Back to School: A Mixtape

Future generations will never understand this connection.

While classes at EWU don’t officially start until September, a lot of schools on the semester plan are starting up. You know what that means? Yes. The obligatory back to school mixtape. I had a tough time compiling this mixtape since there are so many songs that unearth that familiar autumn nostalgia in me. But I did my best to narrow it down to 10 songs. Let’s just listen to the tunes and forget about all of the stuff we should have done over the summer, shall we? Enjoy.  

1. Ready To Start– The Arcade Fire

The Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands. Canada has got something going, let me tell you. When I saw them play in Minneapolis, MN two years ago, this was the opener, naturally. It’s not just a toe-tapper, it’s a foot-stomper of a song. It’ll get you pumped up for anything. Whether it’s finishing up the first draft of your thesis (eek!) or starting your first day of class, this is one tune that’ll prepare you to face anything.

2. The Book I Write– Spoon

Obligatory thesis song.

3. Today’s Supernatural– Animal Collective

So, this song doesn’t have much to do with back to school. But I can’t contain my excitement for their new album Centipede Hz. It drops on September 4th, but you can preview the album at NPR’s website. Or head on over to their website to listen to the album with trippy, weird AC-like video. This song is the first single. So excited.

4. School– Nirvana

This video was taken during their 1991 European tour with Sonic Youth. The lyrics say it all: Wouldn’t you believe it it’s just my luck/ No recess. Being denied recess is enough to make anyone smash up a drum set that probably cost more than my entire living room, even with 11 years of inflation. I remember the disappointment of cancelled recess. It’s like cigarette breaks or lunch breaks as an adult, except there’s kickball. No recess blows.

5. School Days– The Runaways

Not so much a pro-school song, this one. It seems pretty anti-school, but I get caught on this line: School days, school days/ I’m older, now what will I find/ School day, school days/ Starting to slip I’m losin’ my mind. So maybe it’s more pro-school than I thought.

6. Me And Julio– Paul Simon

This video is probably the record of Paul Simon ever playing basketball. Then John Madden shows up? What? This song is also in one of my favorite scenes from The Royal Tenenbaums. Maybe my favorite playing hookie film montage, too. Gene Hackman would be the best grandfather ever, except for being an asshole. Or a son of a bitch.

7. Sign– Five Man Electrical Band

Just a friendly reminder that the Riverpoint campus is now smoke-free. This song pops in my head whenever I read the signs taped on every single door in every single building. No, it’s fine. Really. I’m used to it. But can we please ban high fructose corn syrup next? It’s only fair.

8. September– Earth, Wind, and Fire

Go ahead and dance. It’s okay. Find a safe place and dance.

9. And I Was A Boy From School– Hot Chip

The Simpsons also used this song in the episode “A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again,” a reference to the David Foster Wallace book, which I happen to be reading right now. Weird. This video is even weirder. Yet somehow I always pictured art school having big fans blowing bed sheets and at least one guy wearing a unitard with nipples.

10. Thirteen– Elliott Smith (Big Star cover)

One of the comments for this video reads: “This song makes me feel.” Can’t say it any better than that.

Secret track

Secret track

Happy schooling, everyone!

13 Responses to “Back to School: A Mixtape”

  1. Aileen says:

    I would also highly recommend Father John Misty’s “I’m writing a novel.” Sample lyric: My reality is realer than yours. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ztOeup6BE

  2. Fitz says:

    Katrina, I don’t own a tape player, but will you make me a mixtape anyway?

    ps. What about The White Stripes’ “We’re Going to Be Friends”?

  3. Laura C. says:

    Man, I feel like I am constantly rediscovering Earth, Wind, and Fire, and then NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD sounds good for about two months afterward.

    Also, in future, I am convinced that we will ALL be members of the Arcade Fire, and not even know it.

  4. Cathie Smathie says:

    I love Me & Julio…love.

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