I haven’t been a very good music blogger this year.
I don’t know what it was about 2008, but life seemed to revolve around everything except my record collection. Whether it was busy days at work trying to get my new job up and running, or the incessant drone of CNN’s election coverage playing in the background, events overran soundscapes time and time again. A few weeks ago, I sat down to start putting together my year-end lists – similar to last year – and found myself struggling, both with finding enough “singles” or “albums” worthy of attention and also finding enough to say about them to make the whole ordeal worthwhile. After pondering my situation for a bit, I came up with a solution:
I’m taking 2008 back. In mixtape form.
Why So Serious? represents my best efforts to recontextualize the 2008 soundtrack, to pierce together the art-to-life connections that I so miserably failed to form on my own this year. Instead of merely providing a list of my favourite songs this year, I’ve taken 17 of the best and reshaped them into an 80-minute playlist that flows through some of the major events, pop culture touchstones and musical highlights of the past 12 months.
To achieve this, every track in Why So Serious? has been uniquely edited to work within the mix. For some songs, this may mean a smoother transition from one track to the next. For others, it may be the interweaving of audio samples and soundbites to place them solidly within the year that was. For a few tracks – including a forthcoming ode to the recent Canadian political drama – the original songs have been rebuilt from scratch or slammed up against one another to form something new and hopefully enjoyable.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be posting the songs here at McNutt Against the Music for download, each with my own thoughts and reflections on why I chose them and how they fit snugly into the 2008 quilt. You’ll be seeing at least a track a day – often more – so keep an eye on my Twitter feed if you want to know when the new songs have arrived. Once it’s complete, I’ll re-post the entire list with new download links, just in case you missed any of them. And for those who REALLY need their ranked list, I will also be sharing my choices for the year’s best albums sometime before Santa’s big visit – don’t you worry.
Track one, later today…