on mix CD theory and what not

as i mentioned earlier, i’m making a mix CD for an e-crush and this posing quite the dilemma. there’s just so many competing mix theories, that i just can’t figure out which one to follow.

Theory One: The Songs Should Express How You Feel Toward the Recipient
this theory posits that you are using music to tell that special someone how you feel and they will discern from your selection of Ani DiFranco’s “Untouchable Face” and Matthew Sweet’s “Somone to Pull the Trigger” that things aren’t so keen with you two. Conversely they will also realize that with “I Will Dare” and Ryan Adam’s “Come Pick Me Up” on the CD, they are totally gonna get some smooching.

Theory Two: The Songs Should Express Who You Are
this is the theory that has the mixer putting together songs that sonically express who they are. again, a lot of the onus of this kind of mix falls on the recipient. they must figure out that “I Will Dare,” “To Destruction,” “Me and Mia,” “Two-headed Boy,” and “Buddha Rubarb Butter.” means you are a bright, creative go-getter who has a shy quiet side that’s a little dramatic and likes to shake it’s ass.

Theory Three: These Songs Should be Ones You Dig and if They Dig than Everyone Can Dig and Be Friends
this theory is merely a test. these CDs are just a way to measure the coolness of the recipient. you throw on some obvious hip songs (the mountain goats, ted leo, and the shins), some straight up classics (t-rex, the rolling stones, the replacements) and interlace them with some of your obscure favorites (andrew bird, mike doughty, paul westerberg). here there is no secret meaning for the listener to figure out. no, this purely for the mixer to weed out the bad’uns from the good’uns.

Theory Four: These are Songs You Will Like Based on What I Know You Already Like and my Rainman-like Ability to Put Together Other Things That Sound Like That Stuff You Like
this is for the hardcore music geek and/or those with PhDs in MixCDology. i am not a member of this tribe. i wish i was.

Theory XR9Q: These Songs All Have Something in Common and I’m Quite Clever for Gathering Them Together (because i have a fivephobia)
this is personally, my favorite theory. theme mixes keep you out of the emotional this is who i am/how i feel minefield, and are just plain damn fun. themes tickle me pink and i’m a big fan. my favorite themes “songs that about writers/books/authors” or as i callled it “I Write the Book” and “songs that mention hips” or “The Start of a Brand New Hipster Generation.”

so now, back to my question. for e-crush, which theory do i follow?

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  1. Robin 23.Feb.06 at 11:22 am

    I prefer numbers 3, 4 and XR9Q. Methods 1 and 2 are for amatuers, unless combined with one of the latter, more complex methods. For the e-crush I’d go with a 1/XR9Q combo platter. The theme: Freaking Out Over Nothing.

    I adore that New Pornographers track. In fact, I was listening to it on one of my mixes right before I read this.

  2. Charles 23.Feb.06 at 4:57 pm

    #3 All day long. I am a music snob. If the mixee does not share my snobbery then it might very well take divine intervention to get us any closer.

    Garbled PA announcement:
    “Book? Party of one?”


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