passionate, 30 year old to do music stuff full-time, I know someone that might be interested…

Last week I began the really long task of selecting specific songs to be on my iPhone.  I have a larger iPod, but have found that when walking back and forth to work I would usually just listen to what was on my iPhone.  It was just more convenient.  Unfortunately, the selection was a bit unsavory, and wasn’t serving me well as a “Welcome to a new day” mix. (And we all know morning music sets the tone for your entire day.  In middle school I was awoken one morning by Toni Basil’s “Mickey.”  You can imagine what that day was like.)

So, after three nights of box checking and unchecking – today marked the first day to test out the new selection.  It was worth every second.

For those interested, this is what shuffle brought to me on the way to work today:

Quiet Houses – Fleet Foxes

People Like You – Weinland

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – The Beatles

Ballad of a Comeback Kid – The New Pornographers

Hello, Goodbye – The Beatles

California Dreamin‘ – The Mamas and The Papas

The Fitted Shirt – Spoon

I think maybe I was a little too excited about the music and must have walked super slowly this morning, because that is definitely about 3 songs more than I normally hear on the walk.  Whoops.

While there will be many, many entries on why certain artists and songs are important to me, consider this foreshadowing.  Because in my world, “making the iPhone cut,” is now the new standard of greatness.

Speaking of Mixed Tapes…

…have you read Love is a Mix Tape?  Released in 2007, Love is a Mix Tape was written by Rob Sheffield, long time music critic, journalist and current contributing editor at Rolling Stone.  It is a very well written but sad tale of his relationship with his late wife.  Each chapter begins with the track listing from an actual mixed tape that was given from one partner to the other, and tells the story of their courtship, marriage and unfortunately her untimely death.

It really is a must read for anyone that has ever found love and friendship through bonding over music, and for any music lover.  But, keep a box of kleenex handy.

Cover Image

Rob Sheffield’s second book Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut came out last year.  I have not yet read it, but I can’t wait to do so.

Winter Folk Mix

About two months ago I created a folk mixed tape for someone.  For me, the art of the mixed tape is alive and well.  And yes, I still call it a tape even though the format has changed.

The person it was made for has been living under a rock for quite some time, so not all of the choices are recent releases (and some are new releases of old favorites – see track #1).  It might not be my best mix I’ve ever made, but it definitely hit the spot today, which I believe warrants sharing.  I suggest checking these out.  To not clutter the blog, I have linked track names to videos where available.

Winter Folk Mix

1 – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right – Bob Dylan, The Witmark Demos

2 – In the Meantime – Joe Pug

3 – Favorite Coat – Amber Rubarth

4 – Arms of a Woman – Amos Lee, Live at KCRW

5 – Crushes – Andy Shauf, Darker Days

6 – I’d Sing Hallelujah – Andy Zipf

7 – Your Ghost – Greg Laswell

8 – Belly of June – Horse Feathers, Thistled Spring

9 – Grace – Johnathan Kingham

10 – 500 Miles (Hedy West Cover) – Josh Ritter

11 – Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More

12 – All My Running – Reed Turner, All My Running

13 – Beg Steal or Borrow – Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs, God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise

14 – Acrobats & Soldiers – Reed Turner

15 – Feeling The Pull – The Swell Season, Strict Joy

16 – If Time Was For Wasting – Dylan LeBlanc

17 – In These Arms – The Swell Season, Strict Joy

18 – All the Best (Live) – John Prine, A John Prine Christmas