My Mixtape Monday – September 28, 2015

First Name: Kate
Twitter: @chromaticjones
Sex: Female
Age: 24

Occupation: Administrative Assistant

Mixtape Name: Transfer

Side A
1) Steal Smoked Fish by The Mountain Goats
2) Waiting in the Station by Ed Askew
3) Gimmie Something by FIDLAR
4) Hoist That Rag by Tom Waits
5) Santa Maria de Feira by Devendra Banhart
6) Vietnam by Jimmy Cliff

Side B
1) Sword of Damocles by Joseph Arthur
2) Dread Effigy by Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice
3) Suicide Policeman by Yuck
4) I Don’t Want Love by The Antlers
5) Pause by Nils Frahm
6) Apreludes (in C Sharp Major) by Stars of the Lid

Liner Notes: I take the bus.

A lot.

At this point, I’m probably pretty close to being dubbed the patron saint of Port Authority. It’s second nature to me — slouch against a wall or a telephone pole (watch out for errant staples), keep an eye on the bend in the road upon which the lumbering chariot approaches and crank up the tunes.

The rules: Have your bus pass out, and for God’s sake, don’t pay with cash. Board quickly and quietly. Keep your headphones in and your eyes on the floor or out the window. Don’t be too disappointed if your favorite seat (halfway up the right aisle next to the second set of doors, left-hand cushion) is occupied. Adjust your headphones. Let yourself drift along the cracked asphalt Möbius strip and press play.

Side A is for the first bus; probably the dreaded 51 Carrick. I’ve left my house brimming with nervous energy, as usual, so I’ll walk the long way to the furthest bus stop. The journey begins with my favorite band, the inimitable Mountain Goats, and the lyrics knock around in my head like pebbles as I make my way along the sidewalk. I move through a few more of my favorite sunny-day, avoiding-eye-contact, humming-to-myself songs, ending with Jimmy Cliff’s oddly upbeat takedown of the Vietnam War.

By the time I’ve gotten downtown and position myself at the next stop, an irritated sentry, the pace slows. What do you mean the next bus isn’t for 17 minutes? Who has 17 minutes to kill? Fortunately, me. It’s time for Side B.

It’s slower, sadder, a carbon copy of the iridescent shimmer of broken glass on the corner of Fifth and Smithfield. It begins with Sword of Damocles, my favorite Lou Reed cover, then cycles through wistful lo-fi (Yuck), soaring freak folk (Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice), finally finishing with some dreamy ambient (Stars of the Lid).

Perfect timing.

My bus is here.

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