Burn Disc?
I have been meaning to write something for the last couple of hours, but have been unable to. Unfortunately, this inactivity (I spent much of the time staring blankly at my computer's screen) is not the result of writer's block. I just have not felt like doing anything. I would have tried sleeping, but I woke up around 1600 today.

There are a number of things that have rattling around my head lately. In order to ignore them, I have tried to maintain a higher level of productivity than usual - I have done a bunch of programming for Gregarius (most notably adding tagging support to folders), done some work for my job, read a lot of interesting articles on the Internets, slept for at least 8 hours every night day, and (most surprisingly) talked to a surprising amount of people online.

Unfortunately, since I was not feeling like doing any of these things tonight (except, perhaps, the last one), I was either staring blankly off into space or pacing.

In order to stop this troublesome thinking, I decided to make a playlist of songs I liked. Since I do not really want to wake up this afternoon to a C&D, I am not offering the songs on the list for public download. If you want to track down the songs on iTunes or what have you, go ahead.[1] If I happen to find them available for free, I will link to the download locations. Otherwise, I will have to spend time parsing through the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 and 17 USC 10 in order to try and determine whether compiling mix CDs for friends is legal.

  1. John Vanderslice - June July (Cedar Door; 2004)
    I know it is currently neither June nor July, but the lyrics in this song convey a sense of summer in general to me. Despite the fact that this song is about being struck by lightning, this is sleepy enough to make a good introductory track.

    Incidentally, the remixed version of this track on MGM Endings is entitled "August." It is the first track.

  2. The Decemberists - Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right (Billy Liar CD single; 2004)
    How could you not love a song with a title like this? The lyrics even include a reference to an ottoman![2]
  3. Death Cab for Cutie - Company Calls Epilogue (We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes; 2000)
    If there is a list of songs that you should not playing when a friend tells you that she is engaged, this track is most definitely on it.
  4. Pixies - Is She Weird (Bossanova; 1990)
    Bossanova was the first Pixies' album I ever heard, and it is still my favorite. The other albums have just as many good songs, but the songs on Bossanova are just more ethereal - the lyrics are almost hidden below the screaming of the guitars.
  5. Sufjan Stevens - The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us![3] (Illinois; 2005)
    After gushing about Sufjan Stevens at the beginning of the month, it was obvious that he would make an appearance here. This specific track makes me think of a friend I had during freshman year whom I no longer talk to.
  6. Björk - Bachelorette (Homogenic; 1997)
    I saw the music video (directed by Michel Gondry, who did Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) for this song sometime last year on some "world television" channel. While I had a vague awareness of who Björk was, the only music I had heard of hers was some harsh pseudo-electronica (possibly from her 2004 album Medulla). The lyrics still leave me in awe:
    if you forget my name
    you will go astray
    like a killer whale trapped in a bay
  7. The Shins - Young Pilgrims (Chutes Too Narrow; 2003)
    If the TSA were ever to look at my iPod, I imagine that they would be dismayed to find out that I play this song when flying:
    But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
    Know there is this side of me that
    Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
    Fly the whole mess into the sea.
  8. John Vanderslice - White Plains (Cellar Door; 2004)
    People in the know will realize that I have violated the First Rule of Making Mixtapes.[4] Guess what? I DON'T CARE.
  9. Sufjan Stevens - Chicago (Illinois; 2005)
    I was planning on visiting Chicago at the beginning of the summer, but decided to become a recluse instead.

    Did you notice the descriptions are getting shorter? This is because finding all these hyperlinks takes too long.

  10. Death Cab for Cutie - Coney Island (The Photo Album; 2001)
    This is one of those songs that you have to hear to appreciate.
  11. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Bridges, Squares (Hearts of Oak; 2003)
    Just when you thought the remainder of this list would be more songs by artists you have already heard, I decided to fake you out.

    It tickles me that in an album that shares its name with a Ghanaian football club, Ted Leo references both the Red Line and New Jersey in this song. Even cooler, the lyrics use the words "ossify," "historicity," and "internationalist." These words are as cool as ottomans.

  12. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Us (Pig Lib; 2003)
    I wish we could get our act together
    Make some sense of present tense, alright

  13. Franz Ferdinand - Dark of the Matinee (Franz Ferdinand; 2004)
    After seeing the music video for "Do You Want To," I got to thinking how the musical promise of Franz Ferdinand seemed to be coming to naught. Thankfully, I can still listen to the first album (not including the song "Michael," of course, because it sucks).

    "Dark of the Matinee" was one of my favorite songs during my sophomore spring. The thought of leaving school to go to a movie theater see,ed reasonable, and landing on television seemed like more than I could hope for:

    So I'm on BBC2 now, telling Terry Wogan how I made it
    And what I made is unclear now
    But his deference is and his laughter is
    My words and smile are so easy now
    Yes, it's easy now, yes, it's easy now

  14. Belle & Sebastian - Your Cover's Blown (Wrapped Up in Books EP; 2004)
    "Winnifred"[5] introduced me to this song. Despite its absolutely ridiculous disco-like backbeat, I cannot get enough of it. The lyrics are particularly appropriate during this time of year:
    I'll make a rough plan to sleep around,
    I'm in a rut I need a change,
    I'm a lazy rat if I am honest
    My bold change of tack will fade out with the summer
    I've got no appetite and all the girls are bummers

    I also like the fact that it ends with the line "Tell your friends there's more to you than this." This obviously refers to the boring stuff you have to do to keep up appearances (so to speak). When I am in a bad mood (as I was when I began this list), I hate that shit.

    If you stayed with me this long, you might be interested in my new Last.fm profile. I have not listened to very many songs yet, so it is still a bit boring. Luckily, none of the "embrassing" artists in my music library (e.g. Jewel) have come up yet.

    The wish to increase my Audioscrobbler data and my newfound good mood makes me think I might as well stay up; I have a lot to do.

    [1]Legal Disclaimer: The "what have you" hyperlink is not meant to encourage copyright infringement, but to acknowledge the fact that sharing music is legal in some jurisdictions. This website does not support copyright infringement.

    [2]Ottomans are cool.

    [3]I transcribed the entire lyrics of this song ... only to find that someone else had already done so. Foolish me for not looking ahead of time.

    [4]Thou shalt not put two songs by the same artist on the same mixtape, unless thou include two songs by every artist on the tape.

    [5]Not his real name.