Everyone knows today is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year in the US and all of that consumerist crap. However, everyone also knows that this year, especially, there ain't gonna be much shopping going on. I mean, I was broke before all of this financial mayhem bubbled to the surface in September, but the idea of throwing some more useless garbage on my overburdened credit cards at this point just seems stupid.
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For this reason, I'm calling for a revitalization and renewal of that time-honored cheapskate gift: the mixtape. That's right. This year, of all years, even your grandma won't bat an eye at a lovingly mixed and hastily packaged compilation of songs chosen just for her. Buy a spindle of CD-Rs and a package of Sharpies, and start composing your audio love letters today. If you're stuck with a bad case of mixer's block, consider starting with records released by Colorado bands this year. They're unique, add local flavor and are just plain good.
To jog your memory, here is an incomplete list of local bands who put out memorable, gift-worthy music in the last year (or so): Jason Cain, Wentworth Kersey, Aenka, Natural Selection, Git Some, Machine Gun Blues, Hearts of Palm, Birdy, Drag the River, the Knew, 3OH!3, the Still City, the World Romantic, d. biddle, Flobots, Astrophagus, Laylights, Porlolo, Everything Absent or Distorted, Ellison Park, Crowboy, Widowers, Achille Lauro, Dan Craig, Bad Luck City, We Are! We Are!, the Fire Drills, the Wheel, Tim Pourbaix, the Swayback, the Chain Gang of 1974, Bela Karoli, Only Thunder, Hello Kavita, Ghost Buffalo, Devotchka, the Hollyfelds and many, many more. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. Stay away from the mall, and get ill on that pause button. -- Eryc Eyl