Friday, December 19, 2008


I've written about my approach to mixes, and posted several others, in the past here, so it should come as no surprise to friends and readers that I have another one prepared as the year burrows into the heart of winter.

I used to have an ongoing debate with Mr. Chair about the proper frequency of making mixes: I argued that twice a year is optimal for for getting to fall in love with a new batch of songs, plus that pattern fits so well with a school year. Chair, on the other hand, had a streak of making mixes every two months, with the twist of picking two or three songs from several different albums. He'd argue that the really good records shouldn't be reduced to just one song and that the every-two-months schedule fit his listening habits well.

Either way, I'm attached to the idea of making new mixes in regular intervals because each one can stand for a particular period of time, for me essentially representing the highlights of six months of music listening. And I go back to my mixes, all the time, for example playing Whirlwind & Refuge and jumping mentally back to The 505.

This new set of tunes is intimately tied to the last several months of my life. It's the music that has driven me, provoked new thoughts, reminded me of this that or the other, and been the soundtrack to an all-together strange and unique combination of days and nights.

The title, Vagabondish, captures the essence of the time (in several senses) moreso than the music, but it also touches on the songs as well.

It's a zip file, so add the folder to your iTunes and then "import" the xml file to automatically generate the playlist.

Give it a listen: Vagabondish.

And if you're curious, check out The Arid Madlands as well.

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