I started making an annual mix of songs to send out with my annual Halloween cards back in 2004, inspired by my Australian then-pen pal, Sharon. She used to send out an annual mix tape called "Songs from the Steel Placenta" ('the steel placenta' was the name she and her friends had given her car, if I recall). The habit has stuck, even in those dreadful years when the CDs sit here and do not get mailed until well after Halloween.
To bid a fond farewell to all the past years, I include the lists and tracks here. You can see that the quality and breadth of the mixes improved year by year (I started keeping track all year long, for example, instead of just trying to think up things to include at the last minute).
The The- I’ve Been Waiting for Tomorrow All My Life
*The title kind of says it all
The Jesus and Mary Chain- Just Like Honey
*Having just seen Lost in Translation around the beginning of 2004, I was re-introduced to and re-enchanted by JaMC and this song. It punctuated my January, which is why I include it here.
The Cardigans with Tom Jones- Burning Down the House
*Seeing Tom Jones live in April was a unique memory. Never had particular fondness for Tom Jones, but having been invited, I was happy to go along and enjoyed what was a singular night of
entertainment and laughter.
The Fall- I’m Going to Spain
*Twice this year I tried but failed to get to Spain, hence the choice of song. I also sat wondering one day if The Fall had ever performed in Iceland and not two minutes later opened the newspaper to find that they were in fact coming to Iceland for the first time ever.
Throwing Muses- Dizzy
*This is an old song but I just fell in love with it again, as my addiction to the Muses and Kristin Hersh continued throughout 2004.
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers- Islands in the Stream
*Put together Dolly and Kenny and a Bee Gees song and what do you get? Sheer cheesy pleasure. My darling Angela and I adopted this as our anthem/love song. I am Dolly; she is Kenny, and I cannot listen to this tune anymore without longing for her smile.
Kristin Hersh- Deep Wilson
*Owned The Grotto album for a long time before finally delving into it this autumn. Love it.
Maktub- You Can’t Hide
*Once had a burgeoning friendship with the lead singer, Reggie, of Maktub. Never really went anywhere, but he did send me a copy of their album, Khronos, upon initial release. This song stuck out, understandably, since it was later released as the single. When I was visiting Seattle I heard it *everywhere*, but imagine my surprise to hear it playing in a store here in Iceland! My long running joke about the word “maktub” coupled with the catchy feeling of this song warrant its inclusion.
Björk- Triumph of a Heart
*What collection from Iceland would be complete without a tune from Iceland’s biggest star? This is one of the songs I like best from her rather unusual latest album. One of my friends recently purchased Björk’s former apartment.
Kristin Hersh- Arnica Montana
*Another Kristin Hersh. Just cannot resist. Love her songs.
Elvis Costello- Still
*This song is just so warm and sweet. 2004, if anything, was for me the year of Elvis Costello. Most of the albums I bought were Mr Declan McManus himself.
Dolly Parton- The Bargain Store
*Had a real love affair with and resurgence of adolescent respect for Dolly this year. This song feels particularly pointed for me.
Anjali- Rainy Day
*Perfect music for walking in ice-rain in Iceland. Sounds great but you will be lucky if you get home without the ice piercing your eyes out. Beautiful.
Elvis Costello- What Do I Do Now?
*Just a song that touches me.
Tori Amos- Strange
*Perhaps my favorite song of all time. I feel very close to the lyrics.
Elvis Costello- Radio Silence
*A good ending.
Or… the whole thing (minus the songs that do not exist on Spotify).
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