Mixtape: Valentine’s Mix for Lovers

Written by BlackbirdGo February 13, 2018

Ilya Arbatman is one of those magical humans you rarely meet -- with a charisma entirely unique to them, accompanied by a kind temperament and sneaky sense of humor. We asked him to curate a special mixtape in honor of Cupid's holiday, and he went above and beyond the call of duty with his unorthodox blend of tunes. Check out our chat with Ilya and his "Valentine's Day mix for lovers" below.

alt text

Tell us about your mix.

It’s just a really nice Valentine’s Day mix for lovers.

Do you want to share any Valentine’s Day memories?

In 7th grade we went to Space Camp during Valentine’s Day, and the girl I had a crush on, a nice – I think Jewish – girl, Marina Nekhendzy, definitely Russian – I really wanted to ask her out but I knew I had to do something super special that no one’s ever done before or since. So I asked her out by singing her like 30% of Crazy by Brittney Spears. And what can I say, she loved it. We dated for a month, maybe held hands once. I mean, the proposal was one of a kind.

Do music and love go together?

Well, I’ve always thought that music and love...they’ve always kinda been pretty much the same thing to me, ever since I started composing songs as a young kid. Actually, one of the first songs I ever composed, I think it was called Marry Me or something like that. I remember the chorus was like, [singing] “So marry me, and carry me...” I think I sang it to my parents.

What are your top 5 on this mix?

I’ll start with number 5. Number 5 in the mix… My Flying Saucer, Woody Guthrie song performed by Billy Bragg – I think it’s a really beautiful metaphor.

Number 4 in the mix, True Love Will Find You In The End, by Daniel Johnston. Just a very sad take on something that’s supposed to be happy. But somehow it just feels like love is actually something that will find him in the end.

Number 3, Bit Part, by the Lemonheads (which here, I dono why, it’s called Big Part) – a really good concept about wanting to be with someone so much that you’ll accept a bit part and lower pay just to be around them.

Number 2, um...I guess I don’t know what number 2 is.

Number 1 is Love is Love by Lungfish just because it’s – I don’t know, I don’t really like “zen” stuff normally, but this song to me is a perfect encapsulation of a meditation on love in musical form.

Tell us about the last time you got high.

Well, it doesn’t have anything to do with Valentine’s Day, or love, really. After we played a show and I knew we had a long drive ahead of us somebody came up to me who had just recently started working at a dispensary in San Luis Obispo and she had a Rice Krispies Treat, and I just happen to be going through a phase where I just can’t say no to a Rice Krispies Treat even though this one wasn’t your “normal” Rice Krispies Treat, if you catch my drift. So I ate some of that, mostly for the “treat” part of it, but I figured the other part would help keep me awake. And then, within 40 minutes of driving, the car broke down. The edible really helped me keep a very positive attitude and it was probably partially due to that that we were able to come out of it in one piece.

Any closing words?

I just hope everyone has a really great Valentine’s Day and they get to spend it with their special-someone-sweetie-pie-lovey-poo. And maybe you get a chance to listen to a couple songs on my mix and maybe, you know, something gets sparked!