Survive - Autumn 2022

Nineteen years ago I created my first seasonal playlist (the tracklist lost to time as I recorded it to cassette from my computer back when I drove an original-condition VK Commodore). Some time during the next fifty playlists I realised that these snapshots of musical preference, if curated expertly, could act as a time travel mechanism and transport me to the autumn of 2004 (in my VK Commodore) or the spring of 2016 when the simulation really started to fall apart at the seams.

Alas, I’m now reaching my brain’s tolerance to hear these same songs on a semi-regular basis and not instead be transported back half the distance to some other time between now and then when I listened to the playlist. Clearly I should never listen to these songs or playlists again after the season has passed and instead reserve them behind a panel of glass that says break in event of time-travel-requiring emergency.

Speaking of breaking and emergency, autumn 2022 was a season I hopefully never have to travel back to it again.

Many of these songs were enjoyed during periods of sitting in pain, or walking in pain, or just generally being in pain.

With the leaves nearly gone from the trees and a few weeks of post-op recovery coming up now is about the right moment to finalise the order and punt this one into the archives adjacent to the Summer 2022 soundtrack that I aborted like that fateful bike ride - halfway through.

Anyway that all reads a bit negative, but there is a vibe to this playlist that I noticed around the first morning my breath was visible. It was a theme of surviving, carrying on, persisting, and loving life.

It’ll be hard to finish a winter playlist if I need to keep finding songs that are upbeat and also cozy and atmospheric.

The other unintentional theme of autumn 2022 is the large amount of collaborations, features and duets. That’s a big part of how I survived autumn 2022 for sure.

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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

2021 Winter -> Spring

A few weeks back my physical body had just returned home after a weekend road trip to Moonta. My head was still catching up. In that moment it occurred to me with some poignancy that life, and especially winter, had a distasteful velocity that unfortunately I had no control over. The mundane pattern - sleep, breakfast, walk, work, backyard, food shopping until death eventually takes me - made it feel like I had jumped off a cliff many, many years earlier and now I was simply hurtling towards the distant yet inevitable ground. But a simple weekend away, just a chance to see and do something different, was like I'd looked up from my freefall and seen something beautiful and I thought poetically that life was just like falling knowing you were going to die, and the only thing you could really control is how much you enjoyed the experience.

When my brain did catch up to my body later that afternoon I realised that this was the premise of a song by a pop-punk rock band that had been popular during my impressionable years and that I'd essentially plagiarised the entire sentiment.

Winter into Spring 2021. A lot of time in the backyard and watching the grass grow. Disappointing strawberries. Fingerless compression gloves. Drives to the hospital. Walks to the bakery. Trello todo lists. Working out in the garage. Actual springtime weather more often than not. More time in the backyard.

Bring on Summer.

Just Some Music I Liked On This Calendar Date

2021 was another year where my dreams of compiling a perfect autumn mixtape (like 2004's) capitulated. Instead of being the soundtrack to the first patter of rain on the roof, and drives along vibrant country roads, it was instead finished in a post solstice rush - like so many 2004 Uni assignments - the last touches put on as the sun started to come crawling back into my life.

I even tried this year to not restrict myself to contemporary releases. This was going to compliment my "Autumn is the best season of the year" theme. New songs would be like sunny days, and revisited classics like cozy nights by the crackling fire I wish our house had (and maybe could have briefly, if I doused our armchair in petrol and lit a match).

Just like Autumn 2021, that would have been something that might have happened.

There were some moments, scored appropriately, worth remembering since summer.
The need for focusing at work steered me towards many motivating, instrumental EDM.
As well as less focused moments; sitting by the fountain, watching leaves fall.
Drinking beer and making lamb curry for two on dark Saturday nights.
I even worked out to some of these songs, back in the day.

A combination of old and new. At some point this playlist will be both to me.

I'm definitely going to listen to it at the start of next autumn.

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Album Radio Based On

Grey clouds hung low over Adelaide nearly the entire day today, distorting the sense of time. After a bike ride in the morning, I spent the rest of the day fiddling with technical documents. Before I started I chose something from my Release Radar list on Spotify and I don't remember what song it was, but it triggered one of those automatic radios that played a lot of downtempo, instrumental electronic music. Maybe the AI is getting better, but this was the perfect focus music for dealing with 1000 tracked changes and drawing little lines between boxes on a sequence diagram. I was productive to the music of Rival Consoles, Ulrich Schnauss, Catching Flies, Era C, Little People (I'm just listing these obscure band names here so that I don't have to go poking around in my Last.FM history five years from now when I'm re-reading this entry).

At the end of the day, which might have been before sunset, or maybe after, I went back to Spotify to check the name of the radio it had created, it turned out perhaps the Spotify engineers had missed one little typo in their API specification, because the title of the playlist was "Radio based on" and nothing more.

This felt apt.

There's No I in Funeral

I went to someone's funeral today and as usual I mainly reflected upon my own life:

I don't think it would be too much effort to add chapter and verse numbers to my journal entries in PHP. This would allow any bible reading to be easily replaced with a Bradism reading, as well as potentially enabling the easier sharing of my wisdom post my life.

I don't want my eulogy to sound like someone is reading my résumé and throwing in thoughtful pauses and looks at the audience. If any of the following get mentioned during the celebration of my life I will be disappointed:

  • He was an IT professional
  • He wrote music reviews for the Adelaide Street press from 2008-2010.
  • He achieved his TOGAF certification in 2019
  • He loved working with computers and digging through application logs for hours to identify the right Java Exception stack trace to report back to the developer who'd written the deployment steps.

I would be fine with "you had to watch out him outside, because he was good in the key, but would also hit threes." (Bradism 1063, verse 2).
I would be more than fine with everyone who attends having to go through my journal and find their favourite Bradism to share.
Failing that, just pick something vaguely truthful that I did and embellish it until it becomes entertaining.

The funeral itself needs to be done as cheaply as possible.
I don't mean simply saying no to all the upselling options given by the funeral home director.
I want whoever plans my funeral to treat it like a game of golf and aim for the lowest amount next to the dollar sign possible.
Get on OzBargain and Cash Rewards and stack discount codes with cashback to turn my body into ash and give people a platform from which to read Bradism from where everyone else can hear them.
There's a few friends and family I would probably pick out as whatever the groomsmen equivalent of deaths are, to directly assign them this tight-arsing responsibility. But as much as I love them I am hoping to outlive them all.
I mean, truth be told I am hoping to outlive everybody on the planet, including those that haven't been born yet. But I suspect it will fall to Alex's kids.

It's worth noting that I don't want the catering included as part of the cost cutting. Please let there be an open bar and a wide variety of good things to eat. There's no joke here.

The soundtrack is a tricky one.
At the moment there are two songs competing for speaker space as people catch a last glimpse of my cardboard coffin before it's fed into some guys pizza oven someone found through future Facebook marketplace.

The most likely choice is Talking Heads' (Nothing But) Flowers because I just love how it flips the idea of eternal, natural paradise into an inconvenience. That will make people think I'm deep and intelligent. There's also a good instrumental jam near the start which will give people time to reflect on some of the Bradisms they have just heard.

The runner up song is the Rennie Pilgrem remix of Zero's Emit/Collect, a 2003 breakbeat banger that no one will recognise unless Josh, Craig and Cowan are still alive. If they are - and they don't suffer from dementia - they will be the only ones moved in the room.

No one ever reads the Music entries on this site, so I doubt the DJ selection will be of much importance.

I want to be cremated.

I doubt they make standard sized coffins big enough for people my height. If I don't fit in the first class beds on the Caledonian Sleeper from Edinburgh to Euston Station I'm definitely not going to fit in a grave plot.

My ashes, which will inevitably have at least one Nash hair in them, can be discarded wherever convenient.

I don't have a problem with composting the soil beneath a passionfruit vine, although the council might.

Summer Playlist 2020

Music has always been my go to medium for time travel, but this year I've found another. Having been responsible for a garden all of the seasons of the year I can now read flora like a calendar. Blooming citrus flowers in December remind me of lemons in July. Juicy mulberries in October take me back of scooping buckets of leaves in May. Pulling up withered iris leaves in November brings the taste of hot coffee, reading in the winter sun and watching the first green shoots. Spring growth calls me back to summer dryness.
And this particular thing seems to run all seasons of the year at once, and I kind of think it is a wormhole:

Some weird plant with dead parts and living parts and sprouting parts and flowering parts.

I'd have to dig up the soil to be sure though.

The Summer 2020 playlist is - like the rest of 2020 - a bit slower than past summers. A little more reflective. Half the songs were vying to be the outro. Summer 2020 has been drives to the supermarket and hardware store. Early morning and late evening walks while the UV is low. Bashing out emails during short breaks between video meetings. Bluetooth speaker playing during home gym sessions, trying to balance the line between health and health... Drinking a beer while cooking a BBQ. Songs in my head during bike rides, as I don't listen to music on my bike.

A playlist for passing the summer until it's summer again.

Winter Mixtape 2020

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The first hints of blossom have featured among the fog on my morning walks this week, meaning that it's shit or get off the pot time for my Winter 2020 mixtape. I started compiling this in late May when cold nights were becoming cold days, and despite the fact that winter has crept along glacially it's somehow now nearly September, and only seven weeks until daylight savings begins.
2020 has not been a good year for the concept of time...

The tunes in this track-list remind me of the experiences of the past few months, which have been pretty limited in variety but nonetheless they've been heard during some joyful moments. Like through headphones while observing the plants and winter flowers - jonquils, bird of paradise, irises - popping up around the neighborhood. Playing through the Bluetooth speaker in the home gym. On the radio, driving home for date night with the aroma of Afghani takeaway filling the car. Brightening the occasional sunny day that always seemed to fall on a Friday.

1. Bronson feat. Lau.Ra - Heart Attack
2. Mild Mins - SWIM (ford. Remix)
3. Crooked Colours - I C Light
4. Glass Animals - Heat Waves
5. The Polish Ambassador feat Pharroh - All I Need
6. Alfie Templeman - Things I Thought Were Mine
7. Dagny - Somebody
8. Transviolet - Long Shot (Mount Pleasant remix)
9. The Naked and Famous - Sunseeker
10. The Chemical Brothers - We've Got To Try
11. The Smith Street Band - I Still Dream About You
12. Yoste - You Can't Fix Me
13. Bombay Bicycle Club - I Can Hardly Speak
14. Mating Ritual feat Lizzy Land - An Honest Mistake

Spring Summer 2019 Playlist

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The 2019 Spring playlist started earlier than usual, with late winter sunshine and happy tunes from Fitz and the Tantrums, and NVDES inspiring a Spotify collection at the earliest August date on record. What then followed was a drought of new additions, only DILLY DALLY and Waax coming out with songs that reminded me of spring storms and blooming flowers few and far between, the majority of new releases drier than average.

Rainfall during spring was less than average across Adelaide and the Hills, and I listened to songs by Phantogram and Plague Vendor during sunlit walks to Woodville railway station, or on weekend drives to Zap Fitness.

Night-time temperatures for spring were generally close to average across Adelaide and the Hills, and sometimes I drove with my windows down listening to Safia on the way home from nights of board games. For some reason I went to a baseball game and it was cold.

Then suddenly it was Summer. The driest December since 1972. I didn’t add a single new song to my Spring (and now Summer) playlist. I was too busy trying to manage migrating docker images from the development into the production cluster, and find alternatives to pie charts because senior management had decided pie charts were misleading. And occasionally there was a lazy summer day like 0171's 1000 Words.

When the New Release Radars of January finally started to include actual new releases and not remixes and covers I was in Brisbane, walking the New Farm Riverwalk listening to Crystal Fighters and enjoying the midday sun at around 7:30 AM. Both daytime and night-time temperatures were generally cooler than average for January, despite several very hot days. It felt like I was either behind the blinds on my computer, or sitting on the balcony, listening to Metric and Creeper and drinking the small assortment of IPAs I ordered myself during Black Friday's click frenzy back in November. February has seemed like it’s more sunset than anything else, and along with Tycho’s Outer Sunset that felt like a good point to wind up this playlist at an hour so I could focus on the Autumn playlist as soon as the next rainy day came.

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