Tonight, to procrastinate doing actual work, I made a playlist mostly of songs that remind me of this time of year. (And a few that don’t. I just was reminded of them as I was making the thing.) There are a bunch old favorites on here – I’m sure a few have been on other playlists I’ve shared – because I badly needed some comfort music on this cold and rainy day.
My fellow fans know that Mad Men did not lack for musical moments. Some songs simply gave us historical context for an episode. Others conveyed the show’s sense of irony. And many served as proxies for the central meaning or conflict of an episode (or entire season). Mad Men has, kind of unexpectedly, been a source of music discovery for me as long as it’s been on television, turning me on to forgotten pop hits and artists I’d long ignored because of my far remove from the era in which the show is set.
So. In honor of the series finale of Mad Men, I’ve created a playlist of my favorite songs that were used in some way, either playing in the background of scenes or as finales that played over the closing credits. (I have to credit Basket of Kisses and TuneFind for helping me find many of these songs.)
On Saturday night, I DJ’d the late-night portion of my friend’s birthday party off of my phone. I’d started on my own playlist the previous day, promised myself I would finish it before the party, and then didn’t. I ended up playing a combination of nostalgic singalong songs and dance party favorites, requests from friends, and a few things I wanted to hear that pretty much no one else did. (At one point, I just started playing PC Music Volume 1 from the beginning and was later told to turn it off because the vibe in the room got “too weird.) Here’s a mini mix I made of some of the songs I played – or planned on playing – that are still stuck in my head.
I’m really excited for Bully’s debut album, Feels Like, to come out next month. I’ve been feeling the single “I Remember,” a song that I think nails the memory flood that happens after a breakup and how good it can feel to get it all out.
Here’s the recent video for “I Remember”:
I equally love “Trying”:
For more girls and guitars – I’m pretty partial to female-fronted rock bands – here’s a Spotify playlist I’ve been adding to over the last few months. There are a lot of songs on there I’ve been into over the last year or I’ve rediscovered for one reason or another. If you follow it, you can see when I add more.
It’s only been a few days, but I think I’ve finally recovered from getting caught in the rain last week. I’m no longer carrying my umbrella with me everywhere – just in case – though maybe I should be, considering how many surprise showers we’ve had so far this spring. (In New York, at least.) When it does rain, I like nothing better than to listen to “rainy day music.” For me, rainy day music tends toward songs of the twee variety. I like to feel cozy when it’s raining out. But I also listen to songs that are lush and cinematic, spare and sad, and emotionally charged. Mostly songs that I’d like to soundtrack my life.
I made a playlist a long (long, long) time ago that I still find perfect for this in-between season. “Spring Rain” by The Go-Betweens is, as you might guess by the title, the most obvious song of the bunch. It also pops into my head just about any time someone says the words “spring” and “rain” in the same sentence, which happens roughly between five and 100 times a day, depending on the weather.
If you’d like to listen, here is the whole playlist. It features Broadcast, The Clientele, Camera Obscura, My Bloody Valentine, and a whole slew of others.