Right – the mix-tape was based around these rules:

“AT LEAST 1 FEMALE & AT LEAST one NON-WHITE track (not including Bob Marley, Public Enemy, James Brown or Jimi Hendrix as non-white, though you of course may still put them on) try not to make it all white boy guitar rock.”

* Something instrumental
* Something from b4 you were born
* Someone a bit derranged
* Something from outer space
* Something with a GENIUS intro
* “The biggest and bestest gay disco in the world” (wow tentative)

And a true “Guilty Pleasure” I know everyones interpritation of this will differ, but My Shorona or Ace Of Spades are not Guilty Pleasures, they are both well loved and respected songs Barbra Steisands “Places that belong to you” or Level 42’s “Its over” would be a bit more guilty.”

And I cheat by cutting a few of Nathan’s random comments. I also cheat by doubling up the options in a few of my songs, though I dare say I could make an argument about any of them. Also, as opposed to last year’s which was carefully planned, this was lobbed together in a frenzy with nowhere near as much thought. Stuff, which I’ve been digging in the last few months, old and new…

1) What Time Is Love – the KLF.
White Room version, so takes the genius intro card. In fact, genius all the way through. We’ll never see the KLF’s like again, and this – and all their stadium house records – are absolute masterclasses in what Pop Music can be. This possibly may also be my play for the best Gay Disco In the World Ever. Which is a bit of a cheat, but Gay Discos would be much better if they played more KLF. In fact, only KLF. MU! MU! MU! MU!

2) Alpha Centauri – At the Drive In
From one of their pre-Relationship Of Command EPs, and one of my favourite tracks by the long-hairs/no-hairs combo. Included primarily as I’d just finally got around to ripping it off the Concubines’s copy. No, I don’t understand the words either. Thats’ the point. “WIDOWS! A BRIEFCASE FILLED WITH MACE! WIDOWS! SIX-LEGGED LOST AND FOUND!”. Me. too.

3) Theme – Sabres of Paradise.
Old-skool, but still brilliant. Obvious choice for the instrumental. Still a big cinematic shark of a song.

4) Note – Why? and SJ Esau.
From the SJ Esau remix project “Stop Touching My Cat”. SJ Esau is a Bristol cross-genre indie kid, doing cool shit. Why? is an ex-Anticon fellow. Derranged accoustitronic althop.

5) Heartless Romantic – The Dears
Wrote about this before, but I still love it. Was almost the opening track, but thought it worked here too. Ramshackle, in all the right ways.

6) Puppies and Kittens – War Against Sleep
These were on last year’s VCD too, making them the sole returner. This pretty little piano song with a barely camoflaged darkside is one of my favourite things from his Scott-Walker-influenced second album.

7) I can’t Help Myself – Orange Juice
Pop-crossover period Orange Juice from the early eighties, it’s here where you can so clearly see how much Chic influenced that Sound Of Youth Scotland thing. Incredibly wordy pop music, and far too clever for its own good. “Nothing worth finding is easily found/Try as one might/That was supposed to sound/Very Profound/It probably sounds trite/Just like the Four Tops/I can’t Help myself”. Top of the Fops!

8) Ambulance – TV On The Radio
Loved this for most of this year. Alt.acapella, the Flying Pickets singing the last song at the end of the world. Impossibly delicate, painfully romatic, post-coital notes hanging in space. I love this. I really love this.

9) Insidious Winge – SJ Esau
And SJ hits it twice. The other side of his work – just a tune, a guitar and some playfully weird vitriol. Reminds me of a non-political Billy Bragg, in that it only comes into focus when you hit the punchline, which turns the quiet sadness of the rest into an attractive frame.

10) I am Damo Suzuki – The Fall
Going through a Fall stage this year too, and this is also fucking awesome. That tribal drumbeat which is audibly falling apart, the descending guitar line and Mark E Smith hailing Can and God knows what else. Walking across Bristol with this playing and I feel like some modern primitive, and deliciously indestructible.

11) Imagine – Dizee Rascal
From his last LP. Can’t believe he never released this, its prettiest, most sincere and smartest moment as a single. Unless I wasn’t paying attention, in which case beat me up, yes? Liked how the drum-beat played against Damo Suzuki’s too.

12) List of Demands (Repairations) – Saul Williams.
Just like this. That BoB-style Outkast sound attack, anti-dance in form and a dirty sound which fills up the bottom of your speakers.

13) On Your Own Again – Scott Walker
“You’re on your own again – and you’re your best again, that’s what you tell yourself.” “Except when it began , I was so happy… I didn’t feel… like me.”

14) Super Sexy Razor Happy Girls – Mika Bomb
Old-skool Purr Anthem from all-girl punk band. Is this the theme tune for an anime yet? And if not, why not? I’d happily write it.

15) Hyperballad – Bjork/Brodsky Quartet.
Hyperballad’s one of the single greatest pop landmarks of my life, and this is an interesting reinterpretation.

16) Game of Pricks – Guided By Voices
Wrote about this before one too.

17) Hey Joe – Make Up
“Hello. Is that you Joe?”
“Yeah – it’s me”
“Come back from mexico – come on home”
“I want to come back home… from mexico”
“Come back home, and when you get here… come up to my room”
“Baby! I wanna come home from Mexico! Wanna turn the lights down low! Turn up your stereo! Walk up those Stairs and…”

I give you one of my favourite bands of all time.

18) This is The Dream of Win and Regine – Final Fantasy
Extremely fey. Gent is also the violin arranger for the Arcade Fire. And if you didn’t know it before, this little namedropper of a chamber-pop song will tell you all about it.

19) Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues – McLusky
Dead now, and forming new bands. One of them “Shooting at Unarmed Men” I saw on Saturday, and were just as awesome as McClusky. And this is them at their most awesome. Perpetually connected to tearing around LA with Charlie Chu.

20) Don’t Speak – No Doubt
Guilty Pleasure. I’m not good with Guilty Pleasures, as any which most would be embarassed about, I’d probably hail. Of course, the ones I’m actually embarassed about are ones which all too many would consider to be fairly good taste. Like – say – a couple of the Killers singles or (even worse and more embarassing) Just A Day by Feeder. But this is so schlocky that it passes the muster on both account. So schlocky but… still here, still touching me. I won’t speak if you won’t.