Today’s really, really, really exceptionally good winter playlist comes from my friend Faith Martin. I believe one of the first times I met/hung out with Faith was at a Phosphorescent show at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, a night that involved a couple tall, dopey dudes sliding right in front of our group of people before Phossy came on, an act that prompted Faith harass them, shame them and eventually get them to go back to where they came from. It’s one of my favorite memories of going to shows in Chicago, and going to shows with Faith is one of the things I miss most about Chicago. Faith is awesome. You’ll find this out soon enough.
My winter playlists end up being some of my favorites, in some ways they’re more nostalgic than other playlists I make, more personal. I don’t try to narrate a story as much I try to evoke a mood, feelings. Trigger memories that might bring a smile, might bring a tear.
Every playlist I make is about the flow. That said, normally my playlists have an element of discovery about them. Winter playlists are more like warm blankets, I don’t care about what’s new. I hope to reintroduce old friends with a few new thrown in.
I’ve made about 5 versions of this playlist, adding and subtracting, reordering. Playlists never feel entirely finished, more that I run out of time. I’m ok with that, when I go back months later I found I’ve captured that moment, where I was at that time. That can lead to some pretty cringe-worthy moments.
Roughly 15 songs didn’t make the cut, they were either things that I was in a mood about and threw in or they just couldn’t find a place in the flow. The first pass at this playlist was super electronic and dark. Angry even.
I remembered why I was doing this when I went to Andrew Bird’s somewhat annual Gezelligheid show here in Chicago. Going to those shows are my beginning of winter, what winter means to me. I listened to Fingerlings 4 over and over and it cleared my head out. I trashed nearly
everything from the first version. I added what I needed to hear and cut the fat of what I wanted to hear.
Throw everything in.
Identify first song.
Throw everything out, except for first song.
Regret throwing everything out.
Add, add, add.
Order, reorder, reorder, toss, toss.
Identify last song.
Reorder everything to somewhat sensibly flow.
Reorder, reorder add, toss, reorder, add, toss.
Get a feeling.
Turn off extraneous lights.
Put electronics well out of reach.