Mixtape Monday: Ben Rybeck

5 mins read

Lewis DeJong has made me do this thing where I make a playlist on my iPod consisting of song from one band from each letter of the alphabet and then he has to guess what it is.  So in the spirit of that, I tried to pick one song for each letter.  This got muddled, as you’ll see. In alphabetical order:

Animal Collective  –  “Grass”  (My first instinct is to be obscure, but I guess I’d rather be accurate.  And this song is summer.)
Bowerbirds  –  “Northern Lights”  (The ultimate sitting-on-a-porch-while-the-sun-goes-down summertime track.)
Dirty Projectors  –  “Stillness is the Move”
Discovery  –  “I Want You Back”  (This cover has been derided. I don’t think those people are actually listening to it. This is a pretty awesome reimagining of an overly familiar song.)
Flipper  –  “Ever”  (For Alex Merrill.)
Galaxie 500  –  “Strange”  (This song goes through my head every time I go outside in Tucson during the summer.)
jj  –  “My Hopes and Dreams”  (Still the best of the Swedish poppers.)
Kings of Convenience  –  “Homesick”  (Overly sentimental?  Of course it is. But who gives a fuck?  This is the song that I listened to during summer as a teenager while smoking clove cigarettes and imagining that Zach Braff was playing me in a movie my present day self would fucking detest.)
The Lucksmiths  –  “The Music from New Door”  (For Patrick Hanan.)
A.C. Newman  –  “Battle for Straight Time”
McLusky  –  “To Hell With Good Intentions”  (This is the song for when you’re stuck in your car in rush hour on the hottest day of the year and your air conditioner’s broken.)
Midnight Juggernauts  –  “Into the Galaxy”
My Favorite –  “The Happiest Days of My Life”  (This band is sadly underrated.  They did 80s new wave revival before it was popular, and it’s time to reconsider them.)
Oxford Collapse  –  “Children’s Crusade”  (When the bassist from this band used my shower one time, he reorganized my shampoos and conditioners for me.  Including this song here is my small way of thanking him.)
Palace Music  –  “Work Hard/Play Hard”  (There are better Will Oldham songs, but who cares?  This one is my favorite.)
Silver Jews  –  “Suffering Jukebox”  (It’s always hard to pinpoint how emotionally invested Berman wants you to get in his lyrics.  That’s part of the fun.)
Super Furry Animals  –  “Run-Away”
Twin Shadow  –  “Forget”  (A newer one, but I’ve been listening to this band a lot lately, and swooning.)
Voxtrot  –  “Rise Up in the Dirt”  (A sadly failed band, based on the promise of this song and the early EPs.)
White Rabbits  –  “While We Go Dancing”
XTC  –  “Earn Enough for Us”  (I’d be lying if an XTC song weren’t on this list.)
Yo La Tengo  –  “Green Arrow”  (Hard to pick which Yo La Tengo song to go with.  But this one’s a great sleepy summertime song for driving home at 3am.  I like ending on this note.)

Playlist on Youtube

Benjamin Rybeck carries with him many half-formed opinions about things he doesn’t know much about.  He is the editor-in-chief of Sonora Review, a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Arizona, and a teacher of creative writing.  His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Ninth Letter, DIAGRAM, Natural Bridge, Guernica, and elsewhere.