December 15, 2007

But I still want to call them mixtapes.

Serious hardcore BQT regulars now that one of our little traditions is that every July, at the quiz closest to my birthday (July 14 -- Bastille Day babies rep-ree-ZENT!), I lovingly caress my ego by presenting an audio round, "The Nth Mixtape Your Quizmaster Ever Made." As an awkward, bored 14-year-old, I decieded to make the greate mixtape in the history of mankind, and I did it. A few months later I made a sequel, then another, then another, ending up with a series of "Supermixes" that ably document my adolescence as the world's only music geek who neither plays guitar or wears glasses.

So every year, at the quiz, I've moved down the list of old Supermixes, picked ten songs, and asked the audience to ID clips of them. For example, in July 2003, when the quiz wasn't yet a year old, we presented "The First Mixtape Your Quizmaster Ever Made," selections from Supermix ! from January 1990. The audio round consisted of…

1. “Leave It” -- Yes
2. “Next To You” -- The Police
3. “And We Danced” -- The Hooters
4. “Jet Airliner” -- The Steve Miller Band
5. “Exhuming McCarthy” -- R.E.M.
6. “Another Nail for My Heart” -- Squeeze
7. “Panama” -- Van Halen
8. “Carry On Wayward Son” -- Kansas
9. “I’ll Be You” -- The Replacements
10. “Radio Radio” -- Elvis Costello and the Attractions

There were 14 other songs on that precious 90-minute Maxell tape, including tracks by Tom Petty, Violent Femmes, the Who, They Might Be Giants (yeah, big surprise), the Dead Milkmen (ditto), Pink Floyd (haven't liked them since), and Billy Joel (I lived in the NYC area—it was required by law). Some clunkers in there, but basically, I think it reflects pretty good musical taste for a 14-year-old who had neither hit puberty nor heard of the music underground.

But here's the thing: I still make these mixes. I just finished Supermix! 51; listening to it right now. Oh, sure, they're different now; Supermix! 38 was the first one on CD. But I still make these things, and I still follow the two cardinal rules I established with the first entry: (1) A particular band or solo artists can appear only once on a particular mix. (2) Never repeat a song. Once a tune has been included on a Supermix!, it can never be put on another.

So here, for the first time, is the lineup for the brand-new Supermix! 51. A pretty good one; not in the first tier with mixes like 1, 7, 28, 33, 45, and the immortal 11. But certainly in the same league as fine efforts like 4, 8, 16, 20, 29, 34, 46, and—what the hell—30 too.

Supermix! 51: Tick Tick Boom
1. "I Am the Cosmos" -- Chris Bell
2. "Tick Tick Boom" -- The Hives
3. "Accident Waiting to Happen" -- Billy Bragg
4. "An Ear for Baby" -- The Thermals
5. "When 'You're' Around" -- Motion City Soundtrack
6. "Automatic Doors" -- The Mummies
7. "Listed M.I.A." -- Rancid
8. "Amsterdam" -- Peter Bjorn & John
9. "Radio Nowhere" -- Bruce Springsteen
10. "(You Must Fight to Live) On the Planet of the Apes -- The Mummies
11. "Make a Plan to Love Me" -- Bright Eyes
12. "Back to the Sea" -- The Futureheads
13. "Stuck Between Stations" -- The Hold Steady
14. "Going Back to School" -- The Fleshtones
15. "That Thing You Do!" -- The Wonders
16. "Janie Jones" -- The Clash
17. "SPAZZ" -- The Elastik Band
18. "Possession" -- Elvis Costello and the Attractions
19. "Western Battles" -- Seafood
20. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" -- Bob Dylan
21. "Surf Wax America" -- Weezer
22. "Bizarre Love Triangle" -- New Order
23. "Turning Blue" -- Jay Reatard
24. "I Will Survive" -- Art Brut
25. "Snowball in Hell" -- They Might Be Giants

Pretty awesome. For the lineups of most of the past Supermixes (don't know how long ago I stopped updating this), check our here.

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