This Is Your Mixtape

39. This Infinite Chain. [Paul Dean.]

Paul Dean is a writer, journalist, and games designer, among other things. You might know him as one of the founders of Shut Up & Sit Down, a website and youtube channel about board games. Or maybe you know him from a popular essay he wrote about Stardew Valley and his own small-town youth. These days, he’s working on a book about class and his childhood in England, and he has a lively patreon where he posts other pieces of his writing. Paul is based in Vancouver.

Paul and Michael discuss artistic influence, not fitting in, learning from others, the nature of trust, the joy of play, and the big quiet adventure of being in the world.

Paul’s Five Songs.

Always On My Mind by The Pet Shop Boys.
Racing in the Street by Bruce Springsteen.
River by Joni Mitchell.
Late November by Sandy Denny.
Live Oak by Jason Isbell.

Show Notes.

Paul’s Patreon, blog, and twitter.

Paul’s essay about Stardew Valley.

Michael’s essay about Hey Jupiter.

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38. The Idea of Yearning. [Ian Mathers.]

Ian Mathers is a writer and editor living in Toronto with his wife and a very needy cat. His work has appeared in Stylus, the Singles Jukebox, the Village Voice, Dusted, Pop Matters, and elsewhere. In his spare time he looks for weird new beers to try and runs a D&D game for his wife and friends.

Ian and Michael discuss fatphobia, non-religious appreciation of religion, abusive workplaces, the Canadian immigration system, and mixtapes as courtship material.

Ian’s Five Songs:

Country Feedback by R.E.M.
Ex-Cowboy by Mogwai.
(That’s How You Sing) Amazing Grace by Low.
Whippoorwill by SubRosa.
Give it a Night by Bella.

Show Notes.

Ian is on Tumblr and Twitter.

The Singles Jukebox, where Ian regularly joins other contributors to review singles

Ian’s contributions to Pop Matters and Dusted.

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37. A Horizon of Freedom. [Suzanne Akbari.]

Suzanne Akbari is an American who has just now returned to the United States after almost a quarter of a century in Canada. She’s a professor of Medieval Studies, and for a long time she was based at the University of Toronto, but has recently relocated to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, NJ. Suzanne has written books on medieval history and literature, including several collaborative works—most recently, a book called How We Read: Tales, Fury, Nothing, Sound. She also co-hosts a literature podcast with Chris Piuma, called The Spouter-Inn. She has four kids and three cats.

Suzanne and Michael chat about the corporeal experience of music, discovering self confidence, converting to Islam as an adult, the appeal of strength, and the capacious and joyful embodiment of Missy Elliott's music.

Suzanne’s Five Songs.

Where Do the Children Play? by Cat Stevens.
One Way or Another by Blondie.
Forbidden Colours by David Sylvian with Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Work It by Missy Elliott.
XXXO by M.I.A.

Show Notes.

How We Read: Tales, Fury, Nothing, Sound. (Free PDF!)

The Spouter-Inn, Suzanne’s podcast about “great books”, hosted with former guest Chris Piuma.

The Scene of the Scene: Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

Suzanne and Michael both answered “deep questions” on a recent episode of The Opposite Of Lonely.

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36. One Glorious Anthem. [Derek Bolt.]

Derek Bolt is an architect, bodybuilder, and gay porn star based in Washington, D.C. He’s the winner of the heavyweight class at the 2018 NPC MaxMuscle Mid-Atlantic open bodybuilding competition, and he will be competing at the 2019 NPC Nationals at the end of July. 

Derek and Michael talk about how taekwondo is better than Boy Scouts, the cruelty and casual homophobia of children, non-monogamous relationships, bodybuilding, and loneliness. Derek is also one of Michael's best friends, and they nerd out about common interests and explain how they met.

Derek’s Five Songs.

Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox.
Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer.
Slut Like You by P!nk.
Immortals by Fall Out Boy.
Monument (The Inevitable End Version) by Röyksopp ft. Robyn.

Show Notes.

Derek on Instagram and Twitter [NSFW]. 

Derek’s posing routine to "Monument”.

Some of Derek’s jewelry designs.

Annie Lennox’s art exhibit.

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35. Hey Jupiter. [Pride Special.]

In this special episode, host Michael Collins takes you back to his preteen and early teen years, and talks about what it was like growing up a lonely closeted gay boy in rural Newfoundland, and how Tori Amos and the piano helped him make a sort of sense of it all. Regular programming will resume next week!

Songs in this episode.

Prelude in C minor by J.S. Bach.
Precious Things by Tori Amos.
Hey Jupiter by Tori Amos.

Show Notes.

This story and more of Michael's writing can be found at his new Medium page,

Support This Is Your Mixtape on Patreon and access bonus bits, a members-only Slack, and more!

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