Quarantine playlists: what the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation this week
With the coronavirus pandemic keeping many of us home a lot more, music (and TV) is perhaps more important than ever. It provides solace during these crazy times and an escape from the endless scroll of news, and fortunately -- despite no concerts happening -- there is no lack of music to get us through. We've been posting several musicians' livestreamed performances on a daily basis and some of our favorite live concert videos every week day. We've also asked several artists to make playlists of the music they've been listening to in isolation, and several BrooklynVegan staff members/contributors have made our own isolation playlists too. If you're looking for something new to listen to, or old to revisit, maybe one or more of these playlists will do the trick.
We'll be posting new playlists weekly. Here's this week's:
Andrew Sacher (editor)
This week I went in a mostly hip hop direction, and I found myself gravitating towards stuff on the dark, jazzy, and/or psychedelic side - stuff you can really zone out to in isolation. Lots of longtime favorites here, but some newer stuff too, and a few songs from other genres that fit the vibe. Never realized Radiohead’s “All I Need” kind of has a rap beat.
Bill Pearis (editor)
My listening hasn't changed a lot from before COVID-19 shut almost everything. I did, however, spend some time listening to the many albums and tracks the late Matthew Seligman played on, especially Thomas Dolby's second album, The Flat Earth, where his presence is especially felt. The 'Big '80s' vibe of that led to more songs like that (Propaganda and The The, which bookend this mix). I was also excited by the news that Electrelane may well be coming back, so I put on a song from No Shouts, No Calls (my favorite album of 2007). Plus: a few new songs I like (Activity, Ela Minus, Plone), and the proverbial much much more.
Amanda Hatfield (editor)
This playlist isn't actually an accurate representation of my listening habits since Friday, when I've been binge-listening to Fiona Apple's brilliant new album as much as possible; I resisted the urge to go all-Fiona for this too with difficulty. As I've tended to throughout my time in quarantine, I continue to crave sad and comfortingly nostalgic music. Radiohead's "Faust Arp" has been scratching some kind of itch for me lately, and of course I had to include something from Elliott Smith's Figure 8, which came out 20 years ago on Sunday.
Jeremy Nifras (contributing writer)
Staying at home would probably be more stressful if I hadn't spent most of the past two weeks playing Animal Crossing, a game where I live on an island surrounded by endearing animals as I pay off debt at my own pace (not rooted in reality, unfortunately). This inspired me to put together this week's playlist, which revolves around records I'd consider to be "desert island albums," and I made a rule to not include artists I've already featured on past weeks' playlists. There's classics from Built to Spill, Sonic Youth, Wipers, The Velvet Underground, and tons more artists whose records I've basically played into the ground over the years.
Stephanie Augello (contributing photographer)
This week's playlist focuses on local NYC bands. With every venue closed, they've temporarily lost the physical scene that supports them. I figured, why not throw some digital love their way? Included are some personal, established favorites like Rebelmatic, MAAFA, Playing Dead, and Spotlights. I've also added some new discoveries (for me at least), such as Desert Sharks, Pocket Protector, Monster Furniture, and Shelter Dogs. I found a lot of these bands through posting in a group called DIY Band Aid, which was created last month when the live music world basically shut down. The group's aim is to hold an artist benefit show at The Broadway when all of this blows over. Stay tuned for that...one day....hopefully soon enough. Speaking of benefits, there is a comp floating around on Bandcamp called Shred City Presents: Quarantine Compilation, which per the site states that "this album is a document of the anxiety, fear, and boredom of Social distancing, and flattening the curve. The artists on this compilation recorded in their living rooms, bedrooms, closets and bathrooms with real instruments, pots and pans, their voices and computers. This is a testament to their creativity and ingenuity." Proceeds from download sales go to Artist Relief Tree. I recommend giving that a listen as well.
Toby Tenebaum (contributing photographer)
I’ve been listening to more upbeat electronica this week. I also dove deep into the new Pearl Jam album over past two weeks to keep the balance and "Seven O'Clock" feels like the anthem right now. Stay safe and well!