A few years ago, I began a passing hobby that I haven't really kept up--I'd approach a friend who was in love with a band I didn't know or barely knew or only knew a few "popular songs" by, and ask them to dig in deep and make me a mix tape of that band. My friend Jill, for instance, made me an incredible, illuminating R.E.M. mix (not that R.E.M. was a band I was unfamiliar with but I, unlike most I think, really connect with later-period R.E.M., from Monster to Reveal I can assure you I've broken apart and pieced back together to all those songs) called, I think, "Mandolins and Metaphors". I have a pretty spectacular mix in which I chronicle my 13 favorite New Order songs from my least-favorite favorite ("Blue Monday") to my most favorite favorite ("Temptation").
Sophie's fanaticism for the John Darnielle project The Mountain Goats used to stick in my craw. She's young, so I figure she's probably more tolerant of this insufferable "let's record things that sound like shit" aesthetic that the kids like these days. Sure it's cool, but even Zola Jesus is making better, more enlightening music now that she fucking sings into the goddamn microphone.