Hello and welcome!
For those reading my column for the first time, these monthly playlists which I’m re-visiting (and continuing to create) came about as a result of an idea I had back in January of 2010: an idea that woud 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 above!
1. Passage- Raffael Seyfried
March is becoming my least favorite month of all time, so I’m thinking that’s why I have to make sure my playlist is extra good for the month.
This is beautifully calming, and relaxing. I feel very fortunate that it found its way onto my radar, and I have to give jpeg a shoutout, because I found this via his Instagram.
I’m appreciative of folks like Mr. Seyfried who record things like this, to soothe our nerves. It makes all the difference in the world.
2. The Conjurer- Insomnium
I wrote about this last week as a part of the column that BPMHill and I co-curate, so I’d urge you to read that, if you’re curious to hear my thoughts.
3. Born for One Thing- Gojira
This was also a song that BPMHill and I wrote about earlier in the month, so you can read my thoughts about it here.
4. Beam Ahhh- Dj Chipman
This powered many a drawing session this month.
Apparently, this is something that everyone from Miami knows about, but if you’re not from there, you might not.
In any instance it’s a joyful piece of music.
It brings to mind unrepentant sunlight, and the smell of the ocean that you can only really experience, down in Florida.
I’ve needed a vacation for several months now, and this allowed me to take several, within the confines of my mind.
5. Chemical Plant: Act 1- SEGA/Naofumi Hataya
Look— if you grew up with a Sega Genesis, you probably played Sonic 2.
If you played Sonic 2, you’d most likely agree that this was hands-down, THE most clutch piece of music that you’d hear, playing the game.
I’m not necessarily a video game music person, but I’m also not going to say that there weren’t JEWELS dropped back in the day of 16-bit glory.
Play this loud enough so that your neighbors are also forced to remember the glory of the early 90s too.
6. Diamond Veins (feat. Sarah Rebecca)- French 79
One day, a dark-haired, brown-eyed woman will enter a room while this song is playing, and it’ll be a wrap for Mr. George.
Maybe she’ll have green eyes– just not blue eyes, because they make me uncomfortable.
7. Stop in Time- Psychic Twin
Did you all know that Mates has been on an absolute ROLL this year, with regards to his music recommendations?
It’s true. Check out the Indie Pong playlist for 2021— you will be pleased.
This song is not technically from this year, but Mates made me aware of it this year.
It’s like Bjork by way of Stevie Nicks, and Grimes?
That might sound like a bit much, but it’s really wonderful.
The synthesizers exude a magnificent warmth, and the vocal performance is both confident and commanding.
I really love it.
8. Ritchie Sacramento- Mogwai
I was not feeling this when I first heard it, but Mates saved the day, y’all.
He sent it along, and after giving it a second listen, I became obsessed.
The bass tone in the chorus is amongst my favorite things I’ve ever heard the band record.
This is saying something, considering how much real estate the basslines get within the band’s music.
In any case, the bassline manages to both strut, and bulldoze, which strikes me as uncommon. The melodies and the rest of the music are great too, but man, when that chorus hits, it’s like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man plowing through Manhattan— watch out.
9. Silent Restraint- Svalbard
I wrote about this is one of the latest column’s that I did with BPMHill, so you can read my thoughts here.
10. Sing for the Damage We’ve Done- Harakiri for the Sky featuring Neige
BPMHill put me onto this, and I expect one or both of us will talk it up in our next column.
In short, It’s a monster.
Check back in a week or two for a more detailed run-down.
11. All That I got is you- Ghostface Killah featuring Mary J. Blige
I’ll admit, “Ironman,” is one of the Ghostface solo albums that I hard a hard time getting into as a whole.
It has some INCREDIBLE songs on it, but I was always more of a “Supreme Clientele,” and “Fishscale,” guy.
As that’s so, I never really gave this song a fair shot, but after seeing it performed on the latest Versuz, I’m a convert.
If you’re in a mood, this song will bring tears to your eyes. The painterly, uncommon attention to detail that would become Ghostface’s calling card, is on full display here.
Even if you have no point of reference for the specifics of the struggle that he’s speaking to here, you feel his pain.
It’s an all-timer, and I’m glad that I got to have it in rotation this month.
12. City on the Map- Griselda featuring 50 Cent
I’m not gonna lie, I tuned into this the first time, mostly curious to hear how 50 would fare against the wordsmiths in the Griselda camp.
I was pleasantly surprised.
His verse isn’t necessarily the better of the two, but he sells it with his delivery, and the sheer force of his presence.
His voice seems to have changed a bit too, more gruff than it was in the past.
The beat sounds like something RZA would have cobbled together in 1995, and I mean that as a tremendous compliment.
Off-kilter, spooky, and foreboding, it’s one of my favorite pieces of production that I’ve come across in recent memory— a perfect sonic compliment to the rhymes being spoken.
13. All I Got- Rod Wave
I’ve said it once, and I’ve said it again.
Rod Wave is the man.
He makes his contemporaries look like small children, effortlessly spinning very believable tales of pain and misery.
And he makes both of those undesirable things sound great.
His formula doesn’t necessarily vary too much, but that also doesn’t bother me.
He’s like Slayer— what he creates isn’t broken, so he doesn’t fix it.
Here, he throws his voice around like a rag-doll, and indulges some pretty solid guitar ad-libs in the background.
I’m all for it, and I’m all for him having a very long and storied career.
14. The Blade- SION
Okay— this is the last one that BPMHill and I talked about, I promise!
It’s incredible though. I really hope that we get a full album from these two gentleman, if this is any indication of the overall quality we’d be treated to.
15. Lay Me Down- Zakk Wylde
For whatever reason, Zakk Wylde guitar playing has been helping me get through some of the more difficult spots of the pandemic.
I’ve always liked him as a guitar player, ever since I was in high school, but something about revisiting his work as an adult has made me have a greater appreciation for him.
I also feel like I’m somewhat fascinated by his humility considering how much skill he has. I’m sure he’s Ozzy’s longest tenured guitar player at this point, and his technical abilities are beyond astonishing.
He really stretches out on the solo here too, even managing to sneak in a very brief lick from a standard, which I find to be just wonderful.
In any case, long may he reign. Here’s hoping we get Book of Shadows III.
16. Hot Summer Nights- RynoFish
This is another one that jpeg put me on to, so big ups to him!
Sonically, this is a curious piece of music. If you told me that a band splitting the difference between blink 182 and Led Zeppelin would sound awesome, I’m not sure I’d believe you.
I feel like that’s what this reminds me of though— blink for the verses, bridge and break, and Zepp for the chorus.
The song effortlessly evokes its title, and while this is my playlist for March, I expect I’ll be giving this many spins, once the weather gets nicer.