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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6.
    "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" - Leonard Cohen
    A sleepy song with an offhand reference to a midday blowjob
  7. 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. 8.
    "Hummingbird" - Wilco
    I used the opening line as the inspiration for a bad short story that I wrote. "Remember to remember me....."
  9. 9.
    "Northern Lights" - Bowerbirds
    Sweet, pretty song about sweet, pretty lights in the sky.
  10. 10.
    "Jealous Guy" - John Lennon
    A slight note of caution to the listener that I can be a violent and jealous bad boy
  11. 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. 12.
    "Re: Stacks" - Bon Iver
    The clear winner of his first album. "When your mooOOoOooney's gone, and you're drunk as hell".
  13. 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. 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. 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. 16.
    "Walkabout" - Atlas Sound
    Still one of my favorite songs in the world
  17. 17.
    "Two Doves"- Dirty Projectors
    GerAaaaaaaaanium Kiiiiiissses