back, by popular fiat — kynthia’s year in music, 2008

after a one year hiatus, i am pleased to announce the return of “kynthia’s year in music,” a project that i began in 2006, repeated in 2007, and heretofore hope to continue as a year-end tradition.

i figure it’s way more fun for all of us than if i try to write a straight holiday letter, and way more durable than tissue-paper snowflakes.

since i missed last year, this post is actually a bonus edition of sorts – the songs below are for 2008, and 2009 is still coming.

i felt compelled to complete last year before moving on to this year, because as it turns out, i really enjoy the process of making these mixes, and i also enjoy having them around to listen to as a memory device. it’s like looking at old pictures, but pictures that i can dance to, or sing along with while driving. so i’d rather not be missing a year, when i look back on the series later.

speaking of driving: i spent a lot of time in the car in 2008, and my musical experience was therefore heavily skewed in favor of what happened to be in the car with me. i bought my current car at the end of 2007 from a friend of mine who had installed a stereo system that plugs into an ipod, and he left an ipod attached, so i kind of inherited a random sample of someone else’s music collection, and a fair number of songs came from my exploration therein.

the basic arc of my year went like this:

  • i rang in the new year in florida, where my mom was serving as the interim minister for the UU church in west palm beach. i had arrived there shortly before christmas, after driving from LA to Bloomington in 40 hours (30 driving, 10 sleeping), and then relying upon wonderful friends to forgive me for missing a party the night before, shove food in my mouth, load me into a car, and take me to the indy airport in time to make my flight. i was very, very tired.
  • from mid-january to july, i was in bloomington, where i couchsurfed and housesat and finagled enough web work out of my old job at IU to get by while trying to teach myself to spin other webs of my own. i also went to bonnaroo for the third time, and i was a volunteer for the pod program, which means i got to get in early AND for free, which was fun.
  • for most of july i was on the road, first to colorado by myself, and then to california with erik, because erik is awesome and agreed to fly out to visit his brother in boulder and then join me. we took our time and wound through new mexico and arizona, and then went to vegas, where we won tickets to the dance show at the tropicana. it was a trip.
  • i spent august in san diego, los angeles, and black rock city, where i ran the cafe kitchen for the first time, and introduced my dad to burning man.
  • in september, i drove back to bloomington for lotus.
  • in october, i returned to colorado, where i continued to finagle web work (now, with telecommuting!), reconnected with my dad, visited the bourlands in boulder a lot, thought about kwerk, and used netflix to catch up on tv shows i had been ignoring for 5 years — turns out, the part of me that went to film school is still in there somewhere, and it likes tv now!

i was in colorado until early 2009, but for now, we are only concerned with 2008.

basically, these are the songs that spoke to me, for one reason or another, over the course of that year. i listened, and sometimes sang along or spoke back, and as a result, the moment or moments that make up those musical conversations are saved as a sort of montage in my mind. when i hear the songs, i see the memories, like when you smell cinnamon rolls and remember grandma’s house. or maybe the mall. depending on how suburban your upbringing, and the ethnicity and domesticity of your grandmother.

in other words, if i were to make a movie telling the story of my year, this would be the soundtrack, and i leave it to you to imagine the actual plot.

or, you know, you can ask me about it sometime, and buy me a beer.

the songs have been zipped into three bundles to maximize your download experience.

they are presented in roughly the order of the memories they trigger, with certain adjustments made for the sake of pleasant song transitions, and they are intended to be listened to in sequence. at least once. :)

the next course will be served once 2009 has ceased providing fresh ingredients.

you are encouraged to purchase the songs you like best directly from their deserving creators, one of whom (see track 26) happens to be my father.

the third bundle is kind of a bonus bundle, and can be seen as separate from the rest of the mix – track 30 is 30 minutes long, and is an example of binaural entrainment, which means that it will induce brainwave patterns that are consistent with meditative states if you listen to it with stereo headphones, and will simply sound like rain if you don’t.

it’s great for power naps.

track 31 is included because it is what the car ipod would play whenever it reset, so i heard the first few bars a lot, and it amuses me to preserve that memory, and it amuses me even more to do so by placing it after the meditation track, because i kind of think of meditation as pushing the reset button for my brain.

as a bonus, beck is also way better with stereo headphones, so positive reinforcement wins!

bon apetit.

Part One

  1. Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  2. Gamemaster – Paul Oakenfold
  3. Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well – Mike Doughty
  4. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face – Coldplay
  5. Cha Cha – Balkan Beat Box
  6. Frank Sinatra – Cake
  7. Little Plastic Castle – Ani DiFranco
  8. Marching Bands of Manhattan – Death Cab for Cutie
  9. Dead – They Might Be Giants
  10. Wonderboy – Tenacious D
  11. Snow ((Hey, Oh)) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  12. U Can’t Hold No Groove – Victor Wooten
  13. Yeah. – Jake Shimabakuro
  14. Think About the Way – Ice MC
  15. She’s Electric – Oasis

Part Two

  1. I Fought in a War – Belle and Sebastian
  2. Fixing Her Hair – Ani DiFranco
  3. Seek Up – Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
  4. Cast No Shadow – Oasis
  5. Magic Trick – M Ward
  6. Horn Into – Modest Mouse
  7. The World at Large – Modest Mouse
  8. Float On – Modest Mouse
  9. Ocean Breathes Salty – Modest Mouse
  10. No Surprises – Radiohead
  11. My Guitar Went to Burnin’ Man – Stephen Brunette
  12. My Old Man Boogie – The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
  13. Choose Life – PF Project featuring Ewan McGregor
  14. Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple

Part Three

  1. The Dive – Centerpoint Research Institute
  2. Loser – Beck

One Response to “back, by popular fiat — kynthia’s year in music, 2008”

  1. The K-log Says:

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