Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
When I was home for spring break, my good friend Samantha asked if I would be willing to help her out with a project for her COMM 100 course at California State University San Marcos. I was happy to participate, especially when I found out it involved music. For the assignment, Samantha was required to give me a collection of songs. In turn, my job was to listen to the tunes and describe the messages and emotions that were conveyed. Samantha is one of the most creative people I know, so I not only received a CD with the songs she selected but also an accompanying MAD LIBS-themed letter that required me to fill in the blanks with the track titles. Below you can find her note and the blanks filled in with the songs and their respective links in all caps. In addition, I have posted my responses to the follow-up questions for the assignment.
MAD LIBS MIX-TAPE OF FRIENDS
Have I told you that you’re a COOL JERK? I think it’s when you put on your BOOGIE SHOES that I realize how much LIKE A BOSS you are. I know sometimes it’s hard for you to talk around SHORT PEOPLE, but there are no EXCUSES and I appreciate that you are able to talk with me on my level.
I know we come up with a lot of NEW SLANG all the time, but when it’s BUSINESS TIME, it’s BUSINESS TIME and we always get our work done. I know you’re really stressed with all of your crazy classes, but trust me, even though you can’t always CALL ME BACK right away, remember, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
1. After listening to the CD, what emotion/message do you believe the sender was trying to convey?
I believe the sender was trying to show me how much our friendship means to her. The songs are upbeat and funny, which perfectly captures our relationship.
2. Did this CD communicate anything to you that you did not already know?
This CD, in particular the song, “Boogie Shoes” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band, made it apparent that Samantha thinks I have some sweet dance moves, which I did not previously know. Also, she inferred that I am not that quick to respond to phone calls/texts by putting “Call Me Back” by Eric Hutchinson on the CD, which I did not previously think was the case, but definitely could be true.
3. Did a particular song(s) remind you of anything in particular? What?
The two Flight of the Conchords songs, “Friends” and “Business Time,” reminded of the time we saw the band at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 2010. “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go reminded me of seeing them in concert at the House of Blues San Diego that same summer. Both shows were incredible and we had a phenomenal time.
4. What was your favorite song on the CD? Why?
My favorite song on the CD has to be “New Slang” by The Shins. The Shins recently released a new single, “Simple Song”, which I absolutely love, and will release a new CD, Port of Morrow, at the end of this month. In preparation for their new tunes I have been listening to their discography frequently, “New Slang” included.
5. Do you think this is an effective way to communicate feelings/thoughts? Why/why not?
This CD was very effective in communicating Samantha’s feelings and thoughts. Music on the whole is one of the best mediums to convey emotions. These songs do a great job of representing the various aspects of our friendship.
6. What did you learn about your relationship from this CD?
I learned that our relationship is solid and that good music plays a big part in our lives. We have frequently shared new music with each other and these are some of the songs that we have recommended in the past.
7. Do you feel anything about your relationship has changed as a result of this project?
This project has made it clear that Samantha thinks I am a dependable person by selecting me to help her out with this project. In addition, this project has confirmed that she is aware of my eclectic taste in music and vast knowledge of music.
8. What is your relationship to the creator of this CD (partner, spouse, daughter, son, friend, Mother, Father, etc.)?
The creator of this CD is one of my closest friends. We went to Valley Center High School together.
This picture is from the photo shoot for the fictional indie rock band Samantha and I started, Cars and Cranes.