Monday, January 02, 2006

Mix for a 12-year old Girl

The mission was deceptively simple: Create a mix CD for a 12-year old girl raised on Radio Disney. Not knowing the first thing about 12-year olds, girls, or Radio Disney, the journey began with a simple search of the word ‘girl’ in my iTunes library.

After seeing what the Onion AV Club did with iTunes mixes, I was inspired share this mix with the world. Here it is:

Mix for a 12-year old Girl

1. You’re a Girl by Strong Bad
2. Mickey (Spanish Version) by Toni Basil
3. Girls Just want to Have Fun by Cindy Lauper
4. Just a Girl by Gwen Stefani
5. Wonder by Natalie Merchant
6. A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall by Edie Brickell
7. Would I Lie to You? by the Eurythmics
8. Surface to Air by Chemical Brothers Remixed
9. Driver 8 by REM
10. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
11. In Liverpool by Suzanne Vega
12. Stars Fell on Alabama by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
13. Soldier Girl by The Polyphonic Spree
14. Happy Birthday to Me by Cracker
15. Untitled by REM
16. Breaking Up the Girl by Garbage
17. Recovery by New Buffalo
18. Whatshername by Green Day

Song Notes

Sticking to what I know, it seemed obvious to focus on songs from when I was a 12-year old rather than thinking what a 12-year old today would like. So, yes, there is an overwhelming amount of 80s music, including REM, Suzanne Vega, and even a bit of Edie Brickell, but there is Strong Bad, which is about as cutting edge as I get.

The kiddo in question has a fondness for that Gwen Stefani “Hollaback Girl” song, cranking the volume up to permanent hearing loss levels every time it comes on the radio, and there was a sore temptation to include the song on the mix. However, I was only able to find the Explicit Lyric version, and chose to exclude it, lest I risk the wrath of an angered parent, outraged that I exposed an impressionable youth to a big pile of shit protruding out of Ms. Stefani’s mouth. Since that Hollaback song is essentially a remake of Toni Basil’s “Mickey”, I chose to include not the original, but another derivative of the original – Toni Basil singing “Mickey” in Spanish.

It is nigh-impossible for me to make any mix these days without a song from the first collaboration between Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. You have to have lived to really understand Jazz, and this is the only song that might seem incongruous in context of others. The immature person feels the need to skip past that song; the mature person feels inclined to skip past all others.

Teenage angst rears its head with “Breaking Up the Girl” but is quickly repaired with “Recovery”. As tempting as it is to throw a bunch of wallowing gloom at the upcoming generation, filling the ears of the young with the hopeless gloom of The Cure, The Smiths, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, there is also this desire to pull the punches and preserve a sense of innocence. Maybe next year I'll expose her to the hopeless void that only popular music can articulate.

The mix ends with “Whatshername” from the Green Day album “American Idiot.” The ‘girl’ keyword search on the music library turned up "Extraordinary Girl” and in an earlier version, this was the closing track of this mix. However, "Extraordinary Girl" is more of a bridging song than a concluding song. The mix concludes with more of a bang this way.

Let me know if you like the mix. I just might make some more as the year continues...