Mix Messages – Portsmouth Summer Anthem Mix

My friends Heather, Celeste, and I joke that we trade in the currency of “High Concept.” We share our cool ideas that bubble up easily, and bemoan our lack of staff to help with the follow through. We’d get so many fabulous ideas off the ground if we had a crew to assist with the nitty gritty.

One of the groovy ideas is hosting a “Life Soundtrack Party.” Invited guests would bring a Personal Life Playlist to the shindig. Theme song totally optional.

Here’s the concept’s framework. At the time of the invitation, ask the guests what songs would be on their Life Soundtracks, and to put together a playlist. If a guest struggles finding songs to include, suggest tunes that pull the person back to vivid moments, like a musical time machine. For example, the song that played on repeat during the life-changing cross-country road trip, or the song that helped the heart heal after a breakup, or a wedding song. It could be the song you accidentally recorded over when a friend let you borrow his favorite mix tape. Sorry, Pete! The songs on the Soundtrack could be epic or quiet moments, totally up to the person curating.

Each guest makes a playlist, and during the party people take turns explaining why they picked the songs. Talking about music can be such a wonderful way for people to connect with each other. If the thought of speaking in front of a group horrifies a guest, she is welcome to play one song and remain an enigma. The host can create a master playlist of songs from everyone’s soundtrack for the rest of the party. The Playlist could begin with Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”

A Life Soundtrack often contains a Summer Anthem, the song that seeped out of car windows, and blared from house parties. For the entire season, the song could be found on several radio stations simultaneously. Sometimes the Anthem becomes woven into an indelible memory, and hearing the song again takes the listener back to that moment.

The summer concert lineup at 3S Artspace, Birdseye Lounge, The Music Hall, and Prescott Park proves that Portsmouth will be home to many fabulous shows. Possibly memorable enough for your Life Soundtrack? I’ve made a playlist featuring a few of the performers rocking in Portsmouth this summer.

You can listen to the mix on Spotify. The library doesn’t endorse Spotify, but if you want to sign up, there is a free level of membership. Click on the song to see a video (I linked to the official video when possible.) Click on the artist for the library’s copy of the CD. Some of these albums are also available on Hoopla, our new streaming service.

Portsmouth Summer Anthem Mix

Workin’ Woman Blues / Valerie June

No Countries / And the Kids

Come On / Holly Miranda

Lost Coastlines / Okkervil River

Brother Nature / Consider the Source

Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen / Hot Sardines

Things Happen / Dawes

Birmingham / Shovels and Rope

Body Electric / Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hey Broken / Heather Maloney

Turn it around / Lucius

If you host a Life Soundtrack Party, please let me know. I’d love to hear what your Theme Song would be, and how the high concept is executed. With or without staffing.

Mix Messages is written by library assistant Heather Armitage. She enjoys reading fiction and humorous essays, traveling, trying new vegetarian recipes, and dancing in the kitchen. She’s grateful her dog, Floyd, doesn’t judge her moves. If you have suggestions for future Mix Messages, please email her at hearmitage@cityofportsmouth.com

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