The Danes Find It Hard to Say Goodbye

DATE:

March 9, 1999

THE COVER:

IMG_6728

THE TRACKS:

SIDE A:

  • Making Time – The Creation
  • Can’t Stand It – Wilco
  • Anchor – Letters to Cleo
  • Boll Weevil – The Presidents of the United States of America
  • (Today’s the Day) I’m Glad I’m Not Dead – Indigo Swing
  • Bonehead’s Bank Holiday – Oasis
  • Nervous In the Alley – Less Than Jake
  • Over Our Bodies – Longpigs
  • She’s a Good Girl – Sleeper
  • The Magic Number – De La Soul
  • Don’t Do Me Like That – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Circles – Soul Coughing
  • I Will Believe – Oasis
  • Going Down Slow – Huey Lewis and the News
  • X-Girlfried – Bush

SIDE B:

  • WIth Imagination – Harry Connick Jr.
  • No Way – Pearl Jam
  • Some Catch Flies – Kristin Hersh
  • Country House – Blur
  • Rachel – Buffalo Tom
  • Video – Ben Folds Five
  • Going Nowhere – Oasis
  • Leave the Biker – Fountains of Wayne
  • Jimi Thing – Dave Matthews Band
  • Hundred Mile City – Ocean Colour Scene
  • Sons of 3rd Bass – 3rd Bass
  • Ooh La La – The Faces
  • Satan is My Master (live) – Ben Folds Five

THE LINER NOTES:

The last few mixtapes have seen a large number of repeated songs and artists, with only a handful of new additions being sprinkled in. This tape is no different. Oasis shows up again– thrice– with at least the third showing for “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday.” Sleeper, Longpigs, De La Soul, Huey Lewis and the News, Letters to Cleo and Pearl Jam are all also making return appearances. This tape also pulls heavily from music I’ve owned since high school and college. I’m keeping things familiar and safe on tape. Just like I was doing with my life.

I wasn’t conscience of it at the time, but I was holding on to a lot of my past during these years. Almost two years since graduating and I’ve already returned to my college town and was even living with my old college roommate. I wasn’t actively seeking out anything new. I was using a temp agency to gain employment, never having to fully commit to anything. And I was still involved with Melissa, the high school sweetheart I dated through college. We never really had a “break-up,” a moment where one of us said, “This is over! We’re through!” And even though she was in Maryland and I was in Massachusetts, we kept in touch and eventually visited each other. Hooking up again was inevitable. And we began to work out what the future might hold for us. We were a long-distance couple again, for a time.

So just as these tapes were retracing familiar material, so was I.

But still, new things were slowly being added. Yes, we have another Wilco song here, but this one is from their brand new album. Yes, I’m living in Boston again, but off campus, fending for myself. After several temp jobs, I was assigned to a call center for Fidelity Investments. That job stuck. I was meeting new people just as I was becoming familiar with new sounds. I picked up the new Soul Coughing album, just as I was picking up new acquaintances. I have never been one to jump head first into anything new and untested, and it’s interesting to see how these mixtapes reflect that. Does this change any time soon? Do these mixtapes become any less homogeneous? Does my life ever become something other than the known?

Well, sure. But it’s going to take a road trip to change it.

THAT’S GREAT, BUT HOW’S THE MIX?:

The mix is comfort food. This mix is that smell that reminds you of Christmas at your grandparents. This mix is pizza.

I’ll admit, listening to these tapes today, after years and years of collecting new music, the lack of variety is getting a little frustrating. But then I come to the end of one track, and as its fading out I start to sing the beginning of the next– before it starts, because I know what’s coming. I walked a lot in Boston. I rode the T a lot. I had a lot of time to myself on these treks, and these tapes were the ever-present soundtrack. This mix takes me home.

The opening to “Can’t Stand It” will forever remind me of riding the Green Line train above ground through Brighton-Allston. Kristin Hersh’s “Come Catch Flies” always takes me back to walking down the center of Commonwealth Ave. in Back Bay. The tempo of the song kept me moving along, while being relaxed enough to keep me from rushing through life.

Adding to this mixtape’s unending familiarity are the Mark Mothersbaugh Rushmore interstitials that are scattered throughout. I only ever used them on this tape, so my sense memory is forever linked. Really, now that I’m thinking about it, The Danes Find It Hard to Say Goodbye is kind of my own life’s quirky little  Rushmore soundtrack. I even open and close the tape with the same songs from the movie.

Since I’m shutting down the “I Should Be A DJ/I Wish I Was a Music Supervisor” heading going forward on this site, I’ll talk about a fewer more highlights here. The transition from Harry Connick Jr.’s “With Imagination” into Pearl Jam’s “No Way” has always felt right. Though stylistically different, the tempos are similar enough for the juxtaposition to make sense. The mix also closes strong, starting with “Leave the Biker.”

The heaviness of that track (you know, power pop heaviness) followed by the light acoustic guitar intro of “Jimi Thing” is incredibly satisfying. “Hundred Mile City” picks up the pace again, and 3rd Bass samples and scratches through one awesome track.

And “Satan Is My Master” is just plain fun.

PLEASED TO MEET YOU:

With a steady income finally starting to roll in, I could start expanding my album purchases. No longer was I simply saving up to buy the next new release from a band I already owned. New stuff could start to be added. “Circles” by Soul Coughing was a bass thumping ear worm that still rocks.

WAIT. WHAT? WHY?:

There’s not really any song that stands out as a complete misstep here. As noted above, this tape plays it safe with the familiar. I do question why I’m still putting three Oasis tracks on here when the space could have been used for something new, but at least I’m picking a couple less heard b-sides. “Going Nowhere” will never be considered a classic Oasis tune, but its a pleasant enough Noel-sung ballad.  And the sentiment of the lyrics struck a chord at the time.

THE SUPER ULTRA MEGA SONG:

De La Soul’s 3 Feet High And Rising was the first hip-hop album I ever bought. It was a cassette tape, actually. One that I completely wore out in high school. I don’t need to tell you what classic record it is. And “The Magic Number,” with its School House Rockin’ rhymes and sample smorgasbord is the albums highlight (which is saying something with this album full of highlights). As much as “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday” shows up in these early mixes, so shall you see “The Magic Number.”

 

And if you’ve got the time and the Spotify account, here’s the mix (sans a few songs not available). Tell me what you think.

 

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