Tag Music

Mix CD | Why Are There So Many Songs about Hobos?

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 032.1A07-1

I know, the title is a bad Kermit the Frog joke, and the mix perhaps started out as the same, but the more I researched and worked on it, the more sincere the question seemed to me. What is the role of the hobo in American musical culture? A figure to be pitied? Envied? The songs seem relatively split. Or do people sing about hobos simply because it’s a fun word to say? When it was all through, I realized I needed to write my own hobo song as well, “Hobo Lingo,” which takes the word-game approach.

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Mix CD | Triple Frontera

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 030.1A06-1

For the past several years, my anthropologist friend has been doing research on the geopolitics of the triple-border between Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. It’s a fascinating topic, and I’ve enjoyed getting updates and reading suggestions from a growing expert. This mix was made as a celebration of the Triple Frontera and its multiple identities, about peoples and languages and rivers and borders.

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Mix CD | The Bridegroom Special

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 029.1A06-1

A two-disc mix in honor of a good friend’s wedding, including songs in Hebrew, Ladino, Arabic, French, Spanish and English, a wide-ranging selection of danceable and cry-for-joyable tunes, romantic indy-pop, and plenty of Ella Fitzgerald.

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Mix CD | Planes, Trains and Autorickshaws

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 026.1A06-1

Created for the 10th anniversary of a trip I took to India, with some of the people who are still my closest friends. The mix itself was a long string of lovely inside jokes (the title itself was one of them), of music we’d talked about during long conversations in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Nainital.

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Mix CD | Genesis

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 021.1A05-1

Inspired by the first book of the Bible, in all its wonder and strangeness. Some of the songs make direct references to persons and events; others are resonant with the emotions of particular moments of the story.

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Mix CD | Entomology

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 018.1A05-1

Created for an evolutionary biologist, each track on this mix is matched with a taxonomical order of insects. The fifteen songs on this disc cover half the orders. For the fifteen less-sung-about orders (including thrips, springtails, caddisflies, walkingsticks, etc.) I composed a single song that covered them all, which I put onto a bonus disc.

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Mix CD | re:RQ

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 006.1A03-1

I think part of the reason why I like making mix CDs is that it’s so much like working on a magazine, something I did for a few years in the early 2000s as editor of re:generation quarterly. Coming up with a cover theme, soliciting and ordering a group of articles, sweating the details of a table of contents or the running headers, making sure all the commas are italicized correctly. During my time at RQ, my editor-in-chief and co-conspirator was Andy Crouch (who I’ve worked with again much more recently on the Culture Making website). After RQ folded, as a parting gift for Andy I put together this mix, styled along the lines of the last-gasp redesign that only lasted one issue. If you can truly sum up the work we did—and the structure of the magazine— in 45min worth of music, I think this at least comes close. And for outsiders, I suspect it’s still a good listen.

Roaring Lambs or bleating lions?

cc Roger Davies/flickr

By Andy Crouch and Nate Barksdale

Dream with us of an America transformed. At a sold-out concert at the Las Vegas House of Blues, hundreds of fans of the hottest pop sensation of the year sing along to lyrics that unabashedly proclaim dependence on God. On national television, an innovative and much-lauded musical artist reads from Scripture. The major media, no longer bastions of anti-Christian prejudice, take faith seriously, and novels written by Christian authors and dealing with explicitly Christian themes hold several slots on the New York Times best-seller lists. Meanwhile, the nation’s highest political leader repeatedly and publicly acknowledges his need for God and his reliance on faith. This is a world in which Christians are no longer second-class hangers-on in a secular culture. It is a world in which the gospel is presented on MTV, ABC, ESPN, and the highest-profile Internet sites. It is a world in which believers no longer feel ashamed.