Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Blog As A Mixtape: A Completely Stolen Idea

This used to be a blog where I would occasionally just talk about stuff I like from time to time. For a while I felt like I had to do that in a whole separate blog, and I even stopped writing this one for period of time because of how I felt I "had" to produce content for Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks.


I would like this to get back to being a place where I talk about more than just the stuff I bought this week, or stuff someone sent me in the mail. I want to put more of the "Geek" back in "Goodwill Geek" and with that in mind... I've found an interesting topic that is arguably blog related (because it is) but also just stuff I like that I want to talk about.

And that topic is this:

Image courtesy of Joie Fatale

"What would your blog sound like if it was a Mix Tape? 
Five songs on side A, and Five on B."

So back in May of last year, Steph over at Nerdjoy posted something awesome (she does this a LOT actually, so be sure to check out the rest of her blog too... but this particular instance informs the post you are about to read, so I'm singling that one out). She answered the question above. It was a question originally posited by Joie Fatale over at the Confessions of a Book Pimp blog, but it was through Steph that I discovered the idea.

Mixtapes were a HUGE deal for me back in highschool. I made them for ALL of my friends. I would make myself twenty or so just to listen to in the car, and I would carefully select tracks based on the kind of mood I was trying to achieve. I put a ton of thought into them, and I would often use collectible art cards as "cover art" for my mix tapes, taping them to the front of the liner notes, inside the case.

Might be why THIS resonated so strongly with me...

Making a mixtape that would represent my blog seemed like an awesome challenge that I wanted to try. So I sat down and thought about it. One really obvious song popped into my mind immediately. The rest I really had to go looking for. I discovered one of my new favorite songs by searching for songs for this mixtape. I want to clarify of course that this mixtape is supposed to represent the mood, philosophy, aesthetic, etc. of the Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks blog. It is only meant to represent my musical tastes filtered through this blog. If I were making a mixtape for a friend with all my favorite music on it... I might go with a completely different 10 songs for instance.

Just wanted to throw that out there.

Below I have listed the songs, posted a video to accompany each one, and given a few brief reasons for why each was selected. I hope you don't hate them.

- Side A -

1. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

This one was the one... I mean ONE no-brainer for this list. I have sort of adopted this song as a theme for my blog anyway. Making thrift-shopping cool in a song? Yes please.

2. "Raspberry Beret" - Prince

They're not allowed to have this song on Youtube
so I found this picture that I think may have inspired Prince to write the song.
Now, I went with SEVERAL different Prince songs before settling on this one. I almost went with "Starfish and Coffee" just because it's so fun and upbeat. But ultimately I settled on Beret because it's one of my favorites from back in high school. I actually went so far as to name a role-playing character from Vampire: The Masquerade "Raspberry Beret". But ultimately (eye roll) it was the mention of a second-hand store in the lyrics that made me slap my forehead and add this one.

3."Birdhouse In Your Soul" - They Might Be Giants

Again, this is another band that had too many songs to count that I wanted to include. I could almost make an entire mixtape out of only TMBG songs to represent this blog... but I didn't want that. I VERY NEARLY went with "Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go To Work)" (and also the Mesopotamians, I'm Impressed, Dr. Worm, Man It's So Loud In Here, and ROY G. BIV) but I just love Birdhouse here so much more. It's been my favorite for longer and has such an upbeat message that I HAD to include it. Ignore the intentionally confusing video and just focus on the lyrics.

4. "Everything is Awesome" - Tegan and Sara

Because the LEGO movie was amazing, and this song is incredibly fun and everything IS awesome. That's why.

5. "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" - Annie Lennox and Al Green

So this one I picked because I wanted something that made me think of the holidays without being an overt Christmas song. This one comes from the movie Scrooged, and as 80's supernatural comedies starring Bill Murray go, this one's a winner. I'm justifying not having anything Halloween-y on here (Like say... "Ghostbusters") because of this song from one of my favorite Creepmas classics.

As the uplifting swell you got from "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" starts to die down... you hear the tape-player click as it automatically switches directions and begins to play:

- Side B -

6. "Lonely Little Thrift Store" - Jonathan Richman

I am literally only aware of this song thanks to this blog post. I was curious to see if there were any other songs about thrift shopping, or antique stores, or secondhand stores out there that were also in ANY way worth listening to. And I stumbled upon this song about a lonely little thrift store. 

As tasteless as it is, I can't help but count: 

"Well the avocado green appliances/
with the smell of domestic violences/
and the dusty Farberware/
and the rusty dinette chair..." 

as one of my favorite and most surprising lyrics ever written. Awful... I know. But you have a pretty distinct image in your head now, don't you?

7. "Hooked on a Feeling" - Blue Swede

Yes I am obsessed with Guardians of the Galaxy. But there's more to it than that. This song also screams "Reservoir Dogs" at me, and that memory is more deeply ingrained in my membrane than my fondness for Chris Elliot being brutalized in an alien prison is. The Reservoir Dogs ST was one of my MAIN draws for mixtape fodder in highschool. Soundtracks almost always were. (Great Expectations, The Crow, Pulp Fiction, Batman Forever, the list goes on and on for weird soundtracks with hidden gems amongst the track lists). Aaaaand... it also just happens to be in the Guardians of the Galaxy, which doesn't hurt. (But damned if there wasn't a bit of aural inspiration given to GotG's Awesome Mix, taken directly from Tarentino's own playlists).

8. "Frank Sinatra" - Cake

Cake is one of those weird bands that I played to DEATH. There's just not enough trumpet rock out there IMO. I had a hard time picking a song by them too... but finally settled on one that always evoked hauntingly clear pictures:

"We know of an ancient radiation
That haunts dismembered constellations,
A faintly glimmering radio station.
While Frank Sinatra sings Stormy Weather,
The flies and spiders get along together,
Cobwebs fall on an old skipping record. 

Beyond the suns that guard this roof,
Beyond your flowers of flaming truths,
Beyond your latest ad campaigns,
An old man sits collecting stamps
In a room all filled with Chinese lamps.
He saves what others throw away.
He says that he'll be rich some day."

Sounds like someone I'm growing old into.  

9. "On My Way" - Rusted Root

I desperately wanted to find a video clip of this song being played in the movie "Ice Age". I really liked this song back when it originally came out. It's a feel-good song. But it perfectly illustrates one of the things I loved the most about the very first Ice Age film: It was quirky and unexpected and ultimately it made you feel good without being too manic. This song appearing in a kid's movie exactly a DECADE after it was released as a popular song was bizarre and unexpected... but it fit the movie perfectly. I love this song for its carefree feeling but I kind of hate this video because it makes the band look like a bunch of douchey idiots dancing on rocks and hopping around like they're being spontaneous when they're really just not. And of course now they use it as a Rental Car company's theme... but I forgive it.

10. "The Rainbow Connection" - The Muppets (2011)

And I'm going to end the mixtape on the Muppets. I love this version of the song because of the way it builds and includes so many members of the cast. I almost went with "It's Not Easy Being Green" but I wanted something with a little more oomph, a little more pizzazz, a little more excitement to the lyrics. "Rainbow Connection" while still feeling a little wistful, is definitely the more upbeat of the two numbers.

So that's it! I thought this was a fantastic idea, and so I chose to grab it and run with it. I hope if you're a blogger, and you're reading this, that you'll do the same! I'll be back with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies another time... so until then Happy Hunting!


  1. I love Birdhouse in Your Soul. I have never watch the video - it's pretty entertaining. I think REM stole that dance move for Stand.

    1. Either the dance move or maybe even the video director!

  2. I'm just so excited about this post that I'm commenting before I even read it!................

  3. Rainbow Connection for the end, yes. And Raspberry Beret! When I hear it I always think of my sister and I cruising in her car, headed nowhere but having the best time being silly. She actually still has her cassette!
    This was so interesting, I wonder what my mixtape would sound like?....
    Now I've gotta go listen to that thrift shop song I've never heard of....

    1. I INSIST that you do this topic for your blog! I want DESPERATELY to hear the playlist of the Boo Bobby Blog!

    2. Every day since reading this post I've been thinking of songs!!! But as you know, I've fallen into a destructive cycle of non blogging! :( I'm so on it now.....
      *jazz hands*

  4. Replies
    1. I thought so! I'd love to see the playlist for your blog John!

  5. You've been hinting at this for a while, glad to see it finally surface!

    1. And what would the playlist for your blog be Mr. Erik?

    2. Tough Call. I may have to get back to you on that. I'll certainly be looking to your examples for inspiration.

  6. I love this, great mix tape! Bird House in My Soul is a classic, TMBG are legendary! I could listen to them nonstop and never tire of there music. Have you ever seen any of their video podcast for kids? It's amazing, Ava loves it!

    I just might have to resteal this idea. I'm already making a mix tape in my mind right now.

  7. I remember On My Way from the amazing movie, Matilda. That's where I first
    heard it. LOVE the song...

    1. It's such a great, bouncy get-in-a-good-mood kind of song!

  8. I love this blog post and I love the song! I am your weekly reader and I love you posts all the time, there are any video on YouTube related for this post?


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