firefly was always bad

spicy hot jams for working on your spicy hot takes

imo this is a good one for the last hour of a workday when you’ve emotionally hit a wall and need to rally and by rally i mean reflect on the relationship between the frictions of life and the value of life

sometimes we were wrong about things

version history

[June 27, 2022] the live version on spotify has swapped in some currently available instrumental pillows tunes to try to match the OG’s energy, added a few other songs throughout to address the gap created by how that goal is not, in fact, possible. it feels fucked to act like a tv show is the bad thing in June 2022 in, say, america, but here we are. rage against the dying of the light for ~63 minutes.

[Nov 24, 2021] the OG version of this playlist with a buncha good good pillows instrumentals from FLCL, which are in a constant state of on/off spotify. can be temporarily enjoyed via youtube, until something inevitably goes wrong there too.

DRONEBALL

every year, I tell myself, ok, this is the year I get into baseball again. sometimes I just forget. sometimes a pandemic happens. sometimes there’s a shutdown because you can’t just enjoy baseball, some capitalists have to fuck everyone’s day up to make line go up.

which is to say the origin of this playlist was in the early, banana bread era of the pandemic, working from home unable to and/or too sad to focus, simultaneously putting on a youtube playlist of someone playing a baseball video game on very low volume and one of the 24/7 lo-fi chillhop studybeats playlists at the same time. I also lit a candle. it was a great vibe. it was an oddly comforting combination that I’ve occasionally revisited and decided, ok, time for a multimedia Trash Garbage project. this is DRONEBALL.

this playlist is Fine on its own, but ideally you’d pair it with a baseball game in a small window in the corner of your second monitor. the game can be real, live, archival, video game footage, whatever, the game doesn’t really matter much, much like the lo-fi chillhop beats. it’s an oddly coherent combination.

lo-fi chillhop beats to study slash relax to is certainly an odd duck to curate, since it’s kind of a genre that exists purely as background music for an algorithm to interchangeably endlessly compile, but also idk I’m not a classist I like some lo-fi chillhop beats to study slash relax to. this playlist is partly curated by letting this playlist run until The Algorithm took over and kept playing the same kind of interchangeable music, and occasionally I’d add a few of those that struck me as having that particular quality of being good but not “noticeable”. this playlist is also partly curated from a handful of artists I actually like! this playlist is also partly curated from trying to mostly stay clear of covers because it’s supposed to be non-distracting but yeah I figured a 3-hour playlist can have a few moments where you actually look up because something intriguing happened to happen, just like baseball itself, now thinking about it. again, it’s an oddly coherent combination. there are also a few decidedly not chillhop, higher energy, maybe actually just hip hip-influenced jazz tracks in here, because, look, everyone gets bored after a few hours of a baseball game. you have to adjust your mission statement if your work music playlist makes you start to fall asleep.

some of the playlist also comes from an Official Spotify Playlist that was at one point in time, I swear to god, incoherently titled “Lo-Fi Absentee Ballot”. it was the most Trash Garbage thing that could ever happen. sammie and I still talk about that time spotify itself out–trash garbage’d us.

you do not have to use this particular playlist of baseball games to pair with the DRONEBALL playlist, but it’s a starting point. think of it as the preset in a character creator. watch any baseball you want to. watch whatever game happens to be live and vibe. that said, as alluded to earlier, fuck the MLB, fuck capitalism, you can find streams of live baseball games. can we link to a pirate stream here? yeah why not that’s pretty trash garbage. we’re anticapitalism over here.

to reiterate, the components of this Multimedia Trash Garbage experience are:

  • this Trash Garbage–curated spotify playlist of lo-fi chillhop
  • this Trash Garbage–curated youtube playlist of baseball, set to a lower volume where you can kind of make out the chatter through the music, but the sounds of the game and the reaction of the crowd cut through (not required, can use any baseball game, doesn’t have to be a “good” one, in fact the less consequential the better)
  • there are no Trash Garbage–curated candles but if I may recommend Werther & Grey’s The Black Death, Burke & Hare Co’s Cemetery Gates, or Anecdote Candles’ Flannel & Fedoras (not required, can use any candle or no candle) (this single bullet point makes this the most ampersands to appear in a trash garbage post to date! wow!)

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

film noir detective pikachu

The longer and nerdier version of Dark Alley Jazz. We like short tightly edited things over here at trash garbage, but the room we found for an exception this time was, apparently, what if Detective Pikachu just really leaned into it. (I love Detective Pikachu.)

This is exactly what it looks like. Just shy of five hours of smoldering, dangerous, moody jazz, weaving video game music covers in with “real” jazz from the staples like Miles Davis and the new groundbreakers like Nubya Garcia. Put it on around your extended family and trick them into thinking you’re sophisticated.

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.

inventing an extradimensional portal

There’s something really striking in a sci fi moment in which a scientist works very hard to create something that’s just slightly unnatural. Something that toys with the very laws of reality as we know it. Setting aside the moral consequences of these scenes (which is par for the course tbh), it is the music in these moments that seems to inspire creativity and fascination in me. This playlist aims to invoke similar feelings of that precipice where the natural laws of the world as we know it are about to change. Jeff Goldblum gif goes here. You know the one.

Area X

A playlist that’s been in the works for quite some time. One of the original “moods” that sort of inspired me to start working on the seeds of what would eventually become this site, Area X is a playlist for moments in which you feel slightly out of time and space. Area X is a playlist for exploring those weird woods on the edge of town that seem to go on forever. Area X is a playlist for when you a trapped in a liminal space in a unnamed Midwestern America town. It’s a playlist for when you’re exploring an environment that’s just slightly strange compared to our own.

Theoretical DJ Set

Matthew and I probably first seriously discussed music in the context of a series of extremely small house parties I DJed in high school. At the time I was full of adolescent rage and so mostly I played Drum and Bass, but it was an extremely cool experience that I think about recreating a lot.

I put together a fun theoretical little DJ set of the house type music from 100% Silk and Not Not Fun I’ve been listening to lately, as well as artists from the last couple of years like Anthony Naples and Octo Octa. Pretend you’re in a suburban basement rave attended in the single digits and enjoy.