Category: Jazz Fusion
a frosty work music playlist for when it’s too cold to get out of bed, gently building in energy as you wake up at a rather reasonable pace, never getting too crazy.
wrapping up the work week
the other end of checking your work email on monday morning. a lot of genres, but it’s all friday. less of a getting coffee and drilling down to work playlist and more of a soaking up the morning light and the last cup of coffee of the work week playlist. yesterday was thursday. today, it is friday.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
a sunday morning where you wake up and it’s raining
gentle jazz and jazz-like things. jazz like [you know what jazz is] [insofar as anyone knows what jazz is]. jazz-like things like trip hop, lo-fi hip-hop beats to relax/study to, the last david bowie album, and whatever the hell pyramid song is.
honestly this one is pretty self-explanatory however you can listen to it when it’s not raining if you would like
Animal Crackers and Bodega Coffee
Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation depicts a character who decides what she really needs, at the deepest levels in her soul of souls, is to just take a nap for a year. Her early attempts at the medication experiments required to do so leave her in intermittent and disorienting states of consciousness, begrudgingly awake, waiting for sleep to return in an emotional cocoon of old movies, animal crackers, and, paradoxically, shitty coffee from the bodega downstairs. It’s a hell of a mood. I truly can’t decide if I’ve had afternoons that felt more like this in the office before the pandemic or working from home during it. (It is not after the pandemic. It is still a pandemic.) (I sort of assume that sentence will always be accurate. It will never not be the pandemic now.)
A hazy playlist blend of work music, sometimes instrumental, sometimes incomprehensible. Ranges from the experimental free jazz of Harriet Tubman to the experimental noise pop of Sleigh Bells. Ranges from the soothing wisps of Grizzly Bear to soothing shoegaze of Broken Social Scene. There are two Grimes songs, and I’m sorry.
A playlist for this vibe:
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.