I Made This For You #3

News / Special Features / Tracklisted / August 4, 2016

I Made This For You is a mixtape exchange series in which you’re dropped into email correspondence between members of the MV staff. Today’s entry is the third in the series, marking a very special occasion: Chris, the site’s owner got married! The staff came together to create a little surprise for him, going off the recent MV Podcast theme, wedding songs. This email correspondence is a little different from other “I Made This For You” features, as instead of two people, seven of the MV staffers got involved. Get your tissues ready folks, this one might bring a tear or two to your eyes.

James here:
Hi Chris,

I forgot to email everyone my picks (my bad, everyone!) but they’re going to lead off this list, and the rest will follow in the order each came into my inbox. Without risking getting too sentimental, I’m extremely happy for you two, and although my romantic escapades have been the butt of many MV Podcast jokes, at least yours can be commemorated in this collaborative collection below.

My picks:

Say Anything: “A Walk Through Hell”
This is predominantly my pick simply because of the podcast’s tenuous relationship with Say Anything, but out of all Max Bemis’ love songs (skipping over the Perma record because that’s basically all love songs), this one comes off as 1) the most direct and 2) the least overblown and well, sugary. You’re not a sugary person, as far as my three-years-plus of internet conversations have shown. Not too positive about your relationship, either, but hey, this has the right amount of cheese to be wonderful.

Regina Spektor: “Us”

Jets to Brazil: “Sweet Avenue”
Okay, so I don’t know your familiarity with Jawbreaker, but it’s probably around the same as my own. (Dear You? Sure, I know that record.) Jets to Brazil is the side project that I’ve enjoyed more than the rest, probably due to its name stemming from one of the best romantic comedies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This song has the word “anniversary” somewhere in its first 30 seconds, but its inclusion in this playlist is more a mood-setter than a song loaded with epithets.

The Postal Service: “We Will Become Silhouettes”
As opposed to the more obvious contender for wedding songs off Give Up, or more specifically, its 10th anniversary reissue — “Grow Old With Me” — this bouncy, yet frostbitten ode to lost/tormented/twisted love has an aftertaste that at least alludes to spending the rest of your life with someone. My (probable) tragic misreading of what Ben Gibbard croons about here is probably why I’m stuck alone forever. But hey, you’re not! Good work.

From: jr.cassar1@gmail.com
To: Everyone
Date: Sunday, July 24, 2016, 8:40 p.m.

Hey y’all!

(Abby — I know I’ve never probably/properly introduced myself. My name is James and I’m MV’s Managing Editor. I was originally the youngest staffer on board here, and like you, started at 18. Welcome aboard!)

For the rest of you — hi!

As many of you know, Chris (our Lord, Savior and site founder) is getting married very soon — and possibly, by the time this is posted on his pride and joy, he’ll be off on his honeymoon (I believe in Napa Valley?). Meghin texted me today to whip up a feature for him, and what better way to conjure up a tracklist of killer wedding songs than another entry of I Made This for You?

For those uninitiated, IMTFY is the making of a mixtape via email exchanges. Usually they’re point-to-point: two staffers will make mixes for each other (Spotify playlists work best) and comment on their choices and reactions to what’s been shared. I was thinking we could all collaborate on one playlist. I’m not married, but I would like to consider that a possibility for another time — what are some classic jams about being married, getting married, a honeymoon phase, etc.? How can we ensure this relationship lasts forever between my boss and his bride? (Real talk, I think they’ve been dating longer than I’ve been alive, so I think that’s guaranteed.)

Hope to hear from all/most from you in the coming days!


From: alan@alanmiller.info
To: Everyone
Date: Monday, July 25, 2016, 12:01 A.M.

Hey James –

I’m not sure about specific wedding songs; do you think songs around love/being in love would be ok? These songs will ensure a long relationship.

“No Other Love” — Jo Stafford

This one was on the Carol soundtrack and caught me completely off guard. Stafford’s low register is incredible, and her vibrato carries the same weight as Roy Orbison. It’s true love in song.

“Valentine” — The Replacements

While not a traditional love song, how good is “If you were a pill, I’d take a handful at my will/And I’d knock you back with something sweet and strong.” If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.

“I’m In Love With A Girl” — Big Star

This should be mandatory at every wedding. It’s simple, to the point, and gorgeous.

“The Sensual World” — Kate Bush

Careful with this one, it has a mind of it’s own! Probably the sexiest song to be based off a monologue from Joyce’s Ulysses; proceed with caution!

“Wonderful Tonight” — Eric Clapton

I’m not sure if Chris knows any classic rock, but this is as classic as it gets. Clapton wrote a song strong enough to woo George Harrison’s wife away, forever cementing it as one of the greatest testaments to love ever recorded.

Any of those work or something else?

— Alan

From: dchapman21@gmail.com
To: Everyone

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 8:29 p.m.

Hey everyone!

So basically I’m the worst at making decisions. Naturally that means I couldn’t choose between two songs. Those songs being “That Girl” by Justin Timberlake and “Happy Together” by The Turtles. I feel both are somewhat cheesy in their own ways, which I assume is perfectly fine for a wedding, but it’s also been forever since I’ve even been to a wedding. I decided to text Meghin while trying to decide. And we determined both choices were good ones, which obviously was of little help. But she also mentioned that she hadn’t heard anyone play “Happy Together” at a wedding, and that surprised me. So I’m going with that for my choice.

I’d like to note that this might be one of the most interesting emails I’ve had to send considering I haven’t done this feature before, but I really dig it. I may not know Chris as well as most of you do, but I’m hoping this is at least a song he enjoys. Congrats to him and his soon-to-be wife!

P.S. Did I do this right?

From: meghinmoore@gmail.com
To: Everyone
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 12:49 A.M.

Sorry (but not really) for this novel that’s about to unfold. But personal anecdotes really do make the IMTFY feature quite special!

When it comes to weddings, I’m a little weird. I’ve never really thought about what my future wedding will be like except for a few details: some of the music I want played at it, the fact that I refuse to wear a long dress (#shortgalprobz) and that my bridal party will be very small. I might even choose to go the Kristen Bell-Dax Shepard route and spend a whopping $142 on the whole shebang. Otherwise, it’s not something I’ve really put a lot of thought into.

When it comes to love, in my 25 years of existence, I’ve become so jaded and am only slightly bitter. One of my closest friends is getting married in a few weeks and I keep telling her that she and her fiancé are so cute they make me wanna puke. But I still love them anyway. I’ve always been slightly bitter about love. It can really hurt, and sometimes it takes a while to fully recover from being a lovestruck, broken-hearted soul. But when you know you’ve found the one person you want to marry, and have been together for what seems like eons, then maybe the concept of love (or I guess being in love?) isn’t so terrible.

I’ve only been to three weddings in my entire life, and the music played at each played a huge part in both the ceremonies and the receptions. Like Deanna, I had a hard time picking out one song. And going off what Alan forwarded me, I think he felt the same way. His list was pretty rad though. Despite all that, I managed to pick a winner! Out of Death Cab’s “Transatlanticism,” Ben Howard’s “Only Love,” Go Radio’s “Goodnight Moon” (go ahead, JUDGE ME ON THIS PICK) and Cat Power’s beautiful cover of Phil Phillips’ “Sea Of Love,” the latter won.

“Sea Of Love” seems like a cute wedding song. If you’re not familiar with it, as I know Deanna wasn’t, you might’ve heard it in Juno. It’s simple. It gets to the point. Her version would be a great song for a first dance. Each time I hear it, I’m reminded that the world isn’t terrible, hearts can glow with the warmth love brings, and that love is a pretty damn powerful emotion. There’s a reason they say “love conquers all.” When it comes down to it, the simplest things in life are enough to bring joy into anybody’s heart.

So Chris, here’s to you. I know you think that I’m working on a Tracklisted playlist about wedding songs to go off of the MV Podcast a little, but James’ idea was way nicer…and in a direction I wanted to take for the post anyway. We’ve all banded together to make you something special, in the spirit of your special day. You’re the (as James says…) Lord and Savior of the Modern Vinyl crew. And we all appreciate what you’ve done for us and the site.

I hope you enjoy this! I also send my best wishes to you and your lovely bride. Kudos to you two for keeping it on the DL too. Weddings are great. Marrying someone you truly love is even greater. I hope you two have an amazing future ahead of you (or I guess I should say all three of you…if we’re counting your adorable pup!).

From: nicholas.spacek@gmail.com
To: Everyone
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 1:04 P.M.

I feel like I’m a terrible person to suggest a song about marriage, because when I got married, my wife and I compiled a playlist for our reception that, upon reflection, was almost entirely murder ballads. My inability to dance and my wife’s social anxiety meant that we wouldn’t be doing any of the dance stuff associated with most receptions, so we just picked song we liked for our reception. We put the playlist on shuffle, and the first song that came up was — no lie — “Delia’s Gone” by Johnny Cash.


So, were I to suggest the song I associate most with marriage, it would either be that or the Mountain Goats’ “No Children,” which my wife and I kind of consider to be “our song” in a vaguely ironic and hilarious sort of way. However, despite a sick sense of humor when it comes to love and romance, I’m not actually a monster, so I’ll instead choose a different, much better song.

Every couple of years, somebody decides that, since I like music so much, I should DJ their wedding. I am much better at considering other people’s feelings, so it usually ends up being much more fun and upbeat than my own reception. But, while I’m always willing to play “Thriller” or “Single Ladies” or “Shout,” I always throw on one song for my wife and I, and I’ll step out from behind the DJ booth to have an awkward dance.

That song is the Replacements’ “I Will Dare,” and I can’t really think of a better piece of music to reflect the step that marriage is. It’s positive, but there’s a sense of knowledge at how much of a big thing pledging yourself to someone until death is, and that word, “dare,” is pretty important. You’re acknowledging the chance you’re taking with your life and your heart, and you’re doing it together: “If you will dare, I will dare.” Paul Westerberg does a good job of summing up love in a three minute pop song, and I wish you both the best.

From: alan@alanmiller.info
To: Everyone
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 1:57 P.M.

“I Will Dare” — that’s genius. I was going to pick “Kiss Me On The Bus” or “Valentine,” because nothing says love like “If you were a pill, I’d take a handful at my will/And I’d knock you back with something sweet as wine.”

I knew there was a Mats song in there to pick, and “I Will Dare” was definitely it.

From: akruthoffer@gmail.com
To: Everyone
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 2:31 P.M.

Hi everybody! Hi James! Nice to meet you — good to know Modern Vinyl is a kid friendly zone. 🙂

I feel like this playlist includes a very important distinction between “love songs” and “marriage songs.” So many songs are love songs, but which ones have those lyrics that feel like something permanent is coming? So after going through a few of those albums that are filled with the gooey love stuff, like Father John Misty’s I Love You Honeybear and Hellogoodbye’s Would It Kill You?, it felt like a bit much.

I decided on The Postal Service’s “Brand New Colony.” Although “marriage” may not be the obvious theme of this song, Ben Gibbard has some of the most cleverly subtle, yet madly in love lyrics I’ve ever heard, and this song is no exception. The beginning mentions wedding-themed concepts like wine bottles and suits, and the lyrics contemplate that whole idea of being with and there for each other if everything around them is changing. Which is really what marriage is to me; it’s having stability with your favorite person.

Wishing you both the best, Chris!!!

From: davidfisch.j@gmail.com
To: Everyone
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 2:59 P.M.

Hello MV crew! I’m with Nick on how everyone thinks that because I love music that it automatically makes me the guy that can curate anything, especially weddings. I’m not TOO keen on love/marriage songs, but it’s all within the feeling and most typically within the lyrics that bind two people that were once separate but are now together.

“God Only Knows” and “Something” are, quite simply, the two greatest songs about love ever made, which also makes them the most used, hence I will not be choosing older, more well-known tunes for this…

Which means I’m going to sidestep my choosing “Do You Realize” by The Flaming Lips and go with the deeper cut, the follow-up to that track on Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots called “All We Have Is Now.” This is an achingly bittersweet love song that incorporates the many futuristic stylings that run throughout the album, but with major and minor notes that linger like in a lucid dream. It even starts off sounding like a wedding procession, but then brings it to a sudden realization that the world, with “you” and “me” in it, is bigger than the moment. For sure, lovers who tie the knot have aspirations and dreams to build it into a long and lasting relationship, but there’s no way to predict the future. Not that you shouldn’t, but living right here, right now, in front of your partner, with your partner, together in strength and weakness, and successes and failures, is all that matters. The point of the song is to cherish everything you have in the moment, together.

A recent discovery of mine has been Kishi Bashi, who was once a member of the eccentric rock group Of Montreal. That eccentricity remains in Kishi Bashi, but on a much more orchestral folk nature, ala Iron & Wine, and his song “Q&A” from his album Lighght is just a lovely tune with lyrics that hit just the right amount of schmaltz that they don’t appear schmaltzy at all. Written as a response to a fan (Quinn) about her BFF (Anne), its background doesn’t scream love more than it does admiration, and where one person is one thing, the other person is the balance. That’s how a relationship should be, right?

I ramble too much. Hope these couple of tracks are worth it. They dive into the theory of relationship more-so than the theory of love, and marriage is the official bonding of such. Cheers, you two.

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James Cassar
James Cassar is Modern Vinyl's Managing News Editor and a co-host of The Modern Vinyl Podcast. He is also an artist manager, co-owner of the record label Near Mint, and can be found in bed before 9 p.m. James lives in Philadelphia and no, he won't check out your band if you add him on Facebook.

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