Mystery Mixtape #1

Carbon dating reveals the first mixtape out of the pile to have been crafted towards the end of 2001 or sometime in early 2002. The opening track, It’s a Wonderful Life, isn’t much help here – it has been a staple of many of my compilations since the release of the album of the same name in summer 2001. By the second half of Side 2, however, strong Hed Kandi vibes start to reveal themselves, with tracks from Serve Chilled 3 (Bebel Gilberto) and Winter Chill 3 (Mr. Hermano, Mescalito) making an appearance.

There are two tracks from Grandaddy‘s superb album The Sophtware Slump, since re-mastered and re-released as a deluxe edition that’s well worth seeking out, and two tracks from Lost Souls, the towering debut album from Doves. It’s also a delight to hear a track from the self-titled album by Saint Low, the band formed by former Madder Rose lead singer Mary Lorson.

Although I’m expecting a lot of mystery mixtapes from around this turn-of-the-millennium period (not so many from earlier, because I wasn’t always this lazy with my labelling…) I expect this to be one of the last I ever made for myself. By this time I had already started to move on to the ill-fated and short-lived medium known as minidisc, and its many exciting features: in-line remotes; long-play; shuffle; incredible pocketability…

The Musical Advent Calendar of Mystery

Your plain old advent calendar tends to be an overpriced piece of card with fiddly doors that hide vaguely seasonal but often poorly drawn vignettes. If you’re especially unlucky you might find yourself having to stomach cheap chocolate from a plastic inlay (and no little pictures for you, if that’s the case). But thanks to @debmwhite, help is at hand, in the form of the musical advent calendar of mystery.

Say – what’s a musical advent calendar of mystery? Well, I’ll tell you. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Think of 24 Christmas songs – songs that remind you of Christmas, songs that you love or songs that move you and fill you with glad tidings of comfort and joy to hear them each day during this festive time.
  2. Write down the artists and song titles on 24 pieces of paper.
  3. Pop the 24 pieces of paper into 24 identical envelopes.
  4. Give them a good shuffle.
  5. Write the numbers 1-24 on your well shuffled identical envelopes.
  6. Decorate your envelopes with festive flourishes.
  7. Proudly display your work.

It’s as easy as that.

Or, if you prefer, you can be like Noakes, and make a hanging bauble fire hazard.

noakes advent