28. Future Nostalgia. [Dan Kois.]

Dan Kois is an editor at Slate and a contributing writer to the New York Times magazine. He's the author of Facing Future, a book in the 33⅓ series of music criticism, and the co-author (with Isaac Butler) of The World Only Spins Forward, an oral history of the play Angels in America, a winner of a Stonewall Book Honor from the ALA. His memoir of parenting around the world, How to Be a Family, will be published in September 2019 by Little, Brown.

Dan and Michael talk about mixtape evangelism, the discomfort of growth, celebrating difference, first concerts, and creating memories.

Dan’s Five Songs.

A Perfect Circle [MTV Unplugged] by R.E.M.
Strange Loop by Liz Phair.
Deeper Into Movies by Yo La Tengo.
Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves.
Green Light by Lorde.

Show Notes.

How to Be a Family. Dan’s book about his family’s year-long trip around the world.

Facing Future. Dan’s 33⅓ book about Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

The World Only Spins Forward. Dan's book with Isaac Butler about Angels in America.

R.E.M. vs. U2. Dan’s early essay about the rivalry he perceived between U2 and R.E.M.

Slate Podcast Mom and Dad are Fighting.

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27. One Song Can Reduce You. [Pete Gresser.]

Pete Gresser is a composer and occasional voice actor who lives with his husband and their incredibly old dog in suburban Los Angeles.  He’s written music for the soundtracks of over a dozen games, the most recent release being Rex: Another Island, currently available on Steam.  By his own admission, he’s terrible at social media and has made it his 2019 resolution to attempt to feel shame for being terrible at social media, but he makes no promises about actually improving.

Pete and Michael talk about video-game music, Arizona, compositional practices, the reckoning of middle age, and how Björk taught him resilience and pride as a closeted teen.

Pete’s Five Songs:

Don’t Go by Yazoo (aka Yaz).
Scheherazade: Op. 35, II: The Story of the Kalendar Prince by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Simon’s Theme (from Super Castlevania IV) by Masanori Adachi and Taro Kudo.
Isobel by Björk.
Epic III (from Hadestown) by Anaïs Mitchell.

Show Notes.

Pete’s website, where you can hear some of his compositions.

Pete’s Twitter account.

Lindsay Ellis’s video on the Death of the Author.

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26. A Christmas Story. [Holiday Special.]

This Is Your Mixtape takes a little holiday break from its usual format. Michael, your steadfast host, tells the story of Christmas when he was twelve through the lens of some carols that are important to him. It's a story about encountering mortality, losing innocence, love, resilience, and the magic of unexpected gifts.

Michael’s Christmas Songs.

The Skater’s Waltz.
Carol of the Bells.
My Favourite Things.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

All of the clips heard in the episode were plonked out by Michael on an out-of-tune upright.

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25. Cast That Magic Circle Around You. [Melissa Beaupré.]

Melissa Beaupré lives in Toronto, where she works as a proofreader and copywriter. She once worked as a phone psychic, and she has met the queen, who was totally unaffected by the 35 degree celsius heat. She partially completed a PhD studying female heretics in the middle ages, she fosters cats for the Toronto Cat Rescue, and she enjoys video games.

Melissa and Michael talk about tall tales, clinical depression, indigenous identity, dancing, and the apocalypse.

Melissa’s Five Songs.

Big Joe Mufferaw by Stompin' Tom Connors.
The Becoming by Nine Inch Nails.
Standing by VNV Nation.
Sunset by Current 93.
R.E.D. by A Tribe Called Red.

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24. Invisible Shackles. [Brad Dunne.]

Brad Dunne is a writer from St. John’s, Newfoundland. His debut novel, after dark vapours, tells a gothic werewolf story through a postcolonial lens. His journalism has appeared in Maisonneuve, The Canadian Encyclopedia and The Walrus. He recently launched his own podcast, Deconstruction Junction, where he uses philosophy to find unconventional readings of popular media.

Brad and Michael talk about how music creates self-confidence, playing in a punk band, virtuosity, rap as the most literary musical genre, and how to cope when life unexpectedly throws a series of curveballs your way.

Brad’s Five Songs.

Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Decline by NOFX.
All The Things You Are by Joe Pass.
Sounds of Science by the Beastie Boys.
Atlas, Rise by Metallica.

Show Notes.

Brad’s website and Instagram.

His podcast, Deconstruction Junction.

Brad’s novel, after dark vapours.

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