jwz mixtape 200

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 2ØØ.

Two hundred!

By the numbers: that's 1,625 audio tracks on the first 75 mixtapes, and then 2,732 videos on the next 125 mixtapes, for a total running time of just over 12 days. That averages out to pretty close to my goal of 90 minutes each, at an average of one every six weeks.

I wanted to do something to commemorate the bicentennial (bicentapial?) so here's a double-length mixtape (a pair of C90s) comprising The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time.

Ok, it's not really that, because there are two fundamental problems with that concept:

"They all bought BOY shirts and BOY knives running around like wolf packs burning, looting, killing, it spread everywhere all that summer in Marrakech, the city would light up at night, human torches flickering on walls, trees, fountains, all very romantic, you could map the dangerous areas sitting on your balcony under the stars sipping a scotch. I looked across the square and watched a tourist burning in blue fire. They had gasoline that burned in all colors by then... Just look at them out there all those little figures dissolving in light. Rather like fairy land isn't it, except for the smell of gasoline and burning flesh." -- Wm. S. Burroughs, ibid.

  • First: How is a mixtape of The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time not merely Duran Duran's "The Wild Boys" playing on infinite repeat?

    Because really, that's it, you can stop there, that's the one.

    There's a rule about recording a cover song: "Never remind the audience that they could be listening to a better band than yours." So let's say you sit down to make a music video. How do you even do that, knowing that The Wild Boys exists, out there, in the world? How do you top that?

  • But Second: I am paralysed by choice. My first draft of this mixtape was seven hours long, and it still felt woefully incomplete.

    Though I will eagerly argue that Russell Mulcahy both invented the music video and closed the book on the genre, if you were to say make that claim, I'd be quick to tell you how wrong you were and point out that we are absolutely living in the golden age of the music video right now. The accessibility of the tools of production and distribution was supposed to transform the music industry into this cornucopia of new voices, and it so, so did not -- the corporations locked that shit down tight. But for music videos... it kinda did... These days a band with $10k can put together a video that is every bit as high quality and insane as something that in the 80s or 90s would have taken $10M and a crew of 80, and that's not just some tech-cheerleader cliché, small bands are actually doing that and it's amazing.

So here are some music videos. Are they great? Absolutely, and I'll fight anyone who says different. Greatest Of All Time? Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I love these videos for all kinds of reasons, but I tried to avoid falling into the trap of including a B- video because it's an A+ song. (As it happens, I also think these are all great songs, so perhaps I wasn't as objective on that as I could have been).

I didn't put these tracks in order of any kind of rank, because I thought that making a listenable mix was a better way to go.

Enjoy your next three hours:

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Current Music: as noted