Firecracker (a July mixtape)


Here’s another monthly mixtape I made from a sealed, pre-recorded cassette I got for 99 cents at End of an Ear. I tape over the cassette’s protection tabs and then I tape over the music and then I tape over the artwork.

This one started out a little differently than the others: I asked my 11-year-old son and composer Owen (check out his album TECH) to trade tracks with me in a collaborative playlist. See if you can tell whose tracks are whose: 

This was enormously fun — we had a little iMessage window going and our Spotify windows open and could see our changes in real time. Some of his picks really impressed and surprised me. 

Only trouble was, I misjudged the length of the tape, so I had to cut it down and rearrange it a bit — I started side B with “Funkytown” (we both love that song) and wound up adding Yukihiro Takahashi because we’d been listening to so much Yellow Magic Orchestra: 


– yellow magic orchestra, “firecracker” (with a snippet of Martin Denny’s original at the beginning)
– daft punk, “motherboard”
– four tet, “lush”


– lipps, inc., “funkytown”
– yasuaki shimizu, “kakashi”
– yukihiro takahashi, “drip dry eyes”
– toby fox, “ruins”

I’ve made 7 of these mixes now and I wound up buying another dozen 99 cent cassettes when I was at End of an Ear last time, so it looks like I might just do this indefinitely?

If you’d like to listen to them all in one big batch, I made a 5-hour playlist out of them.

Filed under: mixtapes

Austin Kleon

18 Jul 2024 at 17:46

21st century books with pictures


Today’s newsletter begins:

Like many book nerds, I got sucked into the NYTimes list of 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. I am with Paul Ford that “Why Wasn’t I Consulted?” is the fundamental question of the internet, and so a list like this one is bound to get big clicks…

One thing that struck me is that only two (great) comics made the list — Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home (2006) and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis(2004).

I thought it might be fun for me to list a few more books from this century that have pictures and words that have made a big impact on me in the past 24 years…

No paywall today so you can read the whole thing here.

Austin Kleon

16 Jul 2024 at 18:45

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