During unbearable hot weather, staying inside becomes incredibly attractive. And what better way to while away the sheltering hours than bringing together once loved tunes. By doing so, you'll make them new again; side-by-side, once separated old tunes become novel delights. If not, ditch them.
There are different regimes available for making the perfect mix, and much is opined about the hows and whys of mix-making. This is not new terrain by any means but the purpose is slightly different here. By culling what you don't listen to, picking the eyes out of old favourites, and condensing the rest into an album folder, space is made. Even for adding new albums to mull over.
So here are my top suggestions for making it count:
1. Pick a musical theme – punk, blues, twee-sunshine-in-your-hair songs. Search through albums and see what lies beneath as surprises are sure to emerge. For instance, Darren Hanlon has an ode to an old punk housemate (aptly called Punk's Not Dead) that pops out of his folk pop based sound that melds well with The Strokes' Last Night. At least I think so.
2. Human geography rules – choose a track from albums that reference a particular place. I love Paul Kelly's From St Kilda to Kings Cross teamed with You Am I's Purple Sneakers. Determine the geography rule that interests you – it could be where the performers are from, where it was recorded, or where you listened to it. A roadtrip compilation for the albums you listened to back in the day while driving the highways and byways could work for future trips.
3. Technical tunes – my brother once made me a compilation that ordered rock songs from shortest to longest. It made only limited musical sense but was amusing. Other technical dimensions to frame a mix could include mash-ups only, autotune-touched (Kesha dominates here) or two-pieces only.
4. Gigs you went to (and tracks you recall hearing) – this involves dredging the depths of one's memory. It's worth it. Think of all those Annandale/Espy/Hopetoun Hotel gigs of years past (or present) and bring to mind the highlights. Put them together on a mix. Done.
5. One for the kids – start bending the minds of small ones with mixes they can't resist. The Beatles are an easy inclusion – see Yellow Submarine et al. But other performers offer tunes attractive to the very young. For example, my young one is completely addicted to Bruce Springsteen, especially BIG BRUCE. This means Hungry Heart and Badlands. Don't ask me why, it just is.
I've been looking at my shelves of CDs in the hutch and wondering why I haven't played them in a year. More than a few mixes need to be made before that satisfying cull begins.