I teased this the other day – here’s a mix for April 2022. You can listen on Spotify or Apple Music. Here are my liner notes:
“Ur Mum” by Wet Leg. Irreverent slacker rock done right. I love a song that both hurts and makes you laugh. It’s the end of a relationship, it’s time to go, and she’s left asking, “And when you think about what you’ve become / do you feel sorry for your mum?” Savagery. I love it.
“This Year” by The Mountain Goats. I have a deep love for this album, but this is the song I go back to over and over again. “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me” is as pigeons declaring themselves phoenixes as it gets. Who can relate (whoo).
“Days Like This,” by Van Morrison. I guess I went contemporary to 2000s to 1990s in 3 songs… but when you’re stuck in the current year and optimistically looking forward, you sometimes need a reminder that “mama told me there’ll be days like this” from your past.
“I Wish That I Could See You Soon,” by Herman Dune. And we’re creeping back into the 2000s with one of the sweetest love songs, with a few of the goofiest lines, and a group of backup singers referred to as angels. This is honeymoon in the sky on a dark and lonely night anthem. (Still screaming phoenix, of course).
“I Got This,” by Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. Back to today. Shook’s gotten sober and this song doesn’t sound like what I was expecting, but I kinda love it. It’s about how the problems don’t go away when you climb the mountain and get perspective. But, you at least see them as they are.
“Fire Escape,” by Beach Bunny. The first line, “Paralyzed, it’s contagious” sets the tone. Lines like “I feel your heartbeat in everything” and “my heart is tipping over” follow as she laments, “any place is the place I’ll be / when you’re far away.” The places we go to hold the aloneness.
“Sandwich Sharer” by illuminati hotties. Sometimes it’s hard to be. If you order margaritas at Irish bars, split sandwiches but look for leftovers from “the big half,” and then get lost in the painful serendipity of life, this song is for you.
“Falling Out of Love at This Volume (Companion Version)” by Bright Eyes. “Just let me turn the amps way up / so you can hear nothing / and if I die tonight / well, I guess I die tonight / just let me go on.” I can feel both sides of this story. Nobody does cathartic like Oberst.
“Habits” by PUP. It’s a relationship song. But not that kind of relationship. The kind you have with yourself and the things you think you want until you get them and then have to reimagine them. This is the point on the mix where we start thinking of the meta-interpretations of all the other songs too. Speaking of which…
“mememe” by 100 gecs, Laura Les & Dylan Brady. Yes, I see meme in the title too. 100 gecs are back with distorted pop chaos, wondering if you’ll ever know anything about me, or if we’ll ever recognize anything about ourselves.
“Pull Up,” by Koffee. Did you start dancing on that last one? Good. Because this one makes me want to dance too. All the brands, all the labels, they don’t matter compared to “you.”
“Numbers On The Boards” by Pusha T. Still dancing. This time, all those cars and labels are aspirational. They come second to putting in the work. “Ballers, I put numbers on the boards.”
“Diet Coke” by Pusha T. OK, I know some of you feel like there’s a rule about repeating artists on a mix, but sometimes you have to. And I’m about to do it a few times, so just feel my vibe with me. New Pusha, same old Pusha. I like to think we’re bringing back the (me)meme vibe now, and the humor, “you ordered diet coke / that’s a joke right?”
“Ice Cream (feat. Rick Ross) by Freddie Gibbs. Rae and Wu did it. Freddie flipped it. More aspirational meme-dom.
“Family ties” by Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar. I admit I hadn’t listened to this one in full until after the Grammys. But it grabbed me, with all of its overlapping parts, and tell me you don’t feel a similar vibe to the previously mentioned, “Habits” in sentiment here?
“Soccer Dad” by ScHoolboy Q. Like on “Family Ties” and “Habits,” there’s a thing that happens when you go from something to nothing and how the expectations all change. It’s not even about everybody wanting a piece, so much as everybody wanting you to fit into a mold they provide. ScHoolboy Q is the soccer dad. And everything else.
“ELEMENT.” by Kendrick Lamar. I’ve been revisiting Kendrick’s entire catalogue. Thinking about the theme of this mix, this song felt really appropriate, right here. The not-so-stoic sounding (but important statement of “I don’t give a f***” needs to be followed with the internal boundaries of “they won’t take me out my element.” It all fits together. This is just me trying to make it look sexy.
“Jail” by Kanye West. We’re downshifting towards the end now. “I’ll be honest, we all liars.” One of my most beloved metaphors is the contrast between the prisons of our lives and the prisons in our minds (where my “Cool Hand Luke” fans at). This is Kanye’s “Cool Hand Luke” song.
“Don’t Let Me Down,” by The Beatles. Per the documentary, the stripped-down version of this song is magic. Per the mix, up to this point we’ve crossed the honest/liars threshold, and now we’re down to pleading with a sunken head of acceptance.
“Old Man Looking Back,” by Jamestown Revival. Folksy perspective time. It’s a conversation between the old man and the young man. All the wisdom, optimism, success, failure, and reality of our lives and our experiences, chosen and otherwise.
“Broken Coastline,” by Down Like Silver. I think this song is about aging. I know it’s about wondering if you’ll still be loved after what you think matters is gone. The point is, you’re not gone yet if you’re still singing (and listening here with me, which is why we end on…)
“These Days (Live)” by Jackson Browne. “Well I’ll keep on moving, moving on / things are bound to be improving, these days / one of these days / these days I’ll sit on cornerstones / and count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend / don’t confront me with my failures / I had not forgotten them.”
Enough said. Let me know what you like, love, and hate from this mix!