Part 46: Integrity Mix



Integrity Mix.

This was an idea that came from Kevin.  For a while there, he was making a new mix CD every month, made up of the best stuff he was listening to in the last 30 days or so.  The idea was, you’d have a neat chronicle of your most impactful listening experiences.  And a good mix CD in general.

Knowing that I was into making mix discs, Kevin passed this concept down to me.  I held it faithfully for three months.  Then it became every other month…every six months…when I felt like it…etc.

But, the end result is, I do have a chronicle of whatever period I’m capturing on those discs.

And I called them Integrity Mix.

For example, I have one here that was made in October of 2004.  It has goofy stuff (William Shatner).  It has stuff that reminded me of friends (“Mr. Bad Guy” by Freddie Mercury) and enemies (“Asshole” by Gene Simmons).

But there’s also a subtle common thread in some of the songs.  This was during a long stint in Oakville.  I was sinking pretty low at that time.  I was spending 2 1/2 hours commuting every day, minimum.  I was working long hours and I wasn’t eating right.   I was stressed beyond my limit.  But mostly I was lonely and homesick a lot of that time.

So you see songs with titles like “Wish I Could Be There”, “Comin’ Home”, “We Stand Alone”, “To Be Alive Again”, “By the Grace of God” and “The Battle Rages On”.  The sounds are equally melancholy:  “Loosen My Strings” by Deep Purple is an example, but it doesn’t get any sadder sounding than “This is the Day” by Captain Beefheart.  The mix disc from the following month, November, got even darker.

On the other hand, I have the mix CD from the month Jen and I got married.  It has tunes on it by Kiss (“And Then She Kissed Me”), The Darkness (“I Believe in a Thing Called Love”), the Beatles (“Here Comes the Sun”), and Zappa (“Peaches en Regalia”) which to me reflect a much more positive state of mind!

It’s cool that I have those discs, and they are always a great listen no matter what state of mind you’re in.  Think about it:  It’s the best of the best of the best shit you were listening to for any given month of your life.  I don’t get embarassed by what I was listening to 10 years ago, and we always have a blast playing these in the car.

Make your own Integrity Mix.  Try it!


  1. Did one of these from autumn 2004 have “Off He Goes” on it? And a Brant Bjork song? If so, I remember listening to these with you in the store, and they were really quite great.


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