MetaChat: Personal quarantime playlists March 2, 2021 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Anyone else remember their personal "heavy rotation" music from this time last year when quarantine started?

For me it was Harry Nilsson's "Nilsson Schmilsson" (along with a few others).

One of the tunes, "Early In the Morning," is cueing in my head this morning in a big way.

How about y'all?
posted by Sheydem-tants to MetaFilter-Related at 2:21 PM (42 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

I was listening to a lot of Listener.
posted by Seamus at 2:25 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


A little bit after today I started listening to JD Twitch’s Tranquility Mixes. He ended up making five and they are all aces, especially #3 and the Kid 606 version of New Order’s “Temptation”.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:42 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I was listening to a lot of Fountains of Wayne. Very sad in retrospect.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:08 PM on March 2 [6 favorites]


I had Madam Gandhi's VISIONS album on constantly. Still listening to Bad Habits and Top Knot Turn Up very regularly.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 3:12 PM on March 2


I got really into Lofi remixes of video game soundtracks, especially stuff in the Zelda 'n Chill vein.
posted by Morpeth at 3:19 PM on March 2


I was listening to Spanish Love Song's then-brand-new record Brave Faces Everyone which was somehow written before the pandemic, despite it seeming to be about it.
posted by General Malaise at 3:32 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Matthew Good's album Moving Walls just came out so I was listening to that.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:36 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Hayley Williams - Simmer (could be NSFW), love the song, still can't really play the bassline.
posted by signal at 5:07 PM on March 2


At the beginning of quarantining, I had 90's era Melt-Banana in pretty frequent rotation. They've since been joined by Salt-N-Pepa and 90's era Mercury Rev.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:28 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


I just don't wanna be back in this place again
I mean I done cried a little, tried a little, failed a little
I don't wanna do it again

Do you feel me? (yes, ma'am)
Do you feel me? (yes, ma'am)
Do you feel me? (yes, ma'am)
Do you feel me? (yes, ma'am)
Do you?
Do you?

I mean, I've already been, I came and went
I washed my hands but
I don't wanna do it again

Don't push me
Push me, push me, push me...
Pull me in!

I don't wanna go back here again, mmm
History repeats and we defeat ourselves
Come on everybody, one more time

posted by Rhaomi at 5:53 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Joy Division's Isolation is a bit obvious, but it definitely sounded right.

Blue Oyster Cult's Godzilla also hit the spot as it felt like we were all pitching into a monster movie of our own making.

History shows us again and again
How nature points up the folly of man

posted by philip-random at 6:29 PM on March 2


My son was Not Doing Well, in a non-Covid-related way, and I was driving to a medical facility and home and to the office and back on the very grey highways of northeast Ohio, as things started to close down more and more and my world was getting scary and small. I was listening to the Home soundtrack which includes a lot of Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez and some Charli XCX. Super poppy songs with lyrics about turning your face to the sun and letting the shadows fall behind you.

He is doing infinitely better now. There were a lot of terrible months but that was one of the worst all around. Woof, I just had a good cry there now thinking about Feel the Light.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:59 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


General Malaise, I've been watching the listening to "Self-Destruction (as a Sensible Career Choice)" and watching the video practically nonstop for the past few months. I've always loved Spanish Love Songs, and Dylan Slocum always sounds like he's about three seconds away from bursting into tears, which captures my mood pretty well for the past year.
posted by holborne at 7:15 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Lotta Megan Thee Stallion. Just, like, a lot.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:15 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


It ended up being really on the nose, but Caribou's "Home"
posted by thivaia at 7:29 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Since I first saw Aronofsky's The Fountain, the track Death is the Road to Awe has held a special place in my heart.

In quarantine, though, I have found huge appreciation and love for Together We Will Live Forever. A lot of friends have been having marriage struggles with so much time in proximity and so few options to find space and relaxation. Somehow mine's found a particularly strong place through this insanity.

The piece just speaks to the bittersweet nature of these things not lasting forever because biology. But we can try to will it to. It's just... earnest. I don't know if that's a weird thing to say about a piano piece, but it's been a good companion to help me appreciate and enjoy the forced proximity and that I have a partner I wouldn't trade for the world.
posted by bfranklin at 7:46 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


When quarantine started, I found myself sitting every night at the table reading or whatever while listening to KCRW's evening djs - Travis Holcomb and Garth Trinidad. One night, Holcomb finished his show playing this odd ambient piece that featured Alan Watts talking about how to meditate. It turned out to be a kind of remix by the musician Justin Boreta of the Glitch Mob, simply called Listen. I bought it on bandcamp and it has basically been one of the first things I listen to every morning, as I head out for my pre-coffee walk. Holcomb still plays it on KCRW, every once in a while around 10:40pm.

Other than that, there was/is Cage's In a Landscape, Moondog's High on a Rocky Ledge, Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Ever New, Kraftwerk's Europe Endless, and Gregory Porter's new album All Rise.
posted by niicholas at 9:10 PM on March 2


Was and continues to be Aimee Mann's Mental Illness.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:31 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


I discovered Sleaford Mods - here's TCR and Jolly F*cker yes lyrics are NSFW, Shame and some other angrier UK music.

Otherwise yes Isolation, for when I'm feeling happy, as it's not the stuff to listen to on a grey day.
posted by unearthed at 11:03 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


I was listening to a lot of Louis Cole. Haven't put Weird Part of the Night on for a couple of months after maybe overlistening to it a bit. Off to listen to a bunch of his stuff again now. Thanks for this thread!
posted by Dysk at 12:27 AM on March 3


My heaviest-rotation pre-pandemic listen was Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, and for some reason Car on a Hill got stuck in my brain well into lockdown. That and the title track both do an outstanding job of painting a story with plenty of depth using comparatively few words.

According to Spotify I also made a brief playlist during the time when COVID was definitely a thing we'd begun dealing with (I'm part of my company's emergency response team so as soon as rumours started coming out of China in early 2020 it was clear that a big pile of work was coming my way fairly soon) but before we'd completely shut down, and the four songs on it were Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads, You Win Again by the Bee Gees, Fast Car by Tracy Chapman and Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode, which is...certainly a vibe.

Blast Hardcheese, I wish I could favourite your Mental Illness comment more than once, it's such a good record. When we go on long drives, we sometimes listen to Aimee Mann albums consecutively. She's scored so many hours of my motorway driving.

Between no longer commuting by car, no longer needing to tune out open plan office noise much of the time, and spending so much time on Zoom that I actively try not to wear headphones whenever I'm not on calls, I listen to so much less music working this way. I miss it.
posted by terretu at 1:27 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I was listening to a random selection of stuff by Julia Jacklin, Aldous Harding, Dana Gavanski, Shana Cleveland, Mega Bog, Sharon Van Etten, Rhiannon Giddens, and a few other artists. I've said it before, but this last decade seems to have been a really good one for women making all kinds of interesting music.
posted by pipeski at 3:40 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


All I really remember is singing Don't Fear the Reaper while I washed my hands. I still do sometimes.
posted by JanetLand at 5:48 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


I just remembered that I also listened to Mask, Gloves, Soap, Scrubs by the amazing Todrick Hall multiple times a day when he first released it. Now it's more like once every week or two or who am I kidding I don't know how time works anymore let's just say often.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:31 AM on March 3


I went through this relatively short (2 months?) but very intense Steely Dan period last year and abruptly ended when the election results came in. haven't listened to them since.

too much Tears for Fears this winter, probably...
posted by supermedusa at 7:55 AM on March 3




Any portmanteu in a storm, great to see another Matthew Good listener here! It took me about six months to really get into Moving Walls. I think Boobytrapped was my early favorite track, though at this point I'm on board with most of the album. There's nothing there that really grabs me the way Non Populus, Something Like a Storm, or Suburbia did, but.. everything's not for everyone!

As for my own pandemic playlist: Older Matt Good (as above) and.. honestly a lot of Brit rock: The 1975, Wombats, Chvrches, etc. I also went back to my youth a fair bit and listened to a lot of 80s/90s country (pre-9/11 -- I have very limited stomach for post The Racism/Xenophobia Is The Point pop country, and yes, old country is of course coming from a not-great historical context, but I grew up with it, so, when facing existential despair, it's a thing for me.) And then somewhere along the line I discovered Richard Shindell (Fishing, Wysteria), via Cry Cry Cry (Cold Missouri Waters). As I get older, I realize a lot of contemporary folk is kind of my jam. Then again, I'm listening to 20-30 year old folk, so maybe that's not so contemporary anymore...
posted by Alterscape at 8:39 AM on March 3


I can't remember exactly, but I was coming off a high of having just been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (I think I dodged the superspreader element simply by sticking to "partying" by going to restaurants for fine food instead of crowding onto Bourbon Street) so it was likely the playlist I made to commemorate that trip. Or at least Lizzo's Good as Hell (I grooved to it with a pink fairy during one street fair), plus two songs that followed me the whole time I was there - the Meters' They All Ask'd For You (serious earworm alert) and the Rebirth Brass Band's Do Whatcha Wanna.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:42 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


My ongoing obsession with Let's Fall in Love for the Night by Finneas began, I am still loving it a year later!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:42 AM on March 3


I was attempting to learn the guitar so I was listening to Arthur Russell’s close my eyes and Hank Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, which, yeah.
posted by mai at 11:00 AM on March 3


Frank Zappa for the insanity. Jethro Tull for the clarity.
posted by Splunge at 12:32 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


This time last year I had Katie Pruitt's album Expectations going on repeat. That album really holds up. One of the best from last year (this was before my quarantine rotation became mostly Fiona Apple).
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:47 PM on March 3


It didn't change from what I listen to normally which now makes me think I am not being human enough in my response to COVID. What I listened to was not lockdown or pandemic themed. It was not remotely poignant. I became obsessed with this band just before lockdown:

We the People - In the Past.

Actually it sounds a bit poignant but that wasn't intentional.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 2:43 PM on March 3


My friend made a Facebook live video of himself singing Fish and Whistle by John Prine sometime last March. I loved it, found the original, and proceeded to listen on repeat. When John Prine died a few weeks later I did a deeper dive into his catalog, and I haven’t really stopped that dive since. The fact that he was only 25 when he wrote Angel from Montgomery still blows my goddamn mind.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:01 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


At the beginning I bounced between Ian Dury (needed reasons to be cheerful) and Jacob Collier (a musician's musician in a way), pivoted to a bunch of Brainfeeder and Brownswood Recordings artists (Thundercat, Brandon Coleman, Joe Armon-Jones, etc) and constant spelunking on Spotify starting with algorithmic "radio" mixes seeding from Collier, Kamasi Washington, and Vulfpeck.

I mostly just wanted to lose myself in it all. A good beat with a solid bassline could anchor me, one day at a time, and counter the isolation and anxiety. Daily walks were with headphones and the music cranked up unless I timed my distanced neighborhood outing with the dawn chorus.

Near the end of last year I made a mix for a friend of mine, called it "Rocketship Mix - from 2020":

1. Ian Dury and the Blockheads – Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick
2. Dirty Loops – Next to You
3. Diverseddie – Sparkling Clean
4. Brandon Coleman – Walk Free (Flying Lotus remix)
5. Dorothy Ashby – The Windmills of Your Mind
6. Daniel Caesar – Best Part (featuring H.E.R.)
7. Tank and the Bangas – Boxes and Squares
8. Moonchild - Money
9. Thundercat – Lone Wolf and Cub
10. Peter Gabriel - Humdrum
11. Billie Eilish – my future
12. Joe Armon-Jones – Almost Went Too Far
13. Hatchback – I Call Her Molecule
14. Nick Drake – Three Hours
15. Vulfpeck – Tee Time
16. KNOWER – Different Lives
17. Lambchop – Up with People
18. Paul McCartney – We All Stand Together (feat. The Frog Chorus)
posted by pianoblack at 8:35 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


So much Julia Michaels and Syd and Tegan and Sara — I was in the middle of some extremely, extremely, just stunningly gay relationship chaos. Maggie Rogers. Fetch the Bolt Cutters. For whatever reason I finally, decades too late, got into Endtroducing.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:04 AM on March 4


linton kwesi johnson (song of blood) and fela kuti (coffin for head of state), as always, and, from "last played" sort, apparently a lot of bill evans, bob marley, duke ellington, john coltrane, max roach, prince, with no evident rhyme or reason.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:11 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


In addition to listening to tons of podcasts to feel less alone:

Love - Alone Again Or
Childish Gambino - This is America
Kendrick Lamar - Alright
Robyn - Dancing on My Own
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos
posted by sugarbomb at 7:36 PM on March 4


bfranklin, a while ago I noodled around trying to get an online MIDI version of Together We Will Live Forever to sound like the OST recording when testing out the Pianoteq soft-synth software package. Good times.

Also, when working as a lifeguard I tended to play TWWLF as the final play-out-the-stragglers song on the Guardio (don't ask) after Nightswimming had already thinned out the crowds.

Whereas my ex referred to the Fountain OST as "dirge music". Well, there's a reason he's my ex now.
posted by tigrrrlily at 9:48 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Waxahatchie's Saint Cloud and Fiona Apple's Fetch The Bolt Cutters scored a lot of the early parts of the quarantine. Also a lot of NPR when I just didn't want to get up and put anything on. And those quarantine mornings when I didn't have anything else to do, I played a lot of the Test Pressing mixes.
posted by a Rrose by any other name at 9:18 AM on March 8


A seriously embarrassing amount of sugary girl-group K-pop, so I could be surrounded by sweetness I couldn't understand. It's like traveling, except you don't have to go anywhere. No one is allowed to see my playlists in person.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:39 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


The soundtrack to Planetary Annihilation. It's a video game about annihilating planets, the soundtrack is suitably orchestral and apocalyptic. I find it both calming and fortifying.
posted by LegallyBread at 9:07 AM on March 11


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