In the spirit of pulling this blog out of a morass of lazy tech rants, aping my heroes, and reflecting on the year before the year that I leave, please enjoy mixtape #1.

Mixtapes In General

These are meant to evoke feeling and the writing will give some insight into my personal life. I've been wary of crossing the personal with the professional for so long, but only a handful of humans actually read this damned thing anyway, so here goes: the weary heart behind the beating mind.

If you're here after reading a paper or finding some source (or especially if you want to hire me and don't want to cross those streams), maybe now's a good time to turn back. Ok? Ok.

Each tape has a theme elaborated in the intro and the commentary on the tracks.

Mixtape #1

Intro

We're tired and bent. Everyone's acting just a little weird these days; just a little stranger than they did before, and we're not exactly the normalest company to keep to begin with. Here's some music that makes me feel better. The theme here is recognizing that the hole is not an abyss (a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm) but rather a breach (a broken, ruptured, or torn condition or area) and climbing towards the light.

Bon Iver - 29 #Strafford APTS

Bon Iver's first album in roughly five years has been on repeat. Eight years ago, This American Wife and I moved to San Francisco with nothing but a loose plan to 'not fuck up.' After four months, we had jobs and an apartment, but we were down to the wire. A week earlier, I had asked my Dad to borrow $100 to cover groceries, but I had just received my first paycheck.

I paid him back, paid my rent, went to Radioshack to buy a $30 turn table, and bought For Emma Forever Ago. We had no internet, no TV, nothing, although I did eventually hack the neighbor's router so I could check my bank balance (sorry, neighbor). We had that record and the terrifying gift of having our lives being entirely determined by the outcomes of our own immediate actions. We elected Obama and people were dancing in the streets as Lehman fell and everything went to hell. That was a magical little window of our lives that was best lived once.

I like this song. I like this new album. It brings me back.

Crystal fighters - Lay Low

This song is best listened to roughly fourteen times in a row.

Frightened Rabbit - Wait 'Til the Morning

Throw out the lofty arguments, there are no more ways to say these things.

The Oh Hellos - Exeunt

The Oh Hello's are one of my favorite recent discoveries. They blend a kind of CS Lewis mystecism with these incredible buildups.

Beirut - Goshen

For what it's worth, defend your kind from shame.

Josh Ritter - The Temptation of Adam

Ten years ago Josh Ritter was playing folk concerts at Oberlin, our mutual alma mater; I started digging and found neurosci burnout with a penchant for subversive phrase-turning. Following his work over the years has been a real pleasure. In particular, if you can dig up his All Songs Considered performance circa 2007, then imagine hearing it for the first time 40 miles from anything in a small condor-saving compound in the Arizona desert, then you'll have reproduced the headspace of my early twenties. Good times.

What five letters spell apocalypse?

Wrap

There it is. Please enjoy.