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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):

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Desert Island Disc Day 6A: Sudden Death

Day 6A: Sudden Death

We have made it to the final twenty-four…and we still have five minutes and fifteen seconds to pare. It would be too easy for there to be a single song left in the competition that ran, you know, 5:17, and thus I turn to our old enemy, the random picker at textmechanic. The final twenty-four have been fed in. There is a one in twelve chance (as there is only one track remaining in the competition longer than 5:15) that there will only be one round (and that is only if the other competitor were to beat Robert Turman, a dicey proposition at best), so we’ll play the odds and say there will be two rounds or more. Same head-to-head style as before, but the combatants will be as much a surprise to me as they are to you. After each matchup after #2, we’ll see if we need to go father. And so the text mechanic hands us the first battle:

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Desert Island Disc Day 5F: Rubber City Noise, Round Two

Day 5F: Rubber City Noise, Round Two

Day 5F Start

We’re into the final bracket of the entire competition, and we have twenty-four minutes left to kill from a current running time of 103:51. That basically means no one is safe… especially not in the following four unbearably painful matchups:

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Desert Island Disc Day 5E: Asagaya in Rain, Round Two

Day 5E: Asagaya in Rain, Round Two

Day 5E Start

We begin with a running time of 120:31 and a Division Six fervently hoping that the running time gets cut to eighty minutes during the following pitched and bloody battles…

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Desert Island Disc Day 5D: 9th and Penn, Round Two

Day 5D: 9th and Penn, Round Two

Day 5D Start

So close, and yet so far…things are getting even hairier, and we still have almost an hour to pare from the Desert Island Disc. How much of that hour will come from the following four battles? We set the timer at 141:55 and head on to find out…

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Desert Island Disc Day 5C: Detroit Metal City, Round Two

Day 5C: Detroit Metal City, Round Two

Day 5C Start

We are tired, but we are down to just forty songs left in the competition with a running time of 153:40, which means we have less than eighty minutes of cutting to do. Let’s see if any of the following bouts can provide some anesthetic…

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Desert Island Disc Day 5B: Hangar 18, Round Two

Day 5B: Hangar 18, Round Two

Day 5B Start

With 167:50 left on the clock, it’s obvious we’re in for more paring down, and the four bouts on Day 5B that will enable us to get closer to our goal are…

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