The Sunshine House, Or Musical Retirement

I like a lot of songs. And I just so happen to really, truly like a lot of bad songs. Glimpse my iPod on BART, or use the elliptical next to mine at the gym, and you’re sure to catch some fairly embarrassing things. I admit to still occasionally partaking in a little pop-punk (ask me about that rediscovery sometime) and even some pure ’60s sugar, and I find that, sometimes, the unsubstantial can be comforting. But not every song has redeeming qualities. Some are fraught with disquieting memories, and others are so bad they hit bad-good and simply wrapped back around. And those are the ones I’ve finally begun saying my good-byes to. That’s where my newest feature, The Sunshine House, comes into play.

The Sunshine House, which is a nod to the daycare center of the same overly cheery name, is my way of bidding songs a proper adieu. There are more than enough tracks to serve as proper fodder for this sort of feature, and I think it can make for fun, short entries.

To kick things off, I created a mix on 8tracks of twenty-five love songs that are ripe for retirement.

The Sunshine House Collective: track listing below (click on link to listen to mix via 8tracks)

I’ve spent about ten years composing calculated mix CDs for the boys for whom I harbor intense crushes, and I’ve learned there are only so many times Ben Gibbard can coo that he’ll follow me into the dark without it becoming insincere. Certain songs get old fast. Don’t get me wrong – I have intense relationships with a number of love songs, include these tracks I’ve included on The Sunshine House Collective, from “This is the Sweetest Little Song” by Butch Walker and the Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites to Wilco’s “I’m the Man Who Loves You.” And not all of these songs are bad or overwrought or overplayed, but love songs are a complicated sort. Like every girl shaped by cinema, I form unbreakable associations between people and songs, and so many of these tracks are forever tainted by these associations. “Treehouse” was Duck’s song, while “Thirteen,” “Sixteen, Maybe Less” and “First Day of My Life” were all about being sixteen and positively infatuated with the first boy I ever thought I loved. Some love songs are timeless; “Everlong” will never lose its luster, while the early Beatles pop songs will always perfectly describe the careful build-up of a love story. But some of these tracks can never be applied to another chapter in my romantic life. I’ve liked a lot of boys, and a lot of songs are headed to this musical graveyard, but, for now, we can get started with these twenty-five. Suffice to say, these tracks won’t be making any mixes for the foreseeable future.

The the line-up’s below. I can’t promise I’ll be back in full force just yet; I know I’ve been away a long time, but I’m sans computer currently, and it’s hard to promise regular blog posts without one. I am living in San Francisco currently, and that’s looking like a more permanent thing, so hopefully I’ll be able to carve out a more regular post schedule soon. But, for now:

The Sunshine House Collective:

  1. “Every Thug Needs A Lady” – Alkaline Trio
  2. “This Is The Sweetest Little Song” – Butch Walker & The Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites
  3. “The Tension and the Terror” – Straylight Run
  4. “The Scientist” – Coldplay
  5. “Mixtape” – Butch Walker
  6. “Intoxicating” – David Crowder Band
  7. “I’m A Fool” – American Hi-Fi
  8. “Thirteen” – Ben Kweller
  9. “16, Maybe Less” – Iron & Wine/ Calexico
  10. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie
  11. “Treehouse” – I’m From Barcelona
  12. “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes
  13. “This Year’s Love” – David Gray
  14. “The Luckiest” – Ben Folds
  15. “Calling You” – Blue October
  16. “Happy Together” – The Turtles
  17. “The Promise” – When In Rome
  18. “More Than a Feeling” – Boston
  19. “I Want You to Want Me” – Cheap Trick
  20. “Everytime We Touch” – Cascada
  21. “So Contagious” – Acceptance
  22. “Crash Into Me” – Dave Matthews Band
  23. “Oh, It’s Love” – hellogoodbye
  24. “I’m the Man Who Loves You” – Wilco
  25. “Beating Heart Baby” – Head Automatica
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