You mix them, you mix them not

The art of the mixtape

Feb 10, 2010 at 6:00 am

Whether you’re trying to get that person in the sack or out of your life, mixtapes are formats with feeling.

Old-school: Hitting play-record on a Maxell blank. New-school: dragging and dropping into an iPod playlist. Do it right and your muse walks away with a sneak peek into your soul, and possibly your phone number. Or, if separation is the goal, he or she gets the hint and walks away for good.

“You have an agenda when you start out making a mixtape to convey a certain feeling to a person, and being able to convey that through sound is what makes a great mixtape,” says Matt Anthony, host of WFPK’s “Friday Night Soundclash.” “I’ll go so deep where I want the whole vibe through it. There should be some relation to the sound of the mixtape and the feeling that you want to impart to whomever you’re giving the mixtape to.”

These are a must, says fellow WFPK host Laura Shine, “Whether it’s a love letter in song or a breakup tape or songs about a particular topic or genre. Dance mixes are almost always good, too.”

When she bought her house, Shine received a mix with “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads, “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp, “Our House” by Crosby, Stills & Nash, etc.

Regardless of whether you’re the mixer or the mixee, taste is always judged.

“You can tell a lot about the person who gives you the tape,” Shine says, “whether they are cleverer than you thought or whether their taste is questionable after seeing what they include in their mix.”

Both DJs agreed to channel the depths of their music catalogues to come up with the perfect mixes: Anthony tackles the topic of love in his selections, while Shine shares her top-10 breakup songs.


WFPK DJ Laura Shine

I’m Taking My Heart Back, Thank You Very Much

1) “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” Jennifer Holliday from “Dream Girls” Soundtrack

2) “Inconsolable,” Jonatha Brooke

3) “You’re Taking Up Another Man’s Place,” Aretha Franklin

4) “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” The Manhattans

5) “Love Has No Pride,” Bonnie Raitt

6) “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” Steam

7) “If I Had Any Pride Left At All,” Etta James

8) “Breakup To Make Up,” The Stylistics

9) “Different Drum,” Linda Ronstadt (written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees)

10) “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” Bob Dylan


WFPK DJ Matt Anthony

A Late Night Love Dream

1) “I Put a Spell on You,” Nina Simone

2) “I’ve Been Thinking,” Handsome Boy Modeling School

3) “Sugar Thing,” St. Germain

4) “Crystallized,” The XX

5) “Prototype,” Outkast

6) “Prettiest Thing,” The Creatures

7) “Moonage Daydream,” David Bowie

8) “If Love is the Drug, Then I Want to O.D.,” Brian Jonestown Massacre

9) “Strange Love,” The Cramps

10) “Ladies of the World,” The Flight of the Concords


When it comes to the art of wooing a love interest via a well-crafted mixtape, we here at LEO are quite adept. On the flipside, we’ve all been kicked in the teeth by love a time or two, giving us ample ammo to make that perfect I-will-not-stop-crying-until-I-get-you-back-or-at-least-see-you-suffer mix.

With that, please enjoy our selections (or at least the ones that don’t make you want to yank it into the guardrail). —Sarah Kelley



Your Love is Better than Beer

1) “Meet Me By the Water,” Rachael Yamagata

2) “Unusual You,” Britney Spears

3) “Two,” Ryan Adams

4) “Weather With You,” Crowded House

5) “Easy Silence,” Dixie Chicks

6) “Nobody Knows Me,” Lyle Lovett

7) “A Soft Place to Fall,” Allison Moorer

8) “Wait Another Day,” Uh Huh Her

9) “Ice Cream,” Sarah MacLachlan

10) “Pussy Whipped,” Velcro Pygmies

You Took My Joy, I Want It Back

1) “Where Does the Good Go,” Tegan and Sara

2) “Could’ve Been,” Tiffany

3) “Joy,” Lucinda Williams

4) “Insensitive,” Jann Arden

5) “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart,” Alicia Keys

6) “Wake Up Older,” Julie Roberts

7) “Hologram,” Katie Herzig

8) “Left You Behind,” Digby

9) “Ex-Girlfriend,” No Doubt

10) “Fuck You Song,” Uncommon Houseflies



I Wanna Be Your Easter Bunny

1) “God Only Knows,” The Beach Boys

2) “Be Mine,” REM

3) “The Fourteenth of February,” Billy Bragg

4) “First Glimmer,” Paul Westerberg

5) “Jesus, Etc.,” Wilco

6) “First Day of My Life,” Bright Eyes

7) “I’m on Fire,” Bruce Springsteen

8) “Such Great Heights,” Postal Service

9) “We’re Going to Be Friends,” White Stripes

10) “In Spite of Ourselves,” John Prine and Iris Dement 

Beware! I Bear More Grudges Than Lonely High Court Judges

1) “These Arms of Mine,” Otis Redding

2) “All My Little Words,” Magnetic Fields

3) “The Price I Pay,” Billy Bragg

4) “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get,” Morrissey

5) “Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley

6) “Romeo and Juliet,” Dire Straits

7) “Trampoline,” Joe Henry

8) “Salome,” Old 97s

9) “Tears of a Clown,” Smokey Robinson

10) “I Will Survive,” Cake



Side A: Love & Basketball

1) “The Point of It All,” Anthony Hamilton

2) “Come Close to Me,” Common featuring Mary J. Blige

3) “Sobeautiful,” Musiq Soulchild

4) “Punch Drunk Love,” Common featuring Kanye West

5) “Lifetime,” Maxwell

6) “The Panties,” Mos Def

7) “Lay Down,” Floetry

8) “Love,” Musiq Soulchild

9) “Take Off Your Cool,” André 3000 featuring Norah Jones

10) “International Players Anthem (I Choose You),” UGK featuring Outkast 

Side B: The Hate Below

1) “Love Lockdown,” Kanye West

2) “In Repair,” John Mayer

3) “Going on,” Gnarls Barkley

4) “Roses,” André 3000

5) “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You,” Colin Hay

6) “Fool of Me,” Me’Shell Ndegeocello

7) “Emotional,” Carl Thomas

8) “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul,” Gnarls Barkley

9) “You Got it Bad,” Usher

10) “Kim,” Eminem



Side A: Mired in Sweet Love-Sauce

1) “You Can’t Turn Me Away,” Sylvia Striplin

2) “I’d Rather Be With You,” Bootsy Collins

3) “I’m Glad,” Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

4) “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

5) “Oh Honey,” Delegation

6) “Bring It Here,” Wild Sugar

7) “Kiss From A Rose,” Seal

8) “Faithfully,” Journey

9) “I’m on Fire,” Bruce Springsteen

10) “Pregnant,” R. Kelly


1) “Since I Left You,” The Avalanches

2) “99 Problems,” Jay-Z

3) “Bitches Ain’t Shit,” Dr. Dre

4) “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?,” Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

5) “My Lover’s Prayer,” Otis Redding

6) “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Bonnie Tyler

7) “What A Fool Believes,” The Doobie Brothers

8) “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” Crowded House

9) “Love on the Rocks,” Neil Diamond

10) “We’re Not Supposed to Be Lovers,” Adam Green



Ten Songs of Hope, Friendship and Newfound Romance

1) “Spin My Wheels,” Cotton Mather

2) “Octopus’s Garden,” The Beatles

3) “Woman,” John Lennon

4) “Mona’s Prayer (Harmony Rocket #3),” Charlie Chesterman and the Legendary Motorbikes

5) “Maybe I’m Amazed,” Paul McCartney

6) “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” The Ramones

7) “Psycho Ballerina,” Jackpot

8) “Forever Yours,” The Romantics

9) “No One Really Knows,” The Young Fresh Fellows

10) “Flowers in the Window,” Travis

 If You Take Even ONE of My Records, I’ll Decapitate Your Cat. Bitch.

1) “You Dirty Rat,” Scruffy the Cat

2) “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone),” Will Hoge

3) “Glad to See You Go,” The Ramones

4) “A New Lease on Life, Parts I and II,” Charlie Chesterman and the Legendary Motorbikes

5) “Thought I Knew You,” Matthew Sweet

6) “Fonder and Blonder,” The Refreshments

7) “Nightmares,” Violent Femmes

8) “Sorry,” Nerf Herder

9) “Blood and Roses,” The Smithereens

10) “Smiling,” The Knack