Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Mixed Tape

Sangin' it country-style at the fair.
"And this is my mixed tape for her
It's like I wrote every note
With my own fingers."
-Jack's Mannequin
-The Mixed Tape

Much like little Jean Louise Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and the case of Tom Robinson, I spent this summer attached to the words of Jeff Ashton, prosecutor for the state of Florida, in the case against Casey Anthony.  It was the summer of babysitting, catching viral infections that small children are only supposed to get, trips to the zoo, blinding people with my paleness, and counting the number of times Jose Baez said "gas can."  Oh yes, a summer completely an uneventful kind-of-way.  To say that I haven't had time to blog would be a lie since I didn't have to attend classes and search as I may, was unable to find a job.  Reading, not writing, got the best of me this summer because I finally had time to browse through something besides a history or sociology book.  Ah, reading, my other obsession besides music.  Since my hour long college commute was absent from my daily routine, I found myself listening to less music.  Rest assured, however, I noticed this absence immensely. 

As is tradition, I make a mix cd each summer with random songs on it to listen to in my car.  Summer of 2007? I will never be able to hear Carly Simon's "You're so Vain" without thinking of getting in my car outside the bank where I worked and cranking it up, relieved that another day of cashing checks was done.  I believe this was also the summer I declared myself a fanilow and memorized all the words of "Copacabana."  Ohhhh, the music choices that I make each year.  Lady Gaga was a constant three years ago, Jessie's Girl and Glee hits the year after.  2010 was old country bliss: Loretta, the Carters, Conway, Johnny, and too many others to name.  This year, though? 

Christina and I braving an almost storm to see The Band Perry.

Not as interesting.

But in typical list-making fashion, I've made my summer listening list and will try my best to justify my erratic choosings. :) In no particular order...except kind of alphabetical at times, here they are!

  • "Am I the Only One?" - Dierks Bentley, this was Bentley's first single release from his sixth album and reached #1 on the Country Billboard chart.  I'm seriously not one to love "new" country but CMT videos sucked me in this summer. Wait, what? Country Music Television actually shows country music on it's station?  Well, now-a-days country music seems to be a relative term, so I'll let you decide that for yourself.  But yes, something beside Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader? actually graced its airwaves.
  • "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" - Thompson Square, I'm not feeling their newest single so I'll stick with one from last year.  This song was certified platinum and earned the coveted spot on my phone as a ring tone. I like their voices together, I like the song, I just liked singing it, in all actuality. Sigh.
  • "Crazy Girl" - Eli Young Band,  I wouldn't last a single day// I'd probably just fade away// Without you I'd lose my mind// Before you ever came along// I was living life all wrong// The smartest thing I ever did was make you all mine. Swoon.  Did I also mention it was the summer of love?
  • "Gentle on my Mind" - Glen Campbell, before learning of Campbell's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease in June, I hadn't even paid much attention to his music.  So I borrowed some cds, made some copies, and became a fan.  This 1968 winner of two Grammy awards to the original singer, John Hardford, was made even more popular by Campbell who makes me love it a little more every time I listen.
  • "Give a Little Love" - The Judds, There is just something about Wynonna's voice that makes me break out my country girl voice and sing at the top of my lungs.  Nuts as she may be, the woman can sing the heck out of any song she's ever done cause Naomi didn't raise no fool.
  • "Hell on Heels" - Pistol Annies, play, repeat, play, repeat. Holyyyyyyyyyy cow these ladies can sing.  This group, assembled by Miranda Lambert, put out their first record on August 23rd and this is, by far, the stand out.  It echos country roots from the past and is quickly climbing the charts on my iPod top 25.
  • "If I didn't Have You" -Randy Travis, this man could sing me the ABCs and I'd drool.
  • "I'm a Stand by my Woman Man," -Ronnie Milsap, this 1976 release earned Milsap his sixth #1 hit and is constantly on my 103.9 country legends station.  This station, which I refer to as the "Crystal T. Ronstadt" station for repeatedly playing Gayle, Tom T. Hall, and Linda, has started blasting this diddy a billion times, as well, and I couldn't help but grow fond of it earlier this year.  Maybe a nickname change is in the future...
  • "In the Mood" -Glenn Miller, no summer would be complete without some instrumental Miller. <3
    Thanks to Rebecca DiBiase who let me
    borrow her much better picture of TBP
    from the Independence Festival.
    "Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel #8)" -Dolly Parton, written by the Singing Brakeman Jimmie Rodgers, Dolly put her own spin on it in 1970 and earned a Grammy nod.  It's fast and upbeat and really shows of Parton's range of singing abilities.
  • "Old Alabama"-Brad Paisley, seventeenth #1 for Paisley and first #1 under Alabama's belt since 1993. Amazing combination, enough said.
  • "Rolling in the Deep" -Adele, there's a reason it was #1 in eleven different countries at the same time.
  • "Waymore's Blues" -Waylon Jennings, I cannot explain my madness in loving this song. Perhaps because it teaches some spelling words (d-i-e, t-i-e, d-o-g, l-o-g...). Kinda like a Fergie song.
  • "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" -Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, Although I like the original by David and Shelly, Miranda and Blake blow this one out of the park.
  • "You Lie" -The Band Perry, love them, love everything they do.  I got to see them this summer in Louisville, Kentucky in an outside concert for the Fourth of July.  They are one of the newer bands that I actually adore so getting to see them, for free no less, was terrific.
  • "You Never Even Called Me by my Name" -David Allen Coe, I could take or leave the whole rest of the song minus the last verse.  A "rewrite" that writer Steve Goodman did in order to make it the "perfect country and western song."   Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison// and I went to pick her up in the rain// but before I could get to the station in my pickup truck// she got runned over by a dam-- old train.
Ohhh ohhh! Also, highlight of my life--Loretta Lynn's 2004 album Van Lear Rose was released to LP by Jack White at his recording studio in Nashville and online during the summer.  The morning that it came out, fans were already waiting outside and lined up down the road.  Truly awesome.  I didn't think the record could sound any more impeccable but I was SO wrong.  Every crackle, every note change on the guitar can be heard.  If I had a photo of myself jumping up and down when I got it in the mail, I'd post it.

See you again sooner rather than later,