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Desert Island Disc: The Final Playlist (and the Final Post of 2013)

Day 6B: Tracking

I wrote those last words months ago. Since then, and I will admit that even for an obsessive mixtape maker like I was in the eighties (every girlfriend I ever had—including my current wife when we started dating in 2002, though by then it was a mix-double-CD—got a mixtape at some point in our relationship, and of course I traded with friends all the time) this is overkill, I’ve been tweaking the tracking. Part of the art of the mixtape is in figuring out what songs go where, and every mixtape maker has his or her own formula as to what works and what doesn’t. Mine changes; sometimes I go thematically, when the subject matter of a particular tape warrants it. But hey, I’m a poet. The most important thing to me is that stuff sounds good when you jam it together. So I started, as I sometimes do, by classifying our twenty-two survivors on two qualities at their beginnings and ends: the volume level (with “normal” being most of the audible range) and abruptness of the transition. From there, it was simply a question of finding the combinations where everything matched as well as possible and taking each one into consideration. That comparison shopping alone could have easily made this series twice as long; given that because of the way it ends I knew “Red Haired Girl” was the last piece, that still left me with 21! combinations. Is this the best of them? I don’t know, but it sounds that way to me after months of different iterations. And thus I give you Goat’s Desert Island Disc. If I had eighty minutes of music left to listen to my entire life, they would sound exactly like this (well, without the Youtube ads):

This post was going to be a great deal longer and talk about juxtapositions and shuffling and all that sort of thing (I spent more time rearranging the tracks now sitting in positions 4, 5, and 20 than everything else here—possibly everything else here combined), but I ended up behind the 8-ball on the end-of-the-year lists and a bunch of other stuff that needed to get done, and I am writing this as close to live as I am comfortable with. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I would have been comfortable two months ago. I’ve spent the last week panicking. A few things had to be jettisoned, and unfortunately, the tracking-geek stuff I was hoping to fill a few thousand words with here was one of the things that had to go, unfortunately. But, well, that just gives you more time to listen to eighty minutes’ worth of phenomenal music.

If you want the tracklist from the above in text form:
01. The Orphan, the Poet, “Black and White Photography”
02. The Judy’s, “Her Wave”
03. Racermason, “Liar’s Life”
04. Rie Fu, “Tsuki Akari”
05. The Legendary Pink Dots, “Ghost”
06. The Angels of Light, “Song for My Father”
07. Allerseelen, “Santa Sangre”
08. Elhaz, “Glory”
09. Merzbow, “Asagaya Field Recording”
10. Black Bloc, “By Any Means”
11. Robert Turman, “’al-Qaida”
12. Dog Lady, “Children of the Torn Snare”
13. Skin Graft, “Regret”
14. Jack Smiley, “Arabesque”
15. Short Dark Strangers, “Flowers of April”
16. The Jesus Lizard, “Boilermaker”
17. Satanic Threat, “Guilty of Hating Christ”
18. Inerds, “Shut It”
19. John Lee Hooker, “Madman’s Blues”
20. Natasha’s Ghost, “Falling Up”
21. Leslie Keffer, “Taste Tongue to Warm Tummy”
22. Horse, “Red Haired Girl”

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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