The assignment was seemingly simple. Compile a playlist of “worktastic” music, and share it with the office. A well paced mix in itself can be a work of art, and with the honor of compiling the first one, I did not want to disappoint.
So I decided to make a list of songs that I would actually listen to while working. I usually listen to music one of three ways. I first listen to whatever is on my iPhone. I do not keep my whole music library on there (I don’t think iPhones will have that kind of storage for many years) but I do keep whatever is the five or so GBs of my newest music. Secondly, I will fire up the mixcloud app on my phone, and listen to my mixes from there. And lastly, I also use my work computer to have my Bandcamp fan account open, and just play tunes from there. The fan account view is nice because it has every single thing I have purchased on Bandcamp in one nice and tidy location (the only drawback is anything a person downloads for free from a band will not show up in their fan account). I decided to go with option three, building a playlist of songs from my Bandcamp fan account.
I combed through the songs for a good mixture, with a few guidelines. I would only pick music without explicit language, since the directions to this assignment included the phrase “play out loud”. I would also feature a mix of genres, but would exclude some of the crazier music that I like (I am pretty sure there aren’t any other noise fans in the office). The last, self-imposed guideline was that I would feature as many local acts as I could. With these “rules” in mind, I combed through the releases and compiled the embed code for 14 songs. Unfortunately, the WordPress embed code did not work on this site. So I embedded the playlist on one of my blogs, and have a link to the playlist before the descriptions. Each song title will also have a link to that song in Bandcamp. But enough talking, lets rock!
1. Koda – The Last Days of Summer: For the first track, I went with one that was thematically appropriate to the current date. The Last Days of Summer is a Future Pop/RnB track singer/producer Koda. It also starts the mix on a chill note, leaving room to grow.
2. Secret Mountains – Coasting: Coasting is the first local track of the mix. This Baltimore psychedelic band broke up earlier this year, after releasing this masterpiece of an album. The driving beat and soaring guitars would be great background music for a round of brainstorming. Also, its a bit EPIC; and we all love our epics!
3. Landing – Two Veils: This post-rock/dreampop band makes mellow, accessible space rock. I would definitely be able to focus with this on in the background.
4. Police Academy 6 – The Chills (featuring Raw Moans): Police Academy 6 (aka producer Party Trash) makes dreamy tunes (when not focusing on the dance floor). Again, a relaxing tune that can help one get in a creative mind state.
5. VERMA – Moons: VERMA makes instrumental psychedelic krautrock. This vocal-less masterpiece would be perfect for the beginning of the day, when you need something you don’t need to focus on as the soundtrack to those overnight emails.
6. Raindeer – Monster: This reggae tinged synthpop jam is the second local song of the mix. This Baltimore band ups the fun factor, perfect for second cup of coffee time.
7. Mt Royal – Missing Reward: This Baltimore super group features Katrina Ford of local band Celebration on vocals, with band Big in Japan on instruments. Continuing the trend, they are upbeat and fun. And Katrina can croon. She is my favorite female vocalist, and deserves to be more well known.
8. ovlov – Moth Rock: Ovlov make 90s throwback… Grunge? I am not sure what to call it, but I think a lot of people around the office would be about the right age to appreciate grunge and the explosion of alternative music at the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s.
9. Wesley Wolfe – Crying/Laughing: Wesley Wolfe is a new band for me, as I only found out about them about a month ago. This song is catchy. As can be. I added it for the catchiness factor.
10. Sick Weapons – Love Me: Those two words, over and over. Love Me. Sick Weapons have an intensity behind their music. I was lucky enough to catch this Baltimore band live several times before their untimely split. They finally released this gem, a bit late. It puts a smile on my face, and I hope other peoples’ as well.
11. Jenny Besetzt – Always: Jenny Besetzt play my favorite kind of music, shoegaze. I included them simply to represent this amazing genre. It isn’t for everyone, so I decided to not shove it down anyone’s throat. This track is beyond great. The melody, beat, and singing are top notch.
12. SoftSpot – Disciple Fix: If Secret Mountains cant stay together, at least SoftSpot still exists. This Brooklyn based band uses a similar formula: female vocals and psychedelic rock backing.
13. Wing Dam – Stars: Wing Dam are one of my favorite Baltimore bands. They are some of the nicest people I have met in the wonderful Baltimore arts/music scene. Originally a solo project, it was recently fleshed out (and fuzzed out) into a proper three piece. I also included it because of the message. We live here among the lights. We do not see the stars. Do you miss them? I know I do. I grew up in small town Louisiana, where you can pretty much always see the stars. Living in this area for the last 12 years has made this something of a distant memory.
14. BLVCK CEILING – LET US LIVE FOREVER: My other musical love is witch house. But, sadly, it isn’t something that most people enjoy. It will probably live on through the internet but will probably never get its day in the sun. I decided to end with a remix of Forever Young by prolific scene producer, BLVCK CEILING.