The way to anyone's heart is with a good mix of music.

You read that correctly. Mixtape. It’s a subtle art, as John Cusack taught in “High Fidelity.” There are, in fact, a lot of rules.

Depending on the era in which you came of age, you might be thinking a mix CD, or – heaven forbid – a playlist. I believe a Spotify channel is the latest incarnation of this art that is quickly becoming the equivalent of a microwave shortcut button. I sometimes weep for the future.

It’s Ray Ray’s 25th birthday. And while I’m plying here with the gifts my meager salary can afford, I thought a nice homemade compilation would really hit the spot. (Disclosure: it’s a CD. But you know if I still had a cassette deck I’d be all over that thing. And this will likely just be imported into iTunes in the end anyway.) It’s title: Top of the Second Quarter.

This gift is part love note, part education series. If I had a dollar for every song I play that she does not know, I'd have no student loans. Alas.

So here it is. The first music compilation for the woman who has stolen my heart. If you would like to follow along, open your hymnals to our Spotify station that I’ve begun for this musical experiment to find this playlist (and those to follow!).

Penguin Café Orchestra – Perpetuum Mobile

Toto – Africa

Clive Tanaka y Su Orquesta – Neu Chicago

Fitz and the Tantrums – L.O.V.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Home

John Hiatt – I Love That Girl

Badly Drawn Boy – Once Around the Block

David Garza -- Slave

Blink 182 – Josie

The Pogues – Tuesday Morning

The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere

Liquid Soul -- I Want You To Want Me

Neeko Case – This Tornado Loves You

South – Better Things

Natasha Bedingfield -- These Words

John Mellencamp – Miss Missy

London Symphony Orchestra – Clare de Lune



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