I’ve been making what I call a Christmas mix — that is, not holiday songs but a mix made at the holidays — since 1997; first they were tapes, then for a few years cds, and finally, in the digital age, many years of downloadable zip files and now the last three years have been Spotify playlists; this year is no exception. These are songs — frequently but not necessarily released in 2018 — that meant something to me this year, for various reasons, and they are for you.
I got married this year. It’s pretty much the best thing I’ve ever done.
(“Girls To The Front” is probably recognizable as the Hysteria podcast theme, but the whole Sizzy Rocket record bangs. And because I listen to podcasts on 1.5x speed, spending time with that song and with “Grits” – because of the Carolina Insider podcast outro – was weird, because I usually hear them sped up. The slow jam-ness of “Grits” startled the shit out of me when I did my first full listen through to the mix. If you liked the first Lily Allen record, you’ll like the GIRLI EP. Brian Fallon’s Sleepwalkers was one of if not the most underrated record of the year. “Save The Last Dance For Me” was our first dance at the wedding. Frank Turner’s Be More Kind was my favorite record of 2018, and the title track is the best advice I have to anyone trying to operate in the horror of the current world. I love all y’all.)
- Sizzy Rocket – Girls To The Front: yeah i’ll say it loud and we’re gonna shut it down / all the girls to the front with me
- GIRLI – Hot Mess: i don’t know who you think i am / but your bitch is not one
- The Love Language – Castle In The Sky: you’ve been in the woods for quite a while / no i never knew i loved you til i saw you in the wild
- Spider Bags – Rollin’ With The Flow: ah but i still love rock and roll / so i keep on rollin’ with the flow
- boygenius – Stay Down: i wasn’t a fighter ’til somebody told me / i had better learn to lean into the punch
- Brian Fallon – If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven: and when i was a child, a dream came to me / where every soul hanging low found its piece of dignity
- Cory Branan – I Only Know: if our past is all we get to be / my old life would have been the death of me
- Emily Barker – If We Forget To Dance: baby we don’t stand a chance / if we forget to dance
- Josh Ritter – Miles Away: honey, can you leave your light on?
- Sarah Jarosz – When Doves Cry: maybe i’m just too demanding / maybe i’m just like my father, too bold
- True North – Wilder Than Her: she takes the fire and turns it down low / she takes the night and makes it not so cold / she takes the distance, breaks it into miles / she makes my life just a little less wild
- The Drifters – Save The Last Dance For Me: but don’t forget who’s takin’ you home / and in whose arms you’re gonna be / so darlin’ save the last dance for me
- Jason Isbell – If We Were Vampires: it’s knowing that this can’t go on forever / likely one of us will have to spend some days alone / maybe we’ll get forty years together
- Annaleigh Ashford – Children And Art: it’s not so much do what you like as it is that you like what you do
- Frank Turner – Be More Kind: in a world that has decided / that it’s going to lose its mind / be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
- The RZA – Grits: (see ya later, big grits)
Photo at top taken by The Joyner Company, who I totally 150% think you should hire to photograph your wedding.