Hello and welcome!
Alright, here we are for Tuesday Time Machine Week 11, featuring my monthly playlist from November of 2013.
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!
1. Barbarian Boy- Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt was the first noise rock band I ever fell in love with, and a lot of what they do well is showcased here.
For two people, they make an INCREDIBLE amount of noise.
With regards to their playing, what might come across as sheer recklessness, is much more considered than we’d be led to believe, and I revel in that intentional chaos.
2. Eutow- Autechre
Somewhere, in some alternate universe, this song was the soundtrack for that oh-so-famous bike chase towards the beginning of Katsuhiro Otomo’s animated masterpiece, “Akira.”
This is a chilly piece of music, though it’s no less hypnotic because of that. The synthesizer blasts are like thick icicles, and the drums manage to sound frantic, despite how consistent that are.
That’s tough, and I applaud the duo for being able to make it all sound so effortless.
3. Parallel Jalebi- Four Tet
I feel as though this song could very well put someone in a trance.
It’s “Beautiful Rewind’s,” most arresting and magnificent song— truly, a monolithic achievement.
If you need to get in the zone for anything under the sun, look no further.
4. Warrior Lord- Polica
This is a slinky little number, and one of the strongest showings on Polica’s second album, “Shulamith.”
It’s a brooding piece of music, one that features some of the same chilliness as the Autechre song from earlier in the playlist. The difference is that here, bits of glowing color manage to pop through, illuminating an otherwise pitch black darkness with some blue.
5. Ethel- Russian Circles
It’s always a curious thing, when a rough-and-tumble metal band writes a pretty song.
Aurally, this is the equivalent of a tightly woven tapestry featuring a stunning assortment of frozen ocean hues.
It’s the first Russian Circles song that I fell in love with, and it’s 100% hypnotic.
6. Yolanda- Bobby “Blue” Bland
If I remember correctly, this made its way across my radar as my buddy Patrick had a clip in a BMX video set to this song.
It was great for that, and it probably could have just as easily fit into a montage scene in Ridley Scott’s, “American Gangster.”
7. Run- Ghostface featuring Jadakiss
There are maybe two or three verses I’ve completely memorized when it comes to hip-hop, and the textbook-worthy scripture Jadakiss blesses us with here is one of them.
Anchored by perhaps the greatest piece of late-era RZA production that I’m aware of, this is 3:35 of drug dealer paranoia delight.
So, so, so, so, good.
8, 9. Batuka/No One to Depend on- Santana
As these two songs segue into each other, I’m going to treat them as one entry.
This one/two punch that opens, “Santana III,” is one of my favorite opening salvos in music history.
This is due in no small part to the fact that the band now had two guitarists, the second of which was future Journey founding-member and California guitar prodigy, Neal Schon.
Given the option to join Eric Clapton for his next record, or, become a part of Santana’s band, 17 year-old Neal Schon chose wisely, and delivered some of the 70’s greatest guitar work, alongside Carlos and company for two albums.
These songs are the band’s statement of intent, and they couldn’t be more delightful.
10. Itchy Glowbo Blow- Cocteau Twins
Very, very, few people can get by singing absolute nonsense, but Liz Fraser is one of them.
Here, her voice simply becomes another very pretty shimmering light amongst all the other ones in this song, and it’s like watching fireflies at midnight, in a haunted forest.
11. The Mother we Share- CHVRCHES
I bought CHVRCHES first album on a whim, and I’m glad I did.
Female fronted synth pop bands are wildly underrated, and most everything you could want from the genre is done well here.
12. Vindicated- Dashboard Confessional
Perhaps, more famous for being in, “Spider-man 2,” than being a pretty damn good song, I was hating on this HARD-CORE when it first came out.
“What is this EMO shit?”
“Is this song being sung from Spider-Man’s perspective?”
“Is Spider-Man with, “the scene?”
The answer to the last question was unfortunately, “yes,” as we saw in *shudders* “Spider-Man 3,” but yeah, this is actually, a really good song.
13. Funny Face- Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m not gonna lie, the only reason this song made the playlist is because of the doubled-up guitar solo that John Frusciante puts down towards the end of the song. The rest of it, I have little to no interest in, but ooh, that guitar solo…
Killer, killer, killer.
14. Rite Where U Stand- Gangstarr featuring Jadakiss
Look, this is Guru and Jadakiss going clean in on a DJ Premier beat.
That’s all you really need to know.
15. Real and True- Future featuring Miley Cyrus and Mr. Hudson
Unbelievable, I know, but I believe this was the first time I’d heard Future.
It was only the second time I’d heard a Miley Cyrus song too, I think.
In any case, sometimes, a cheesy pop song will just get me, and this is 100% that.
15. Intro/Pathos, Pathos- Kishi Bashi
I was a Florida resident when I made this playlist, and I was also learning meditation from two elderly Swedish women, at the Naples Public Library once a week, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
After a particularly humbling session in which I achieved euphoric, “bliss,” I found myself sitting in my car, overcome with gratitude, as I watched a group of seagulls, strutting about the piping hot asphalt, with this song blasting from the speakers.
This moment struck me as a sign.
As someone who was, at the time, at the beginning of a really wicked mental battle, I began to sob with happiness. Bodily nirvana, song and sight had come together, to let me know that the battle I was fighting would eventually end, and I just had to keep working.
I’ll be forever grateful for that.
17. Sigur 3 (Untitled)- Sigur Ros
Oh, I don’t know— this is what you put on when you’re laid out on a grassy hillside, it’s 74 degrees, and there’s not a cloud in the sky?
Yeah, I think so.
18. A Loop- John Frusciante
So, like the RHCP song from earlier in the playlist, this song is mostly here for the BLOWOUT reversed guitar solo that comes in at the end, but this is also, a pretty great tune otherwise.
19. I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free- John Legend & The Roots
A much more robust, and optimistic cover of a Nina Simone song that graced my October 2010 playlist, this song is like a blast of hopeful sunshine, and I love it for that reason.
John Legend turns in a tremendous vocal performance, and The Roots are more than up to the task in accompanying him.