It was actually really fun, except for the mailing part. The tradition has prevailed over time, with friends now eagerly anticipating the musical joy that I'm sending (at least that's what I like to think) and has evolved in the digital space of downloading and Spotify.
I usually start the process over Thanksgiving, but alas in 2011, being in Turkey and other things got in the way. I was SUPER late in this musical delivery. Finally a couple weeks ago, the distribution started.
Here it is, in case you haven't gotten your copy yet (and so I can remember in case my iTunes library gets funky, as it's prone to do):
Volume 1 - http://open.spotify.com/user/
Volume 2 - http://open.spotify.com/user/
I usually include detailed notes about each track and artist, thought I made the executive decision to skip it this year, mostly due to lack of time.
But I need to make a few notes here:
- Live Those Days Tonight previewed on Pitchfork in March and had me dancing in a hotel in Hong Kong for days. I had internet problems there and was glad the track was buffered so I could continue to repeat.
- My love for Midnight City has not diminished one iota since I first heard it. I can't start that song and not finish it. It is great.
- Gotye might have song of the year. It makes me think a lot about past break ups and how the moving on process happened in each case. I've got one particular someone that I used to know. I love how this version starts out all swimmingly, like you're a beach resort, then kicks in a little for some misery.
- Our Hearts Are Wrong strangely stuck by me all year. I'd find it randomly stuck in my head at the most odd times and wonder where it came from.
- I couldn't decide which Bon Iver tracks to include, since I love them all (duh). But Perth made me cry when I heard it live, so....yeah.
- If you're a foreign band and danceable, you're probably in this mix.
- James Vincent McMorrow has the most haunting voice. I saw him open for the Civil Wars and he's kind of great, especially remixed.
- Active Child album on repeat the last half of the year, especially when on planes. It gets to me. It's good accompaniment to staring out the window, miles in the air, and pondering the mysteries of life.
Florence + the Machine - Shake It Out
Friendly Fires - Live Those Days Tonight
The Black Keys - Sister
Lykke Li - Jerome
Little Dragon - Ritual Union
M83 - Steve McQueen
Oh Land - Son of a Gun
Bombay Bicycle Club - Shuffle
Foster the People - Call It What you Want
Dum Dum Girls - Bedroom Eyes
St Vincent - Cruel
Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know (Biblio remix)
Jessie Baylin - Hurry Hurry
Jessica Lea Mayfield - Our Hearts Are Wrong
Feist - Caught a Long Wind
Bon Iver - Perth
The Civil Wars - No Ordinary Love Cass McCombs - The Same Thing
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
M83 - Midnight City
Friendly Fires - Show Me Lights
Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix)
Kele - Devotion
Digitalism - 2 Hearts
Washed Out - Amor Fati
Cults - Abducted
Grouplove - Colours
Boy & Bear - Milk & Sticks
Telekinesis - You Turn Clear in the Sun
The War on Drugs - Baby Missiles
Bon Iver - Holocene
Wye Oak - Holy Holy
Youth Lagoon -Cannons
James Vincent McMorrow - Shells of Silver (White Sea remix)
Active Child - Playing House
Radiohead - Codex
Mixes from past years are found here.