extremely cursed speedrun energy

hello friendos time for cozy strem! 😀

this is a loud, noisy, possibly too distracting to be a work music playlist work music playlist. like you need to have more focus today than you’d get from pulling up youtube, but you also don’t exactly need to tackle new problems for that matter. the nightmare youngest sibling of agdqlike and I Hide Down In My Corner Because I Like My Corner. the playlist that made me add hyperpop and drone to the categories list. the playlist version of a speedrun of metroid prime that you immediately had to hit pause on because you got too busy and then had three cups of coffee. a day where you feel like you’re drowning in email and the only way out is through and you need to be enveloped in music mirroring this frenzy and the frenzy may or may not be real. is the game cursed is the speedrun cursed are you cursed these are not the important questions just vibe for a bit.

junction system

a weirder, purposefully contrarian take on materia system that maybe overthought being “different” a little too hard. you have to read “junction system” in thorhighheels’s voice.

another work music playlist with the purpose of grounding you (it is gentle, and all songs prominently feature strings) while enabling dissociation (it weaves in songs from video game or movie soundtracks, indulging an escapist mood in a work playlist that knows you’d rather not think about work). except this time sometimes people are singing or it’s a godspeed you! black emperor song that’s approximately 4 days long.

i’ve only played some of final fantasy viii so sorry if i left out A Banger but i sure as shit scoured spotify for an appropriate cover of the triple triad music because i at least knew that much.

invoking the late-night creative golden hour

A playlist for anyone who gets their best work done around 10:30 pm, but has a day job.

Despite being wildly genre-agnostic, the vibe is pretty consistently mellow, warm, but a little melancholy throughout. All of these songs live in a world that’s mostly gone to bed for the day and has thus gotten pretty quiet. It’s not a late-night playlist that’s going to eventually lull you to sleep, but rather one that’s content to stay up with you for a little while. And if you put it on in the middle of the day, it’ll pretend it’s the nighttime with you.

i can’t find any way to relax

a short playlist of music of the most soothing, relaxing music I had encountered during a brief window of time, during the first summer of the pandemic, and while I could probably expand upon this or tweak it, it feels like in doing so, I would curse it. I fall asleep to this playlist a lot. it is too much to risk to alter that.

title comes from a jeff rosenstock song but obviously there are no jeff rosenstock songs on this sleep music playlist. playlist image is from a patch made by stay home club but you can’t buy it anymore sorry

The World’s Longest Elevator Ride

When I started working on this playlist, my goal was to create something that sounded basically like a liminal space, those sort of transitional, designed to be exactly the same locations that dot the American Midwest. It’s a playlist that’s supposed to, like a lot of what I make, embrace the concept of ambient music, in the sense that you should be able to listen to it if you want, or have it blend seamlessly into the background

When I showed it to Matthew he said “this makes me feel like I have been waiting forever to not get somewhere” and “like I’m on hold with my health care provider” and “like I’m in the menu of a mid-2000s, Mii-focused Nintendo game” and “like I died in a Walgreens”. I’m calling that a win.

the cave level from pokemon snap

Some twinkly vibes for taking pictures of bats and plants in a cave. That’s it. I just like this level from this game. Here, I made a one-hour loop of it! Put on the playlist, put this video on in the background, and just feel how cozy and charming this is!

I’m not interested in writing about the concept of nostalgia or its utilization in late-capitalism and/or the collective trauma of a pandemic or whatever vis a vis New Pokémon Snap. So instead here is every Pokémon featured in the cave level from the original N64 Pokémon Snap ranked by what they would sing at karaoke and how good it would be.

14. Zubat would croon “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 off-key and get mad at people who happen to be leaving the bar during their performance.

13. Grimer would be a white guy doing Wiz Khalifa. He will butcher it. Everyone will be uncomfortable.

12. Weepinbell would do a Disney song and it will suck.

11. Jynx would dedicate her song to her boyfriend and then do a very warbly rendition of “Landslide” and it’ll make the crowd confused and uncomfortable for just a whole bunch of different reasons

10. Magikarp would do a very slow, 5-minute song that nobody’s ever heard of. It has a full minute of guitar solo played by a MIDI keyboard that Magikarp just stands on stage nodding along to. There is still a whole chorus to go.

9. Ditto would do a song that somebody else has already done earlier that night, obviously.

8. Jigglypuff would be hella shitfaced and do “Sugar, We’re Going Down” but would only actually scream the choruses and either doesn’t know or is too drunk to pay attention to the verses. Jigglypuff really worked up the crowd first, so it will be a huge disappointment when you realize what’s going on.

7. Articuno will do “Born in the USA” and some people will be extremely into it and some people will be extremely not into it.

6. Koffing will throw everyone for a loop and do a surprisingly touching rendition of a Phoebe Bridgers song, but it will bring the mood down.

5. The Bulbasaur that are actually Ditto would do “Piano Man”. Everyone will roll their eyes, but get really into it. The crowd is all singing along by the end of it.

4. Pikachu is reluctantly dragged on stage by their friend to do Lady Gaga’s parts of “Shallow” with them. It turns out they’re a breathtakingly good singer, but they don’t like to show off. A bunch of men try to buy them a drink at the bar afterward, but Pikachu doesn’t drink. Pikachu leaves the bar to go home at 10pm on the dot.

3. Victreebell would do a terrifyingly metal rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”. It will work astoundingly well.

2. Muk would do Biggie Smalls’ “Big Poppa” and it will slap.

1. Pikachu Riding Articuno would be the equivalent of Carly Rae Jepsen showing up at your local bar for no reason, singing “Cut To The Feeling”, politely waving to the stunned crowd, and leaving. No one will ever believe you when you say this happened.

materia system

Full disclosure I know nothing about Final Fantasy.

Materia System: The Trash Garbage Playlist, serves a multifaceted, possibly contradictory purpose of grounding you (it is gentle, and all songs prominently feature strings) while enabling dissociation (it weaves in songs from video game or movie soundtracks, indulging an escapist mood in a work playlist that knows you’d rather not think about work).

Materia System: The Character Growth System Featured in Final Fantasy VII in Which Skills and Abilities Are Tied to Items Rather Than Characters, serves a multifaceted, possibly contradictory purpose of providing structure (progression is simple, you feel like a genius when you figure out complementary combinations) while enabling flexibility (materia can be swapped between characters at any point, ironically establishing that the characters in the character growth system are only of secondary importance).

This suggests the name “Materia System” is a carefully chosen name enigmatically serving as a concise, metaphorical explanation for its purpose as a playlist, but honestly I was just mildly hungover and wished I were playing Final Fantasy VII or watching a movie I’d seen a dozen times instead of working. I swear Tim Rogers wrote or uttered the phrase “the elegance of the materia system” at some point in time, but I cannot find it now that I am sharing this playlist that I arbitrarily named based on that phrase which may or may not exist lodged in my brain.

Anyway, leave a comment about how you’re mad that One-Winged Angel isn’t in this playlist or whatever.

Alternate Reality SimCity 3000 Soundtrack

So, my all-time favorite album is the soundtrack to SimCity 3000.

This sounds like a joke and I have no way to assure you it is not. So instead, I’m going to talk about what I like about it and what I tried to do with this playlist. Also, I think I might talk about Trash Garbage a little, because it’s my blog and I get to put whatever I want here until Matthew removes it during copyediting.

The reason I want to talk about Trash Garbage a bit is that when I sat down to earnestly talk about why I had picked songs out for this playlist I had a fleeting thought of “wow, how unlike this blog this is”. Which is true, but it doesn’t mean that this is out of place. What I liked about Trash Garbage from the inception is that Matthew and I really never had any intention of what this should be. The bulk of our conversations about this blog essentially boil down to one of us saying “this feels pretty Trash Garbage” and the other going “I agree, post it”. It’s that sort of creative freedom that’s actually enabled me to try doing some of this, which I would not have considered otherwise.

Bringing us back to the soundtrack to SimCity 3000, AKA my favorite album. Last year, I went through some personal hardships and needed something that didn’t sound like anything else I was already listening to. I discovered this soundtrack. I’m not really sure how; I think I had listened to other game soundtracks and this came up as related. (ed note but still fuck algorithms don’t forget this.) I didn’t know anything about SimCity (a thing that came up today, when I mentioned that I would post this, was Matthew saying “the description should be like an in-game SimCity notification or something!” to which I responded “I’ve never actually played SimCity”), but somehow found myself charmed by a very optimistic and charming album full of music that I think perfectly matches the idea of what some people endeavor to achieve with ambient music, creating songs that are fundamentally interesting to focus on, but completely capable of blending into the background. I became fascinated with this album, and it started to score every workday, and then eventually started to become the soundtrack to the time I was spending at home.

But obviously at some point you just listen to an album enough that you crave a little variety, and I found myself in the strange position of wanting to listen not to the SimCity 3000 soundtrack, but to music that sounded like the SimCity 3000soundtrack. Upset I couldn’t find those albums readily existing, I started to pull tracks that reminded me of it into a small playlist. Not only does this playlist contain music that simply sounds like SimCity’s soundtrack (“The Sheriff”, “The Mirage”) it also contains works that simply remind me of the plastic utopia of the Sims universe (all the James Ferraro that made it on here) and, finally, songs that the original composer, Jerry Martin, mentioned inspired him when he was composing this soundtrack (“Zombie”, “A Remark You Made”)

It’s obvious that I recommend listening to the original soundtrack as well, but I also feel obligated to point out that Jerry Martin runs his own website where he occasionally makes high-quality downloads of this music available for free. So maybe check that out, if this is your kinda thing.