My only pathway to talking to pretty girls in high school was through burned CDs. I had 80 minutes to send a clear message that they should all break up with their strong football boyfriends and come kiss in my basement.
  1. "Landlocked Blues" - Bright Eyes
    Conor Oberst's best sick-sweet love ballad, and the easiest to learn on an acoustic guitar and then sarcastically play at a party like I didn't learn it
  2. "Wrestlers" - Hot Chip
    One big metaphor for how love is like competitive wrestling, which I'm not sure I'm on board with anymore, but made sense to me then
  3. "New York I Love You..." - LCD Soundsystem
    A slow-burner that I used to say was the musical pair to "Notes From The Underground". I do not think I properly understood either
  4. "No Name #2" - Elliott Smith
    Always marking the emotional nadir of the mixtape, Elliott Smith songs connoted my depth of feeling and possible obsession with celebrity suicides.
  5. "Everywhere" - Vampire Weekend (fleetwood Mac cover)
    A good cover does double duty on a mixtape, because it demonstrates your vast worldliness and learnedness about intellectual property
  6. "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" - Leonard Cohen
    A sleepy song with an offhand reference to a midday blowjob
  7. "Home" - Kanye West ft. John Legend
    The original version of what became Homecoming ft. Chris Martin. Better and cooler and ideal for tracks 8-10 when the sad ballads wore thin
  8. "Hummingbird" - Wilco
    I used the opening line as the inspiration for a bad short story that I wrote. "Remember to remember me....."
  9. "Northern Lights" - Bowerbirds
    Sweet, pretty song about sweet, pretty lights in the sky.
  10. "Jealous Guy" - John Lennon
    A slight note of caution to the listener that I can be a violent and jealous bad boy
  11. "Love Me Tender" - Norah Jones
    Very subtle messaging here. An Elvis cover, and a really great one at that. Norah Jones got so popular that everyone had to pretend not to love her, but I refuse.
  12. "Re: Stacks" - Bon Iver
    The clear winner of his first album. "When your mooOOoOooney's gone, and you're drunk as hell".
  13. "Fireworks" - Animal Collective
    Short by Animal Collective standards and gets to the melody much more quickly. Still takes up a lot of real estate with 6 minutes but it is worth it.
  14. "Can You Tell" - Ra Ra Riot
    I saw this band play like 8 times. They played downbeat indie stuff with really good strings accompaniment
  15. "Fake Empire" - The National
    When I was 17 I went to a National concert and called a girl on my Nextel phone up so she could listen to them play this song. I bought her a tshirt.
  16. "Walkabout" - Atlas Sound
    Still one of my favorite songs in the world
  17. "Two Doves"- Dirty Projectors
    GerAaaaaaaaanium Kiiiiiissses