the songs next door january 2021

the songs next door isn’t just my monthly playlist, it’s like a musical journal for me. i’ve always loved music and there are songs i associate with certain people or differnt times in my life – songs i can listen to over and over, and even years later can remind me of a specific moment.

this month’s TSND has me going back to some old favorites including a song from “spring awakening” which is a musical i loved and saw more than once (and i’m not much of a musical guy). i’ve also got “try it (i’m in love with a married man)” which i first heard when pet shop boys were releasing their “disco” series and it was on the third installment, which was the best of all of them but can no longer be found.

as far as new music goes, there is one band and album that really stood out to me: “mapping an invisible world” by days away. i heard about this album when i was listening to an interview with circa survice and someone in the band mentioned this album being their favorite. it’s really an incredible album that drew me in quicker than most, and by song 5 or so i was convinced that this was going to be one of my favorite albums, too. turns out it’s one of my “must listen” albums – those rare albums where you have to listen to the whole thing, in order, and every song belongs and is needed to complete the experience – there are no throw away songs, no songs coming at the wrong point in the album.

anyway, please enjoy this month’s installment of the songs next door!

because spotify embeds are sometimes spotty, here’s the url of the playlist in case it doesn’t embed or stops embedding:

circa survive and naming your art

circa survive is a band i like and when i came across this interview with guitarist colin frangicetto i gave it a listen. somewhere around 10 minutes they’re discussing song names and colin says that he thinks naming your art is an overlooked important part of making it

i liked it because i couldn’t agree more. i write stories and poems and make music and i’ve always put a lot of thought into the titles – from the songs to the albums, poems to the collections, even the names of characters. like colin says in the interview it’s like the trojan horse: the thing that makes you look and say “i’ll give that a try.” the title of a work sets a tone and compels you to keep going, and over time i think when you look at a body of work, you start to see a larger artistic statement come into focus which i think is really cool

pandemic holidays

stick around long enough and you’ll find i’m a big fan of npr programming, particularly the music.

i also happen to love “life kit” which are short podcasts that cover life topics of interest to various npr employees. each episode is hosted by the employee with the interest and there are usually tips and an expert speaker.

you might have also seen my “postcards from next door” videos that i post almost every morning – brief inspiration, quick quotes, amusing anecdotes – all in approximately 60 (or fewer) seconds. lately i’ve been addressing holiday season stuff along with the pandemic. today i came across this excellent episode of “life kit” about pandemic holidays that i’m sharing here for you!

(for some reason, embeds from spotify are spotty – sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t – i’ve had posts even on this blog with embeds that work fine and others that don’t work and some that work intermittently – anyway, i’m including the link since this one doesn’t seem to want to embed – go listen!)

you can also go right to npr and listen here:

the songs next door december 2020

on the 8th of every month i finish the playlist i’ve been working on and share it publicly, then start the playlist for the next month. here’s december’s playlist!

for me, the standout track on this list is nina simone’s sinnerman – i just can’t help but get into the feel of it and the POWER!

(for some reason, spotify embeds don’t always work – this one looks like it works on the backend, but it doesn’t display on the front end, so here’s the link)

the songs next door november 2020

i listen to a lot of music and for a few years now, i’ve been making a monthly playlist as kind of like a musical journal. on the 8th of each month, i share the month’s playlist and start the playlist for the following month. i add whatever songs move me and it tends to be a varied collection of styles and artists.

november’s playlist is on the smaller side because i’ve been spending a lot of time listening to the future sound of london (and their quasi-alter ego band amorphous adrogynous) and haven’t wanted to basically just put half of their songs on a playlist. there are 6 songs from them on this list, along with a couple tunes from woods – a psych-folk band that i absolutely love – and “bird and the berry” from LAKE, a song that showcases their warm, soft sound.