Oh Honey- a guest mix from Agatha Donkar

Closing out this week of really terrific mixes is Agatha Donkar, the wonderful lady behind Brand New Kind Of. She’s a large fan of college sports, young adult novels, rock & roll and cats, and her friendship is one of the nicest gifts the internet has given me over the last few years. Thanks, internet, for that, and thanks, Agatha, for this- both the mix and your writing are phenomenal.

Winter makes me a little sad. Even when I’m generally happy, winter makes me a little sad. I don’t think that’s unusual, really. But man, when I listened to this mix for the first time straight through, I thought to myself, Self, this is a mix all about longing. And you’re not really longing for anything, so what gives?

I just think winter is a little bit about longing. And not always longing for the same thing — there’s lots of longing all over this mix, and all over winter. Longing for family. Longing for a different family than the one you have. Longing for a partner, longing for a partner who’s far away. For friends, for home, for spring. It’s just human nature to want things we don’t have, and in winter I want things I don’t have (spring), and every one of these songs is about longing for something. But it’s also about being loved, sometimes by strangers, and about being human. Winter is sad, and a little lonely, but you’re not alone.

Even the title, Oh Honey, is about longing. It’s a reference to a Tragically Hip song that’s basically unreleased (it appeared only on the soundtrack to Men With Brooms, a ridiculous Canadian vanity project movie about curling), and which is one of my favorite winter-longing songs. I meant to start this mix with that song, but it turns out that being basically unreleased it’s not available online to stream anywhere. (It’s on YouTube if you want to hear it. It’s a good song.) I meant to start the mix with “Oh Honey” and end it with “The Christians and the Pagans”, and get myself from point a to point b along the way. But no Tragically Hip to stream, so I started with Dar Williams instead and I think the mix ended up even better for it. It went a different direction than I expected it to.

But I left the title as a reference to the song I couldn’t have.

I made this mix differently than I usual do. I’m a dump too much in and pare it down sort of mix maker, but when my plan was thrown off by not having my starting song, I put my ender at the top of the playlist and actually built this track by track in order. I didn’t do any reordering once I’d found my 12 songs — it was the most logical and chronological mix I’ve ever made. I started with Dar Williams and thought, what do I want to hear next? What goes after this? And then I sat until I found the next song. Sometimes it was a day or two, sometimes it was immediate. I had an inkling about halfway through that “Back” would finish it up, but if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t have minded. I was glad it did, but it wasn’t necessary.

Last year I made a lot of mix CDs because my boyfriend and I were long distance. He lives here now so I just buy him records, but it was nice, last year, to put together songs I wanted to say something with. I’m really grateful I got to make this one for you.

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