Ryan Patterson (Coliseum, Fotocrime) on 5 songs getting him through isolation
With the coronavirus outbreak causing many people to stay at home as much as possible, we’ve been asking musicians what music they’re listening to in isolation, and this one comes from Ryan Patterson, who used to front the great, now-defunct post-hardcore band Coliseum and who recently released the album South of Heaven (on Profound Lore) by his post-punk solo project Fotocrime.
Since abruptly canceling my West Coast tour, flying home just in time to escape California lockdowns then finding myself in the same situation at home, I’ve been in a bit of an odd daze. Watching your new album drop on the weekend of the official announcement of a pandemic and all of North America and Europe shut down is a doubly shocking thing. I’m very sad my tours have been canceled, but that’s all very small scale compared to the international crisis that’s happening so I’m here to stay home and fight the spread of sickness. I’m very thankful for all the people that have reached out across social media, email, and text to share their appreciation of my new album, South Of Heaven. It helps combat the feelings of isolation and know that my work and art is not in vain.
On tour I have a playlist of songs called “Dream Baby Dream” that I fall asleep to each night. These songs connect deeply with me over the years as they comfort me into rest and are there for me when I startle awake at night, miles from home and sometimes not quite sure where I am at that moment. They’re helpful now as well. These are five songs from that playlist.
Viruses can be stopped. Music can’t.
Listen to his playlist and read his commentary on each pick...
Van Morrison - “Into The Mystic”
This song is one of my favorites of all time, from my favorite Van record. That fucking bassline! It also reminds me of the song “Love” from the 1973 Robin Hood, a movie and soundtrack I love. This song was playing at a coffee shop in San Diego when I was there last week, I told the barista that I loved this song and it was my favorite Van Morrison song. She looked at me blankly and dismissively said “Uh. Okay… They put it on.” then pointed with disinterest at another employee. It’s nice to be able to share the love of music with the youth.
Ricky Nelson - “Down Home”
I’m a sentimental sucker and this song hits me right in my tender heart. It’s my favorite Ricky song, narrowly edging out “Lonesome Town,” and inserts Technicolor visions into my head of an idealized American life long gone and never quite that perfect in the first place.
Tamaryn - “Return To Surrender”
Tamaryn is great and this song is perfect. Her voice soothes my troubled mind and the soft build to a catchy full-song gallop is just wonderful. All her material is wonderful but this song feels like an old friend, like a comforting kiss.
Sun Kil Moon - “Glenn Tipton”
Mark Kozelek may be an asshole, I don’t know because I’ve never met him, but he is certainly a genius. His recent excursions into stream of consciousness writing have been frustrating at times while also resulting in masterpieces like Benji. I’m truly thankful for his songs. Ghost Of The Great Highway was my introduction to him and while Benji may be a more moving album, I can at least listen to these songs without crying with existential sorrow. This song is scary and beautiful.
The Zombies - “She’s Not There”
I believe this song to be the best single of the 1960s, with the Seeds “Pushin’ Too Hard” as a contender. The disjointed verse drums are among the most wonderful Merseybeat rhythms. This song has been imprinted in mind since I was a kid hearing my Dad’s records, he and I were lucky enough to see The Zombies’ Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent play a tiny live radio performance a few years ago. I find this song scary, I’ve always linked it in my imagination with Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, tender and breezy with fear simmering under the surface. Maybe this is why I need sounds in my ears to calm my mind and help me fall asleep at night.
Stream South of Heaven: