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.
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!)
First act is instrumental chillhop, second act is downtempo hip-hop. Play straight for work hard to play hard, shuffle if you want an adventure. I know it sounds like it’s gonna be a chiptune playlist but that’s not the joke.
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.
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
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.
sounds like: chill work vibes, a lightly chatty friend you can just put in the corner of your screen and not really pay attention to, a parasocial relationship
my romantic notion of a twitch stream may be more simply just a virtual approximation of a coffee shop (remember those? oh, covid), of working or reading while surrounded by the light conversation and arbitrary behavior of strangers. it doesn’t appear that this is what twitch actually is (since in practice lots of streamers do talk “with” you, reading and reacting to the chat), but this playlist is a musical adaptation of the atmosphere i was hoping for. one of the more literal playlists, the thesis here is slower/chiller work music characterized by the presence of human voices throughout. not vocals (with one or two exceptions), but exploring other ways that voices are used as instruments and woven into music.
pairs well with work that’s going to take a minute, watching someone not totally know where they’re going in dark souls, tuesdays
A playlist for when you’re in high school, it’s way after you should have already gone to sleep in the middle of the week, but you just got news that the Mother 3 fan translation patch is out. You know you don’t have time to start it, but you can make time to at least take off the shrink wrap, in a sense. You can boot it up for like thirty seconds after all this anticipation and rest in the warm welcome of its cute family sprites and reassuring, looping soundtrack.
This one is loop-heavy electronic music that gradually fades into ambient, suitable for relaxing work music or for gently nudging you to maybe just go to sleep already.
You like the taste of coffee. It has nothing to do with being More Productive. That said, you’d really like to get through your inbox before you finish this first cup of coffee today and/or panic.
This playlist is for quickly easing into a soothing sense of focus. It switches up genres enough to keep you engaged, but stays instrumental (you gotta read those emails, those words to focus on). There’s some lo-fi study beats on the nose, chillout on the palate, and a jazzy finish. Hopefully that’s the least pretentious thought you have this morning – again, you got emails to read. Maybe even write! Don’t worry, we’ll get you through the first hour and a half of your week.