First off I would like to wish everyone who stumbles across this site a Valentine’s Day full of love and chocolate. So yesterday I was thinking about my girlfriend and realized that I would be a really shitty boyfriend if I didn’t do something even remotely romantic for Valentine’s Day, so i recruited my good friend Everett (of GWFAS) to help me create the ultimate V-Day Mixtape. We both compiled a list of songs that could work for the mixtape, and we met up to finalize the album. I brought chips and salsa and Everett brought the KY, and let’s just say I had an unforgettable Monday. Anyways, our passion created the love-child that is the All Things Go Valentine’s Day Mixtape. Derek (also of GWFAS) quickly became jealous of our brokeback style love and created his own valentine mix, which you can see here. Anyways, I have created a cover (above) and tracklist (below) for the mix so feel free to print it out and take advantage of a blognorant (yeah, I made it up) lady or gentleman by giving them this medley of love. On with the music.
.ZIP: All Things Go Valentine’s Day Mixtape One [follow link]
1) Outkast – Happy Valentine’s Day
Zack: One of the sexiest, hippest, funkiest, jazziest, freshiest, songs ever created. Andre 3000 released a double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, with fellow Outkaster Big Boi in late 2004, though Andre definetely stole the show. Andre speaks over the track much like Barry White did on his songs, using his vocals as a background to the beat of the song, which features a simple bassline, claps, and a catchy, yet quite simple, guitar riff. This song perfectly exemplifies the sexy feeling one gets on this day of love.
2) The Postal Service – Be Still My Heart
Zack: Honestly any Postal Service song could work here, but BSMH is just to damn beautiful to pass up. Released on the We Will Become Silhouettes EP, “Be Still My Heart” mixes an innocent childhood crushlike vibe while still sounding mature and complex. The military drums during the verse really complete an epic, yet also cute, song.
3) Brendan Benson – Cold Hands (Warm Heart)
Everett: Some may see this song title, listen carefully to the lyrics, and come to the relatively evident conclusion that this song is about a relationship that is ENDING, rather than the normal Valentines Day-celebrated “blossoming relationship” ideal. The rationale for this is that, to be honest, not everyone’s Valentines Day is perfect, and there are plenty of people out there who put on a brave face in light of all the lovey-doveyness Valentines Day brings. This song reflects that perfectly by telling the story of the ending relationship in such an adorably uplifting manner that you almost forget for a minute what Mr. Benson is talking about and embrace the idea of love with all its ups and downs.
4) Bloc Party – So Here We Are
Zack: Kele Okereke and his fun loving bandmates are primarily known for making dance-ready, hip-swayin’, rump-shakin’, head-rockin’ jams but for “So Here We Are”, the boys from Bloc Party slow it down a bit. They still display their usual catchy guitar riffs and perfect drums, though Kele brings his voice down an octave for most of the song and shows some versatility. This is one of those songs that will never get out of your head. The lyrics may seem slightly depressing, but the final message (“I figured it out, I can see again”) is incredibly uplifting, and really puts the exclamation point on a wonderful song.
5) The Streets – Could Well Be In
Everett: Mike Skinner has a knack for writing emotional songs with words that flow perfectly over his minimalistic approach to production. His storytelling is always in the forefront of his more pensive songs, and “Could Well Be In” tells one of the more compelling stories on Skinner’s sophomore album, A Grand Don’t Come For Free. The lyrics are basically Skinner explaining how his conversation with a girl he fancies went, punctuated by a simple chorus in which he starts to realize that the girl he’s with may like him as well.
6) Snow Patrol – Chocolate
Zack: Snow Patrol is awesome. Like, really awesome. This song is so immature and innocent, it is impossible not to enjoy. Literally, if you don’t enjoy this song, you might not have a soul. I really cannot say enough about Snow Patrol. These guys are so incredibly versatile, being able to create Radioheadesque hits (“Somewhere a Clock is Ticking”), upbeat love songs (“Spitting Games”), and ballads such as this one. So pretty much what I’m trying to say is Snow Patrol is awesome.
7) The Long Winters – Cinnamon
Zack: This song, featured on the Wedding Crashers soundtrack, was introduced to me by my girlfriend, Sabrina. On first listen, I thought that the non-rhyming chorus was a little cheesy but I went home and listened again, and came away feeling stupid that I could ever hate on a song this beautiful. The clear and passionate vocals, teamed with the cute acoustic guitar and a simple drum beat, create a perfect valentine’s day song. When the italian guitar comes in and lead singer John Roderick begins speaking of gondolas, I want to make love to the closest animate object. This has caused many lawsuits.
8) The Elected – It Was Love
Everett: The side project of Rilo Kiley’s Blake Sennett, The Elected play a very pop-oriented brand of alt-country. I am really enjoying their sophomore album, Sun, Sun, Sun, which I reviewed HERE for Good Weather for Airstrikes; the one knock I’ve read about in regards to the album is that Sennett’s lyrics are often too simplistic, “It Was Love” is a perfect and, in my opinion, wonderfully topical, example of this. The chorus features this very Valentines Day-related line: “When I loved, it was love”. I think we can all relate to that, I know that when I love, it is love!
9) Death Cab For Cutie – Love Song (Cure Cover)
Everett: The Cure’s Robert Smith always preferred darker lyrical content, but often felt the need to prove himself as a songwriting genius. “Love Song” is one example of Smith’s conscious decision to write a song that would hit the Top 40 charts (which it did, hitting #1 in the U.S. in 1989). Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard needs no excuse to write perfect pop songs, and he knows a perfect one when he sees it (Gibbard has been known to cover other such perfect pop songs as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in concert). Death Cab for Cutie admittedly takes few creative liberties in this cover, but the addition of Gibbards vocals to this undeniably excellent song make it worth having.
10) Rogue Wave – Kicking the Heart Out
Everett: I first encountered this song when it was an iTunes free download a couple years ago (for my money, this is still the second best iTunes free download ever). One line that has especially stuck with me (that I still can’t entirely figure out) is, “If music is my lover, you are just a tease.” Overall, this is just a pretty darn cute power-pop song that just seems to work nicely on a Valentines Day mix.
11) Badly Drawn Boy – The Shining
Zack: This is one of my mom’s favorite songs, and before you let that turn you off, understand that my mom’s favorite musicians are Sufjan Stevens, The Flaming Lips, and Belle & Sebatasian (Yes my mom is awesome). This song, off their 2000 release The Hour of Bewilderbeast, starts with a violin solo and slowly adds a few other instruments to create a unique and somewhat old-fashioned love song sound. Another reason I love the song is the change at the 1:19 point, when the song goes from violin solo to the acoustic guitar chorus, all the while keeping the same melody.
12) Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone With You
Zack: What can be said about Sufjan Stevens that hasn’t already been said 500 times? Nothing. That’s why I am not giving you a description, just a demand: Listen.
13) Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
Everett: Jose Gonzalez is very talented and very addictive. “Crosses” was the song that made me fall in love with his music for the first time, but this song, the second cover on this mix, keeps me coming back to him. Gonzalez completely changes the dynamic of The Knife’s electro-pop romp, turning it in to a stripped-down, acoustic masterpiece. Many of the songs on this mixtape have been described as ‘cute’, but this song takes it to the next level, well in to the territory of ‘beautiful’. As any girl can tell you, being called beautiful is far and away a better compliment than being called cute, and to tie this back to the music, if you thought all the ‘cute’ songs were fantastic, think of how unbelievable “Heartbeats” will be!
14) The Decemberists – Of Angels and Angles
Everett: The closing song on our Valentines Day mix, closing song on The Decemberists Picaresque, and often the closing song of Decemberists shows, this is just a beautiful, bare, acoustic love song. Colin Meloy has always been renowned for complicated language in his songs; The Decemberists have always been talked about, both positively and negatively, for the fact that owning a thesaurus is a prerequisite of enjoying their music. On this song, however, simplicity abounds: the song is carried by Meloy’s gorgeous refrain, “there are angels in your angles.”
15) Final Fantasy – Your Light is Spent
Zack: “Your Light is Spent” is one of the more stripped down songs in this mix, yet somehow the most enthralling. Owen Pallet, the violinist who donates his genious to The Arcade Fire, plucks on his love-instrument (Note: not his penis) and provides timid vocals to create a masterpiece of emotion. The song is featured on Pallet’s solo debut, Has A Good Home, and while “Your Light is Spent” may not be the best song on the album, it certainly is the most powerful lyrically and emotionally. Lyrics like “All I ask for is a warm body, to keep this winter from killing me” really convey Pallet’s message perfectly.
So there it is. I hope you all have/had a great Valentine’s Day. Remember to go home and kiss the man/woman/inflatable sex sheep you love.
-Zack & Everett