Three playlists to use In Real Life
Paul gave Lauren this cassette compilation halfway through their third date, in the Cornerhouse bar, after a screening of Y Tu Mamá También. Paul’s vague intentions when making the mix were twofold: 1) to demonstrate just how in-tune he was with modern/underground guitar music and 2) to advertise, however obliquely, that there were hidden, spiky depths beneath his somewhat-studious surface: i.e. the howls of the guitars were, in some vague way, supposed to replicate the complicated howls of his heart, the downbeat folky songs were supposed to indicate his more gloomy, reflective moments, and the whole thing was, however indirectly, arranged to suggest that someone with a lot of complicated anguish inside them might also be a surprising and dramatic lover. (Bonus fact: Lauren listened to this mix tape, in total, one and a half times.)
Jim O’Rourke – Ghost Ship in a Storm
Dismemberment Plan – A Life of Possibilities
Unwound – Demons Sing Love Songs
Silkworm – Couldn’t You Wait?
Les Savy Fav – Disco Drive
Modest Mouse – Dramamine
Neutral Milk Hotel – Everything Is ...
Uzeda – Big Lies
Silver Mt. Zion – Movie (Never Made)
The Lapse – Consent
When Lauren broke up with Paul and moved to Canada on a year long working Visa, she realized with frustration that almost all of the music on her iPod was music that Paul had loaded onto it – Paul, that expert curator of pretentious, humourless mix tapes. Oh dear. Why did the boys she met always seem to want to display themselves, like peacocks, through interminable selections of obscure indie rock? But still, there were some songs Lauren liked on her 20GB, 3rd Generation iPod, songs that reminded her of things, or people, or both, not to mention songs that she’d loaded onto it, too, from embarrassing teenage purchases and best ofs that she’d dug out back at her mum’s house in the weeks before she left.
Simon and Garfunkel – April Come She Will
Liz Phair – Love Is Nothing
Tori Amos – Happy Phantom
Cat Stevens – If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out
Beck – Sexx Laws
PJ Harvey – Good Fortune
The Shins – Young Pilgrims
Belle & Sebastian – Judy and the Dream of Horses
Beth Orton – Someone’s Daughter
Wilco – Jesus, etc.
At the most intense point of their email correspondence, Ian made this mix for Lauren one night in his bedroom in Forest Fields, Nottingham, fully intending to post it to her in Vancouver, Canada, but chickening out the following morning when he realized that the selection of songs was a touch too candid – a touch too obvious in its intentions to communicate his growing attraction to her. So, instead, the CD sat in a desk drawer for eight years, gather gig flyers, almost-empty packets of green Rizla and black gel pens with no ink left in them, before eventually being thrown away sometime in late 2013 along with almost all his other CDs/worldly possessions.
Elliott Smith – Sweet Adeline
Laura Cantrell – Too Late For Tonight
Stars – Reunion
Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind
M. Ward – Fool Says
Microphones – I Felt Your Shape
Iron & Wine – Such Great Heights
Nina Nastasia – Little Angel
Red House Painters – I Am a Rock
Elliott Smith – The Last Hour