Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Great CDP Mix Tape Review

Not so long ago, I participated in the CDP's "Nationwide Mixtape Exchange" - an awesome idea that brought together various people across the country (and some outside) through the art of the mix tape. This was the second time he'd held the event, but only the first time I'd joined in. The gist of the thing was to create your ultimate mix based on the theme of "love" (interpreting that however you so wished) in honor of Valentine's Day. Participant's names were thrown into a hat and then drawn at random, pairing each person with someone they'd likely never met. Anyone who was so inclined could also send a copy of their mix to Mr. CDP (aka Ryan) himself, leading to a brief review on his blog.

Being that my roots are firmly grounded in a history of making totally awesome mix tapes for friends (though I never went so far as to make one for a desired hook-up), I couldn't resist the challenge. You can read all about my masterpiece here, if you'd like (3rd review down).

Me? It must have been my lucky drawings-from-hats day, because I ended up with Ryan himself making my mix tape. And since it would be downright uncouth for him to review his own mix, I've decided that the right thing to do is to review it here, for all the world to see.

So, without further adieu: "One Week of Love" - A mix tape by Ryan "the CDP doesn't stand for anything" Zeinert.

Track List:
1) "Album of the Year," The Good Life
2) "Romantic Rights," Death From Above 1979
3) "Natalie Portman," Ozma
4) "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)," Bright Eyes
5) "Ears Ring," Rainer Maria
6) "The Zookeeper's Boy," Mew
7) "Burn Your Way Home," Algebra One
8) "We Both Go Down Together," The Decemberists
9) "Always Have, Always Will," The Impossibles
10) "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt," We Are Scientists
11) "Delicious," Sleeper
12) Falling For You," Weezer
13) "Maybe Tonight," Nicole Atkins
14) "Tidal Wave," Longwave
15) "Thursday," Asobi Seksu
16) "Pillar of Salt," The Thermals
17) "Once Around the Block," Badly Drawn Boy
18) "Angel Interceptor," Ash
19) "My Name Is Trouble," Nightmare of You
20) "Perfect Weapon," Communique
21) "Gyzmkid," The Velvet Teen

First off, I was happy to find that there was only one track ("We All Go Down Together") on this mix that I'd even heard before, let alone owned. Otherwise, this was all new to me, and I liked every minute of this meaty, twenty-one track indie pop/punk love fest.

From the perfect opening track to the hilariously titled final cut, the most noticeable feature of the mix is that the whole thing fits together so well. Never do the songs begin to blend into an indistinguishable mash, but the overall sonic theme fits each one together into a foot-tapping, head bopping symphony of awesome.

My favorite tracks, though it was somewhat hard to pick, were definitely "Maybe Tonight" by Nicole Atkins and "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" by We Are Scientists.

Ryan also included extensive liner notes to accompany each of his choices. In lieu of transcribing all of them, which would likely result in early onset carpal tunnel syndrome, I just want to share my favorite(s) of the bunch:

"Romantic Rights," Death From Above 1979 - Here's a fun fact for you: Did you know that listening to DFA1979 increases a woman's fertility by a billion percent? Shocking, I know, but I have sources and do not wish to be disputed. Delightfully sleazy and sexy.

"Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt," We Are Scientists - Love, affection and kindness are all fine and good, but sometimes you just need to throw the hammer down and get yourself violated. This is the soundtrack to a sweaty, drunken, after-party debauchery session.
A few other interesting notes:

I'm not a huge Weezer fan, but I like their stuff well-enough. Pinkerton, the album where track 12 comes from, was always the record that die hard Weezer fans told me was either 1) woefully overlooked or 2) a hideous aberration. After hearing this cut, though, I'm inclined to believe the first claim to be the truer of the two.

Very happy to see Rainer Maria show up on the mix, too, as they've been one of my favorite Madison-grown bands since I stumbled across Knives Drawn all those years ago when I was working as a late night DJ at the student radio station here in town. Ah, those were good times. My only callers/listeners were cab drivers, stoners, and a handful of my friends, and being that my show came on at midnight, I could play songs with naughty words in them.

Thanks again to Ryan for sending me a fabulous mix. One of my favorite things in the world is being introduced to good new music, so as long as he's doing the exchanges, I plan to be an ardent participant.


The CDP. said...

Aw, you're a sweetheart. Thank you very much.

I'm extremely glad that you hadn't heard the bulk of these songs. I threw in Rainer Maria for the sole purpose that I assumed you were a fan from back in the day. I just kinda knew...cosmic.

I try to include Algebra One on every mix, mainly because they're that one band nobody has ever heard of, and they were absolutely incredible. I had to track down the lead singer and order their old albums directly through him years after they broke up.

Nicole Atkins is amazing; although I did miss her recent Madison concert. I had tickets, but I blew it off at the last second because I was writing something.

'Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt' rules, and their entire debut album is stellar. This song makes me want to have sexual intercourse.

I'm one of those guys that puts Pinkerton in their Top 10 albums of all-time. I don't know how much it would be appreciated in 2008, but man, did it change me a lot.

Mix-Tape Trade #3 will arrive at the beginning of Summer; probably very late May. It wouldn't be the same without you. Thanks again!

BluStaCon said...

This makes me very jealous. I am going to demand reciprocity next time.

Emily said...

CDP - I review because I care. And you're welcome.

BLU - I can't blame you at all. It is an awesome mix, but I like to think that, without me as inspiration, there's no way Ryan could have come up with this same list of songs. Truly.

The CDP. said...

I probably shouldn't respond to that inquiry.

Celia said...

That's funny that hubby and I both put "Once Around the Block" on our mixes. Cute.

I am one of those people who put "Pinkerton" in the "fecal matter" pile, rather than the "genius pile." I can't stand it, to be honest.

The Lost Albatross