Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mixtape Philosophy: How to Ride a Tornado / 500th Post

I haven't posted anything in a few days because I was trying to scheme up something cool for The Musically Inclined's 500th post.

Well. Here we are. Happy 500th post to us.

Last night while watching the local news, I heard the weather person say that this week is the beginning of Tornado Season. If you grew up in an atmospherically volatile place like Nashville, Tornado Season conjures up a whole range of feelings from anxiety to annoyance. Never been through a bad tornado warning? Picture the Helm's Deep battle from Lord of the Rings. You cower inside while all hell breaks loose outside. And the worst thing is when a storm hits in the early hours of the morning. There were a few years in the 90s when it felt like I was woken up every other night in the spring by epic thunder, lightning, and the general sense that the gods were unhappy.

But the thing is, after 18-ish years of living here, I can't muster up a good fear anymore. Anyway, I thought it would be cool to make a themed mix in honor of the start of the season called How to Ride a Tornado. Themed mixes can be a little on the nose sometimes, but the last one I did (Flight Notes) was pretty fun.

I see this mix as a pre-storm calm down. Most of the songs have some repetitive or ambient quality, good for taming nerves. I'm most excited about "Surrender to the Storm" by Joseph Arthur off his recent 2-part album Redemption City. "Surrender to the Storm" breaks my rules about song length in mixes, but for good reason. At 11 minutes, it's an accurate mix of emotions and tensions during a rough weather system, from an awe for the power and drama of the storm, to the final soothing stages when the worst is over and it's just rain. There are also songs like "Windstorm" by School of Seven Bells that have interesting, mysterious sounds to them, not unlike the weirdness you hear in a storm. And then to close out, I picked "Rise to the Sun" by Alabama Shakes, partly because it's the perfect segue from "Surrender to the Storm," but also because the morning can be the best consolation.

Anyway, Happy Tornado Season.

PS ("Weather of a Killing Kind" by the Tallest Man on Earth might not show up on Spotify.)

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