#Mixtape: Me Against the Music

Rifling through my blogroll, I came upon an entry of Patti Ann's, in which she cites an idea for a personal mixtape by fellow blogger Benjamin over at the [title of show] blog. As someone that likes to make mixes (and listens to them) in her free time, I totally jumped at the chance to compose one for myself.

Though it seemed like a huge undertaking, rummaging through iTunes and CDs of mine, it gave me the chance to reflect on the songs that I have grown to love, songs that have helped me in different ways. Sharing these songs with you is sharing a piece of me, so hopefully not only will you guys have fun listening, but you'll learn a little bit more about me – and my musical tastes, as well. I tried not put so much musical theatre (though two songs – from Spring Awakening and [title of show], respectively – are included) in this mix, just so you'd get a more accurate look at what I listen to when I'm not dorking out to showtunes. So, here it is!

Included are the cover art and tracklisting with annotations.

[Fizzy & Fuzzy & Fine]

Life can be bubbly and full of vibrance, like a fizzy drink. But it can also muddle things up, making your mind fuzzy with confusion. It's up to you to work through it, and at the end, you'll be fine.

"Brave New Girl" – Britney Spears
She don't want no sleep, she don't want no high/ ooh, like peaches and cream/ she's gonna wish on stars and stars and touch the sky/ uh, ya know what I mean?/ she wants the good life/ and needs to rewind/ she needs to really, really find what she wants/ […] there's a brave new girl/ and she's comin' out tonight!
This song – along with Vanessa Carlton's "Who's to Say?" (which is also on this mix) was sort of my unofficial "theme song" back in high school, and still is, I suppose. I always imagined, if ever there was a movie on my life, this song would be in the opening credits, with shots of me getting out of a cab in the city, dressed to the nines (lol, I know, I know). This song, for me, defines the point in my life where I had just gone through some family drama and wanted to re-evaluate things, to find out what I wanted to do.
"Begin" – Ben LeeI'm walking down Broadway/ each step is a new love letter/ I'm trying to make eye contact/ with each and every stranger that I pass/ I'm thinking about the city/ it's living proof that people need to be together/ […] and it's okay for you to care/ 'cause I can feel you in the air/ while you're wondering, "how's this gonna end?"/ I only want it to begin
This song is a love of mine. I always, without fail, listen to this when walking around in the city. It makes me feel contemplative, happy, appreciative and adventurous, all at the same time.
"Hey Girl" – Dashboard Confessional
The world lives for the weekend/ and I watch as my weeks speed right into them/ without a line to divide / what is theirs and what is mine
Okay. In high school, I went into this huuuge emo phase, and got heavily into Dashboard for a good portion of those years. I have almost the whole discography, save for the MTV: Unplugged, that collaboration he did with Michael Stipe, and the newer one(s?). Anyway, while this isn't my really favorite track from the A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, or even favorite ever from Dashboard, it's a good song to rock out to in your downtime.
"Hand in My Pocket" – Alanis Morissette
I'm free but I'm focused/ I'm green but I'm wise/ I'm hard but I'm friendly, baby/ I'm sad but I'm laughing/ I'm brave but I'm chicken shit/ I'm sick but I'm pretty, baby/ and what it all boils down to/ is that no one's really got me figured out just yet
Like everyone, I'm a walking contradiction. A couple of people – including my uncle – have said: "I'm still trying to figure you out." And I guess I'm pretty complicated, but who isn't, really?
"Who's to Say?" – Vanessa CarltonMother, don't/ tell me friends are the ones that I'll lose/ 'cause they'd bleed before you/ Sometimes family are the ones that you choose/ it's too late now/ I hold on to this life that I've found/ and who's to way we won't burn it out?/ who's to say we won't sink in doubt?/ who's to say we won't fade to gray?/ who are they, anyway?/ anyway, they don't know
As I've mentioned before, this song has had a lot of meaning for me, especially during all that drama I'd talked about. Families can grow together, but they can also grow apart. I had a hard time knowing who to trust, and when you go through something like that, you find out soon who your true friends are.
"I'm Sensitive" – Jewel
I have this theory/ that if we're told we're bad/ and that's the only/ idea we'll ever have/ maybe if we are surrounded by beauty/ someday we will become what we see/ 'cause anyone can start a conflict/ it's harder yet to disregard it/ I'd rather see the world from another angle/ we are everyday angels/ be careful with me/ 'cause I'd like to stay that way
Let go of everything else, and happiness will come.
"With Arms Outstretched" – Rilo Kiley
Now, it's sixteen miles to the promised land/ and I promise you, I'm doing the best I can/ some days they last/ longer than others
A great song to jump around, dancing by yourself and singing along, with your hands waving free (a la Elizabethtown). When life gets tough, just dance it out.
"Don't Do Sadness"/ "Blue Wind" – Johnny Gallagher & Lauren Pritchard (Spring Awakening)
Sure, when it's autumn/ wind always wants to creep up and haunt you/ whistling, it's got you/ with its heartache, with its sorrow/ winter wind sings and it cries/ spring and summer, every other day/ blue wind gets so pained/ blowing through the thick corn, through the bales of hay/ through the sudden drift of the rain/ spring and summer
This is my favorite song from the OBCR, and without a doubt one of my favorite moments in the show. The song holds so much significance for me. Two years ago, I wasn't in a very good place, both scholastically, or emotionally. For a while there, it was dark, and I related so much to Moritz when I first saw Spring. About a year later, I'd find myself relating even more so to the character of Ilse, who is my favorite character in the play. Don't Do Sadness speaks of angst and Blue Wind, of sorrow and of the past haunting you. These beautiful songs by Duncan Sheik always gets me every time, and always helps me when I'm feeling down.
"A Way Back to Then" – Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show])
Dancing in the backyard/ kool-aid moustache and butterfly wings/ hearing Andrea McCardle sing/ from the hi-fi in the den/ I've been waiting my whole life/ to find a way back to then/ I aimed for the sky/ a nine year-old can see so far/ I'll conquer the world and be a star/ I'll do it all by the time I'm ten/ I would know that confidence/ if I found a way back to then/ So I bailed on my hometown/ and became a college theatre dork
I've always had those moments when I marveled at how time has passed by. Wasn't it just yesterday I was making a fort under the couch, reading Poky Little Puppy?Growing up, I had always been, in one way or another, involved in the arts – performing or otherwise. My earliest memory of musical theatre was hearing Lea Salonga's voice on my mother's cassettes of the Miss Saigon OBCR. I'd always been a ham for the camera, never shying away. When I was 12, I used to write skits and perform them at my aunt's holiday parties. Dance took up a good portion of my pre-adolescent life, from age 7 to 13. My idol back then was Britney Spears, and I vowed someday to be her choreographer. Later on, in high school, I would re-discover my love of performing, and of musical theatre.
Dreams seemed so reachable when I was younger. I'm still dreaming, and still eternally that five year old hiding in that fort.
"Femme Fatale" – The Velvet Underground & Nico
Here she comes/ better watch your step/ she's gonna break your heart in two/ it's true/ […] she'll build you up to just put you down/ what a clown/ 'cause everybody knows/ (she's a femme fatale)/ the things she does to please/ (she's a femme fatale)/ she's just a little tease/ (she's a femme fatale)/ see the way she walks/ hear the way she talks
Love Edie Sedgewick, Nico, and the rest of the Factory/Chelsea Girls. I'm convinced I was born in the wrong decade, and like to think that I could have made an awesome "Youthquaker" like those Andy Warhol took under his wing. Hey, I got the style…
"Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig" – Jens Lekman
My words are just come, come, comin' out wrong/ I sure could use a little help/ I think I'm gonna drop my cool now/ Best way to touch your heart is to make an ass out of myself
One of my favorite songs of his. These lyrics above pretty much reflect my social awkwardness. If you've ever met me in real life, you can pretty much vouch for this.
"Fluorescent" – Gwen Stefani
Dressin' up in your love is a dangerous thing/ my sexy super lover's got a real bad sting/ baby, don't want no trouble, this is more than I can afford/ can't help myself, keep comin' back for more
Great song to crank when you're hanging with girlfriends, dressing up and trying on outfits and giggling like mad, having impromptu "photo shoots". (Yes, we still play dress up!)
"Hurt You" – The Sounds
Don't wanna hurt you/ try not to mess with your feelings/ it's just a matter of trust for us, for us/ don't wanna hurt you/ try not to fuck with your feelings/ it's just a matter of trust for us, for us
Two words: DANCE. PARTY.
"Time For Heroes" – The Libertines
Did you see the stylish kids in the riot/ shovelled up like muck/ set the night on fire?/ [...] now, tell me what can you want now you've got it all/ ah, the scene is obscene/ time'll strip it away/ a year and a day
My favorite song off their Up the Bracket album (which I can't seem to find at the moment -- I'm a sad panda, indeed). I have tons of high school memories associated with this song, as this was one of the first of The Libs' that I listened to when my friends from Junior High got me into them. This song reminds me that youth is fleeting, and that we must enjoy every second of it.
"Smile (Version Revisited)" – Lily Allen
I was so lost back then/ but with a little help from my friends/ I found a light in the tunnel at the end
This song really does make me smile, and want to dance around dorkily. Now that I think of it, a good portion of this mix involves me dancing around dorkily. But then, that's me, anyway…a dork! [insert innocent shrug here]
"Foundations" – Kate Nash
You've gone and gotten sick on my trainers/ I only got these yesterday! / oh my gosh, I cannot be bothered with this
Social awkwardness, reprise! Sometimes I just can't deal with people. Especially when they do annoying things, like get sick on your shoes. Not that this has happened to me. 'Cause I would hate you forever.
"I Thought of You" – Johnny GallagherHello, there/ I know you/ don't know me/ but slightly/ enough to exchange friendly words/ acquaintances would be the technical term/ […] in our circles of social/ we are further than closer/ and girl, it's a good thing/ we keep it that way
Johnny Gallagher, who played Moritz on Spring Awakening, pretty much became my hero when he won the Tony. Formerly of the band Old Springs Pike (now known as The Spring Standards), he's forayed into a solo career (along with his acting, of course). This song was one of the first of his that I'd heard, and, to me, is quintessentially JGalls. Memories of Spring/Summer '07, when I'd joined The Guilty Ones, are what come to mind whenever I listen to this.
"Your Ex-Lover is Dead" – Stars
When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.
No matter how many bridges you've burnt, you can always make new ones. It's hard to make connections, and if you do, you're lucky. Sometimes, you can reconnect. Only time can tell.
Though the song talks of a former lover, I always think of my estrangement with certain family members when I listen to this. Having recently crossed paths with some this past summer, I can honestly say that while some of the pain was still there, there was a feeling in the air that while things won't be the same, it'll be okay.

"Happy Ending" – Mika
Can't get no love without sacrifice/ if anything should happen/ I guess I wish you well/ I'm a little bit of heaven/ but a little bit of hell
Again, the same sentiment as above.
I came across this song recently through a fanmix, and love the mix of pain, regret, and optimism in the song.
"Undiscovered" – Ashlee Simpson
All the things left undiscovered/ leave me waiting and left to wonder
Yes, I listen to Ashlee Simpson. This happens to be my favorite song of hers (though I can't say this officially, as I have yet to listen to Bittersweet World), and reflects the feelings I'd recently conveyed in my New Year's post about 2008 ending with some things unfinished.
Again, just a general feeling of confusion and regret and all that angsty goodness that people who write fanfiction eat up for breakfast, lunch and dinner (namely, me. Ha.).
[NOTE] one or two songs on the mix are not on the playlist, so if you want to listen to those, let me know and I'll send them to you :)
I'm tagging people, 'cause I think it'd be interesting to see what these people would come up with:
Zoraida @ we peaked on the phone;
Thesanica @ Bollocks Fic You!;
Sal @ Nella Selva Oscura;
Sarah @ sarahbelledotcom;
& Andhari @ Insomniac Lolita