Tuesday Time Machine: December 2018

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Hello and welcome!

Alright, here we are for Tuesday Time Machine Week 19, featuring my monthly playlist from December of 2018.

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 back in January of 2010: an idea that would see me create one 80 minute playlist a month.

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) creating a sense of narrative.

Going forward, once a week, I’m going to update the Spotify playlist that you can find below. 

I’d recommend not shuffling the songs, as they were sequenced the way that they were for a reason. To get the full experience, listen to them in the way in which I’ve arranged things.

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 on the link below!

December 2018

1. Roundabout- Yes

Okay, we’ve been at this for almost four months now, so I feel like people know how I feel about basslines that STEP.

Chris Squire does so much more than step here though— he practically bowls over every other instrument on this song, which is saying something, considering he has to compete with the mighty Bill Bruford who seems to have a full set of timbales at his disposal for the breakdown?

Idk— chances are, you’ve heard this song being played by your Dad, and maybe he even has a little shoulder lean going when the displaced beats come around.

Either way, there’s a reason everyone loves this song.

2. Pragmatism- Liam Back

From Between mid-October 2018 to December 21st(?) I had to draw 20 single-page comic strips about interprofessional best practices for UW-Madison’s school of pharmacy, and this song probably single-handedly powered the last week or two.

If nothing else, I want to make sure that I’m often, drowning in the most aurally striking reverb known to man, and well… here, one can do that.

So striking, so wonderful, and so perfect.

3. Intro- Meek Mill

LORD.

First of all, I feel like Turk gets the most name-drops outside of Wayne, when it comes to the Hot Boys?

Think about it, Murphy Lee made a VERY clear statement back in the summer of 2003, right?

In any case, Turk gets another shout-out here, as does Blocboy JB who— I don’t know his music, so I can’t speak on it.

In any case, Meek Mill is RAPPING on this song.

One more time.

RAPPING.

I know some people say they’re not for him, because it sounds like he’s yelling at you.

These people are missing out.

The fact that he so effortlessly goes to work over PERHAPS the most famous drum fill of all time, speaks only more highly to his abilities as a lyricist and artist.

This was like a close second-place for my favorite rap song of 2018. Furious, terrifying, and awe-inspiring work.

4. Everyday- Ariana Grande (featuring Future)

Ariana is with the crab gang, which— yeah… us Scorpios, and our friends the Pisces do it better.

Irregardless, when she starts hitting those, “ah-la-la-la-las” your heart will melt, and you’ll have nothing but love and appreciation for your friends who claim Cancer sign, even if they can’t ever figure out exactly WHAT they’re sad about on a given day, or, why everyone else doesn’t want to generally, be as sad as they are. 

Just kidding Cancers, you all are great. 

5. Knife Party- Blanket

This is a PRETTY good cover of what is the best (or second best) song off of White Pony, depending on what day of the week you ask me.

I jammed pretty hard on this when it came out, and the spiraling depths of the guitars sounds glacial, monolithic, and delightful.

Bonus points for the very low-mixed screamed vocals in the chorus too. They’re a nice touch.

6. Horizon- Cat Power

Cat Power using…

Wait…

AUTO-TUNE?!?!

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

But yeah, there’s some vocal warble stuff that goes on in here that actually adds a nice bit of texture to the proceedings. It’s tasteful, and this is a good song.

7. Take you Down- Chris Brown

I can’t say much here outside of the fact that this song is musically, A-1 fucking great, and I can’t support Chris Brown as a person.

8. Go Getta- Young Jeezy and R. Kelly

I feel like I’m making myself look bad here— C Breezy and R. Kelly back to back?

Just listen to Jeezy and the beat, and you’ll be golden.

9. l1100- Thursday

Album intros are usually a hit or miss thing, with things unfortunately, seeming to tend towards the latter.

Here, that’s not the case. 

While this is just shy of working as a standalone piece of music, it’s a great piece of a texture, and acts as a really nice palette cleanser on a playlist.

Also, I love Thursday and their music, so I’m always trying to bring attention to their music when I can.

10. Gonna Love me (Remix)- Teyana Taylor featuring Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and Raekwon

The most underrated, painterly, and ground-breaking verse from a rapper pushing 50 years old in 2018?

Whatever the hell it is that Raekwon is talking about here, on the album’s closing verse, he’s lightyears ahead of his peers in this moment.

To be clear, Ghostface and Method Man do just fine on this song, but what Raekwon comes with at the end of the song is a masterclass in mood as narrative, and showing what it looks like when someone who’s been doing this for almost 30 years really knows how to DO this:

Look, read through this:

Ayo
Chef AKA the wedding crasher came through in the Cullinan,
Color of skim milk, the wrath of somethin’
Us in the corner with the paid face, black cards, and Louis faces,
African cousins with us, we n_____
Smokin’ blunts, wine, that’s Licataa
I waited like three years, now we here gettin’ licenses
I’m tired of the whole Jack and Jill shit, the real shit
Both of us comfortable now, so you don’t ever gotta feel shit
Feed a n____, laugh for hours
Count my ones, playin’ old school shit while we fuck in the shower
Now you know your God is top tier
Remember the message, love with capital letters until they dead us

For me, that’s about as good as it’s gonna get: a testament to what craft looks like, when you REALLY, REALLY, care about your art-form.

11. What’s up Danger- Blackway & Black Caviar

The sad thing, is that I’ve only seen Into the Spider-Verse all the way through once, if I’m remembering correctly?

But the scene in the movie where we’re treated to this?

Holy smokes.

It’s not often that I find myself in the movie theater grooving to a song on screen, but I felt this.

So, so, good.

12. How Deep is your Love- Dru Hill featuring Redman

How INCREDIBLE is Redman?

To be clear, his contribution here could have VERY EASILY have been a throwaway thing for the movie soundtrack remix that this song is.

But, because this is REGGIE that we’re talking about, and because Redman bodied THE EVER LIVING FUCK of his guests verses at this point in time, he comes with an asbolutely picture-framable piece of work that… idk, it’s just three million times better than whatever else came out that year.

Please read:

Buenos dias mama,
Creep with DOC,
The Bullshitter,
When I talk, my teeth should ROT
I’m from THE BRICKS, so which means I’m born to dog
Your girlfriends want a shot at it?
Warn ’em all
I hit em all from the bathroom stall
Tap them drawls
Till they get gas to pass platinum cars
Then I’m like, Yo!
I’m goin’ to buy my crew bikes
with double pipes
That we quick to lose on the turnpike
I’m the one that turned you out,
dug it out,
It was the Hennessy, that made us slug it out,
But you like, bitch you freaky, you down with it
Your other man’s a punk
When I hand the punk the rush,
he ride out
I’m tough,
even Honey Comb hide out, duck the hour,
Rush,
better choose quick chick, I got tracks to dust
Dru Hill, Def Squad, if you askin’ us

Goodnight nurse, and goodnight to anyone else who though they had it in 1998.

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