I don't know about know about you, but I could happily live the rest of my life without every hearing the phrase, "in these uncertain times," or any of its trite variations. We know. Everything is weird and the days all blend together.
For me, making playlists is usually one of my favorite hobbies. If you’ve listened to any of my previous creations, you may have noticed I don’t just put a bunch of songs together that I like. I always start with a theme and then I spend a truly silly amount of time adding, subtracting and moving songs to make a list with the aim to make it work together as a kind of album. And I love it. Usually. This time was much harder than usual. I kept starting and stopping, leaving it for a few days, then returning to add a bunch of songs and then undoing it all again.
I think that the longer the coronavirus pandemic has dragged on, the more mixed up I get in the head. For the most part, I am perfectly happy to keep working away by myself, but I miss my friends and unlike people with corporate jobs, I don’t really have a ton of interaction with people online either. So, I’ve just been working solo and hanging out even more in my head than usual. At first, I felt freed by the shelter-in-place order – I could scratch all the mental notes about needing to schedule get-togethers with various friends right off my to-do list. But the longer it’s gone on, I realized how much I value my in-person friend time. I think Stephen Colbert mentioned to Trevor Noah that he no longer knows whether jokes are funny any longer, and I feel like that too, but about everything –my playlists, my designs, my outfits even. It feels even more like I’m just putting messages in bottles and hoping they’re well received somewhere.
I titled the playlist “Halfway to Nowhere” after the first song’s title, but also because that’s where it feels like where at right now in respect to the pandemic. There’s a heavy dose of country mope, because really, country is one of the few genres that’s really good at teasing apart the subtleties of misery. Richard Buckner has been one of my longtime fellow travelers in depression, so a couple songs from my favorite of his albums – Bloomed – make an appearance. This playlist isn’t all gloom and doom though – I’ve also got a gleefully angry break-up song by the inimitable Ween there – Piss Up a Rope, which I’ve been singing around the house all week. It’s NSFW, but these days, as long as it’s not playing during a Zoom call, you’re probably good. (And if you’re an essential worker, I think you should have a lifetime pass on listening to naughty lyrics out loud for life at this point.) In any case, I hope this playlist gives you some comfort During These Uncertain Times. (jk, you can kill me now.)