[Image: “Blown Hat Dance,” by John Fraissinet (found on Flickr, and used here under a Creative Commons license — thank you!). I love that the subject’s pursuit is a solitary one; to the extent that any of the bystanders notice him at all, they seem amused more than concerned, eager to join in, or anything else. When you chase your hat long enough, you get used to it: that’s just the way things go.]
This year’s anniversary post — if all goes well — will appear on Wednesday, April 19, rather than Thursday (i.e., the actual anniversary). If so, it will neatly confirm this year’s anniversary theme: that Wednesdays (and weekends), in particular, deserve some kind of musical interlude. Each song in the mix below was featured, at least peripherally, in a post for the “Midweek/Weekend Music Break” category, sometime in the last nine years.
All right, if you really want to get technical, the earliest selection below dates back only to February, 2011. But since the very first such post didn’t appear until January of that year, I figure I’m due a pass on the fact-checking.
As usual, each link in the track listing here takes you to the corresponding RAMH post. (Some of those posts featured numerous other songs, as well. You can tell which, probably, by hovering over the track title — you’ll see a little pop-up label showing the post‘s title. If the post title names this specific song, then that song is (always? most often?) the only one covered.) To actually play the mix, scroll down a bit further on the page for the audio-player device.
This year, the little audio-player whatsit lets you download each track as it’s playing — or at least as it’s selected. See the little “Download” button at the top left? There you go. (You can also pop out the playlist into its own window, if you don’t want to linger on the post.) The total length of this year’s mix is about 70 minutes: a CD’s worth. Either way, you can find this year’s version of my random anniversary thoughts below the fold.
Finally, for the record, here’s the list of links to earlier anniversary posts, most of which included playlists of their own. (As indicated, I did no playlist in 2009-10, nor in 2012.) One of these days I’ll combine them all into a single one; shuffled, especially, they really do make for an eminently listenable mix… although, looking back on them now, maybe my first priority should be replacing all the outdated audio players with the one I’m using nowadays. Ha.
- RAMH@1 / 2009: “Notes from the Clearing” (no playlist)
- RAMH@2 / 2010: “Running After My Hat: The Two-Year, 30-Second Version” (no playlist)
- RAMH@3 / 2011: “The Mix” (18 tracks, no particular theme except that I’d posted about all those songs here during the three years of the blog’s existence to date, and had liked them)
- RAMH@4 / 2012: “Intersections Close By, Milestones Passed” (not explicitly an anniversary post, although a footnote does comment briefly on the occasion)
- RAMH@5 / 2013: “Cherchez Les Femmes“ (18 tracks, music by women)
- RAMH@6 / 2014: “Discoveries” (19 tracks, music I learned about because I’m blogging)
- RAMH@7 / 2015: “Old Friends” (21 tracks, music I’d have known about with or without blogging)
- RAMH@8 / 2016: “To One Thing Constant Never… and a Playlist” (18 tracks, music by guys)
As always, implicit in every post here is my gratitude for your visit. Thank you!
RAMH@9: The Music Break Mix
Obligatory (or not) statistics…: The total number of posts at Running After My Hat to date (not counting this one, and not counting draft or otherwise unpublished ones): 1,331. Of those, 438 have been assigned the “Music” category, and of those, only 158 have been “music break” posts. Of course, a good proportion of many music-centered discussions here cover more than one song; and of course, too, musical interludes are included in many nominally non-musical posts, like the whiskey river Fridays ones. If you could look into the folder where all those songs are stored online, at the moment, you would find well over 800 separate .mp3’s — add in YouTube music videos for which I’ve never uploaded digital files, and the total count of featured songs starts to approach the total number of published posts. (Especially when you factor in the videos, etc., which appear in comments as well as in the main post body.
When I began this blog in April 2008, I knew I’d want to dabble in music somehow. I’d had other blogs before, all of which were based on the Blogger platform, but the only way I ever knew to incorporate playable music in them was by (a) via YouTube or (b) via explicit links to tracks which I’d uploaded to my own site of the moment. (When you clicked on the link, the audio wouldn’t start playing; it would start downloading. And trust me, when site visitors mostly still had sloooooow Internet connections, they did not want to wait for multi-megabyte file downloads… especially because they had to wait for the whole thing to download before hearing any of it!)
So the move to a WordPress-based blog appealed to me: I knew I’d be able to “do music” as I wanted, with built-in on-the-page doo-dads to buffer the audio, streaming it to site visitors — so, for example, I could provide the equivalent of “background music” while readers luxuriated in my words.
Even so, it took me a while to figure out how to do it. My first post here with an embedded audio player on the page was this one, from July 2008; it centered on a selection from the soundtrack of the musical 1776, called “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men.” It was like the unstoppering of a soda bottle: through the rest of that year, almost 30 more posts included some explicit attention to music (including my first annual ten-song “
Quirky Eclectic Christmas Music Playlist”).
So, yeah — as I’ve observed before, that I should find myself writing so much about music genuinely surprises me. I recently did a quick check of just the “What’s in a Song” series, and discovered that I’ve posted around 45,000 words just on that topic alone. (And that I’d springboard from that surprise to a real opportunity to write about music? That delights me, sure, but also confounds the bejeezus out of me.)
I’m looking forward to another year of surprises. And you know what? I’m pretty sure I’ll even squeeze in some blogging about the kinds of things which wouldn’t have surprised the version of me who launched Running After My Hat in 2008.