Hello and welcome!
Alright, here we are for Tuesday Time Machine Week 2, featuring my monthly playlist from September of 2014.
For those of you who followed my column in which I was doing full album reviews, thank you. I appreciate you.
Unfortunately, due to the time constraints of the freelancer’s life, I’m not going to be able to keep doing those once a week, so we’re shifting gears here. Hopefully, this is a little more fun for you as both a reader and a listener!
For those of you who are checking in for the first time, these monthly playlists which I’m re-visiting came about as a result of an idea I had wayyyyyyyy back in January of 2010: an idea that would see me create one 80 minute playlist a month for the rest of time!
The reason for doing this was two-fold: I wanted to create and re-enforce very specific lived experiences and memories tied to music, and I wanted a rather consistent set of songs to propel me each month as I created my art.
In creating these playlists, I tried to make things flow— I wanted songs to segue very effortlessly (or abrasively) giving a sense of narrative, as the songs went along.
Going forward, once a week, I’m going to update the Spotify playlist at the top of the page.
To get the full experience, I’d listen to the playlist in the way in which I’ve arranged it. Don’t shuffle it!
Included below is a short description of the tune I’ve included, and/or a description of the specifics memory associated with it. If you’re not trying to read all of that, just hit play button up top!
1. Dote- Volcano Choir
What a serene piece of music.
Listening to this, I imagine a foggy, slightly damp woodland panorama in the Pacific Northwest right around sunrise. If this were three or four minutes longer, I’d probably meditate to it.
2. Forcefield- Lightning Bolt
I know, this is a very ABRASIVE switch, considering the last song.
In any case, my buddy J. RESSSSSSSSSSSSSS loves Lightning Bolt more than anything, and thanks to the time I spent chilling with him in Minneapolis, I developed a pretty strong appreciation for their music too. This song contains more chaos and manic energy than you can shake a stick at, so if you ever want to clear out a room, or turn a party real awkward, real quick, it’s great for that too.
3. Xmas_Evet10 [Thanaton3 Mix]- Aphex Twin
When I first discovered this song, I really, really, really, wanted to be by Autechre, because I thought they were cooler than Aphex Twin. Generally, I’m not the biggest electronic music person, but this is a fantastic piece of music. Its abundance of texture, deep grooves, and a generous run-time make this great to study or draw to.
4. Roar- Katy Perry
I’m not above jamming hard on a KP song, and I’ll admit that of my own free will. There’s something she does for the final set of choruses with her vocal harmonies that is fully humbling, and even if auto-tune swept in to save the day there, I love it. The yawning/whining synth bit is slick too.
5. Beggar in the Morning- The Barr Brothers
Many moons ago, my brother and a few of his friends lived at 1234 Granville.
That’s a real address.
In any case, as Labor Day 2014 wound down, I was over there after a 7 hour trek back from Minneapolis. After jamming in the basement with Mr. Connor Smith, I made my way upstairs, and this song came on.
It was kind of great, and a nice coda to the holiday.
6. Today- Willamette Stone
I don’t know if I can really defend this selection as it’s from a… not-very-good teen romance movie. In the movie itself, the scene in which it’s played is heart-warming in that cheesy traditional Hollywood kind of way, so I appreciate it.
7. My Sacrifice- Creed
Heading down to Springfield, IL, with two co-workers I hardly knew, there came an opportunity to put some music on in Katherine Rack’s, VW Beetle. Marcus Smith rose to the occasion, and without any sort of shame, he professed a deep and sincere appreciation for this song… by Creed.
I didn’t think I’d ever encounter such a moment in my life, one in which someone openly admitted their love for a Creed tune, but this happened before my very eyes, and it was one of my favorite moments from that September.
8. Countdown- Beyonce
I was a little late to the Beyonce party. I also think Solange sings better than her, and generally, makes more adventurous music. That said, Beyonce has marching band percussion in the mix here, so we’re guaranteed a BARN-BURNER. I would have very much liked a Trick Daddy remix, as Trick knows what to do with a marching band, but alas, no dice.
9. Green Theme- Baroness
The first time I heard this, I was just short of fully-convinced that it was a perfect piece of music.
It’s best described as the aural equivalent of bearing witness to a celebratory, slow-motion, mile-long, interstellar march into the heart of the sun.
Should I ever get married, I’m going to very humbly request that this is what my wife walks down the aisle to.
10. Lawless Lands- The Sword
Those who know me well know that when it comes to metal, I’m in it MOSTLY for the pinch harmonics. A particularly choice Squealer (or three) has the chance to elevate any song from, “just okay,” to, “full-blown cooker,” status.
And to be clear, this song is pretty damn good, but those pinches at the 5:00 and 5:02 mark?
11. Shake it Out- Florence + The Machine
I think Florence Welch has a tremendous voice. Have you ever seen this video of her singing along to En Vogue’s, “Don’t let go?”
12. Hearts Like Ours- The Naked and Famous
September of 2014– very much in love with a woman with whom I knew it would never ever work with.
This song allowed me some hope though.
Or, maybe some peace?
Those two things might have been interchangeable at the time.
In any case, I’m glad I heard this when I did— playing it loudly was like wearing armor, but on some emo shit.
13. Measurements- James Blake
Mr. Blake writes some very sad, sad, tunes. He infuses them with a very particular kind of melancholic beauty though. When he manages to make things come together, he creates some almost effortlessly striking music, and you have to hand it to him.
14. Movements I, II & III- Lapalux
I don’t remember how I came across Lapalux for the first time, but he’s someone I’ve continued to check in on, because he makes some really fascinating music.
This song will be forever tied to the evening in which I finally, 100% moved into my new apartment at the time…
There’s a longer story there, but it’s probably better told in person.
15. About the Money- T.I. featuring Young Thug
This was my first introduction to Young Thug, and it endeared him to me. The way he raps in spastic and uncouth, but it’s also weirdly technical?
Maybe not, but this is a great song.
16. Love, Reign O’er Me- The Who
This is a rainy day tune, and about as good as they make them. It might be my favorite vocal performance of Roger Daltrey’s, as he damn near howls himself hoarse towards the end of the song. This song also features (comparatively) restrained playing from both John Entwistle and Keith Moon, who (for my money) are the best of the classic rock rhythm sections outside of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.