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)
My playlist is a little all over the place this week, but I guess it makes sense that my listening habits are as all over the place as my brain feels during quarantine. This one was inspired by a lot of different stuff -- the virtual Straylight Run reunion, the 1986 Slayer show I recently watched/wrote about, the new Boneflower album that I can’t stop listening to, etc -- and it’s a mix of longtime favorites, songs that came out last week, and a little of the in-between. It also kinda goes back and forth between harsh, abrasive stuff and delicate, beautiful stuff, both of which have provided their own kind of comfort during these stressful times.
BIll Pearis (editor)
Unlike last week, no real plan to this one, which hits a few different decades and generally sticks to guitar pop and dreamy post-punk this time. (Well within my wheelhouse.) I opened this week's with "The Ballad of Art Snyder" by obscure '80s L.A. folky/quirky pop band The Balancing Act who I like quite a bit but feel have been lost to time...not that they were ever well-known, exactly. If you dig this, definitely give the album it's from, 1987's Three Squares and a Roof, a spin.
Amanda Hatfield (editor)
I found myself singing Modest Mouse's "Float On" out loud while cooking something that felt like it was slipping out of my control this week. It turned out okay but that became the basis of this sixth quarantine playlist, in which I included more upbeat, self-motivational stuff. I also dug back to my childhood favorite Roy Orbison song and a few of the muzak highlights from my years working retail, so this is a bit all over the place.
Jeremy Nifras (contributing writer)
The other day, I watched Suzanne Vega’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert for the first time, and I knew I wanted to include “Luka” in my next playlist. Building off of that, I decided to make this week’s mix an all-acoustic/stripped down affair, with other incredible tracks from Elliott Smith, Bob Dylan, The Tallest Man on Earth, two covers from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged album, and more. I guess these past two weeks have shown how YouTube has shaped my quarantine listening habits.
Kate Hoos (contributing photographer)
DIY music, art, and culture are so intrinsically linked to who I am and I have really been at a loss without that outlet during the entirety of this quarantine. Higher profile artists have gotten a lot of attention during the pandemic, but this week I wanted to shine a light on some of my favorites who are creating incredible and powerful art in the underground who don’t always have access to a larger platform, so this is a list of some favorites from here in NYC and from other parts of the US (and a few from the UK) that I have met in my time playing in bands, booking shows and from touring. It’s a really quick snapshot of some artists who are creating vital music and art in the underground who have been equally as affected by the pandemic as more prominent artists and I think serves as a good starting point to explore some really awesome talent in the diverse world of DIY in NYC and well beyond.