Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nature Appreciation

Yesterday after school I walked to the Potomac River with a friend of mine, and I hadn't been since summer, and I was reminded of how perfect it is, and how amazing nature is when it is just there. She had to write an English paper, so while I was there with her I just sat and appreciated everything around me. I had my iPod with me, but didn't end up listening to anything because the river and the trees had their own music, and that was more than beautiful enough to hear. It was freezing and gorgeous, and the water was so glassy, and the only noise was the wind and the occasional bird flying overhead. I usually only go in the summer, where there is a rope swing that we dive in the river with, but going yesterday brought to my attention the fact that while in the summer it is a social place, in the winter it becomes a subtly, solemnly placidly perfect sanctuary. And although I recommend not bringing music with you on your nature appreciation outings, my visit to the river inspired me to make a mix when I got home, so here it is. Along with some pictures I took while there. Enjoy.

The River & the Leaves- a mix. For best results, record on cassette tape.
  1. She's Half- The American Analog Set
  2. I Love NYE- Badly Drawn Boy
  3. Dust in the Wind- Daniel Walker
  4. I am a Man of Constant Sorrow (Instrumental)- John Hartford
  5. Walk On- Braddigan & Josh Garrels
  6. Birds & Ships- Billy Bragg & Wilco
  7. At Last- Neko Case
  8. Drift On- Butterfly Boucher
  9. White Daisy Passing- Rocky Votolato
  10. Kissing the Lipless- The Shins
  11. Either Way- Wilco
  12. Dead Duck- Badly Drawn Boy
  13. The Upper Peninsula- Sufjan Stevens
  14. Sybill- State Radio
Liner Notes:
  • "Going to Georgia" by The Mountain Goats was almost included as the first track, with State Radio's "Sybill" as the second, but I omitted "Georgia" because I found John Darnielle's voice too grating (don't get me wrong now, I love him), for the rest of the mix. Once I lost that, I switched "Sybill" to the final track, because I found it didn't start the mix off with the right tone, and left with a better finish.
  • You may notice there are two Badly Drawn Boy songs on the mix. There were I think four to begin with. This is because I connote The Hour of the Bewilderbeast with nature, and also because I think of About a Boy (soundtrack) as a very life-soundtrack-y album, which fit the theme of my mix. I recommend you buy both now if you haven't. Bewilderbeast is one of the best albums I own, and the About a Boy soundtrack is listenable everyday, and as a song for every occasion.
  • I put the instrumental version of "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" on. On the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack (which is where I found this song), there are two instrumental versions. The one for this mix is not the violin one.
  • The song "Dust in the Wind" is from my friend's older brother Daniel Walker. He recorded it in his room with his friends talking in the background, and I think it sounds great. I don't know how to post MP3's on here, but if you like, leave your email address and I would gladly send you one.
  • I almost decided not to include "Drift On" by Butterfly Boucher, because I thought it might be too poppy, and clash with the rest on this mix, but I think it fits nicely between Neko Case's female vocals and Rocky Votolato's acoustic "White Daisy Passing."
And yes, I put a lot of thought in when I make mixes.

Here are the accompanying photos from my day out (click to see them bigger):

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