In the middle of a global pandemic that has us all stuck at home, it can be easy to find yourself feeling alone. With all those house shows, concerts, and festivals being cancelled, that feeling may only seem to strengthen.
But the truth is that we are never truly alone. Music is always there to accompany us. In times like these, it is important to remember that fact, and to turn to music for support.
That’s why I asked our FM and daytime DJs to help me come up with a survival guide to this period of isolation that we are all experiencing. I asked, “what’s helping you stay sound during quarantine, and why?” Here’s what they answered.
Greg Bourne, DJ of the FM show “The Pit” said,
“Welcome to Sky Valley” by Kyuss because…
I like to be outdoors, and I really like to drive. This album is the epitome of “cruising” music. Windows down in a beater that barely runs, or laying on a porch and dulling the senses watching the daylight fade and letting the music take you for a ride.
And… “Good Mourning” by The Goners…
Ever wonder what a garage band would have sounded like in the 60’s? The Goners are a bunch of rejects from Psychedelic, and Surf bands because all they wanted to do was hang out in a basement all day. The motivation is there, but they’re used to the whole self-isolation routine.
And a final track, “The Sciences / Leagues Beneath” by Sleep because…
Sleep is what happens when you get a bunch of dudes who all think that “Sweat Leaf” is the best Black Sabbath song ever written. They praise Iommi and the power of the riff, Giza Butler bass lines send them into a hazy trance. They also really like space, gardening, and Fuzz pedals.
Daytime DJ Bailey from “The Hive” shared his picks,
Joy Division’s “Isolation” because…
[It’s] a little eerie and depressing but I think it captures the feeling of being alone against your will. The band sounds especially grotesque here, and Curtis really sounds like he’s at the end of his rope, which is something I think everyone will be able to find some solace in.
And “Life During Wartime” from Talking Heads which is…
Not necessarily about illness, but it encompasses a more absurd and lighthearted dimension to the nature of being trapped in isolation due to a power that’s completely out of your control. You can also groove around to it, so it’s something to ease tensions while staying true to current events. Good song to counteract the previous one!
Daytime DJ Leija Rothenberg shared her thoughts and picks here;
For some reason, the music I have gravitated towards recently is the stuff I listened to when I was being an ~angsty teen~ in high school, such as Castlebeat’s self titled album, the album Wild Heart by Current Joys, and Depression Cherry by Beach House. This music has some depressing lyrics, but the shoegaze-y instrumentals soothe me, as well as give me a sense of nostalgia and perspective about what were then my biggest problems in the world, that now feel so small and trivial compared to this crisis.
Daytime DJ Joe Ippolito of the show “The Cutting Room” said,
“Bring the Sun / Toussaint L’Ouverture” by Swans, because you finally have time to listen to the entire song.
Denise, host of the daytime show, “The Dinner Party,” said,
Last night, I made a playlist titled “Shaking My Ass Alone in My Room.” It was 2am and I was playing 8 Ball with my ex. These are the only three songs on that playlist. This is how I’m staying alive during quarantine,
“4EVER” by Clairo
“Say So” by Doja Cat
“Feelings” by Caroline Polacheck
FM DJ Ramblin’ Rose who found herself “too young to be singing the blues” when her radio career got cut short by the pandemic, suggested these tunes;
“Magical Mystery Tour” by The Beatles
“Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” by Fairport Convention
“Touch Me I’m Sick” by Mudhoney
“Corona” by Minutemen
“Waiting For The End of the World” by Elvis Costello
“Get Me Away From Here, Im Dying” by Belle and Sebastian
“Don’t Stand So Close To Me” by The Police
“Ghost Town” by The Specials
“Lost in the Supermarket” by The Clash
“Sick, Sick, Sick” by Queens of The Stone Age
“It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M.
With these tracks, Ramblin’ Rose, known as Sacha off the air, shared these sentiments,
A friend of mine reached out to me and spoke about how he was dealing with quarantine. He said he was listening to the Beatles just to get into a happy place. I can’t agree more. If there is one fact about me, I would consider myself a Beatles fanatic. So I decided to go through my vinyl collection and the first thing I see is a bright yellow cover. It was the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. The album that takes me back to my childhood, specifically the title track . I can envision a spunky little girl running around strawberry fields and dreaming of magical creatures. It’s a poppy experimental album filled with songs from previous recordings. Highly recommend this film if you just want to laugh.
But instead of feeling down, I wanted to connect with others who may be having the same thoughts of confusion. Imagination and creativity stems from human connection. In times of crisis, people will come together regardless of socioeconomic background. New Paltz is a place of comfort, my second home for four years and although it’s hard to say goodbye to my undergrad years, I’m excited to finally become a full grown adult. The Magical Mystery Tour is ready to take me away. To my fellow DJs, Valerie Truco, my guests and most all my listeners, thank you. As I always would say on my show, I’m Ramblin Rose and I’m signing off on the Edge.
Another FM DJ, and member of our Executive Board, Jack Kiessel, said,
When I think of isolation the song that comes most to my mind is the song “Humility” by Gorillaz, featuring George Benson from the album The Now Now. The song evokes a feeling of longing for connection with others. This song is smooth and relaxing making for a great selection during this difficult time.
Daytime DJ Alli Dempsey of “Dempsey’s Discoveries,” suggested these tracks!
Alli’s Isolation Playlist:
“Don’t Go Wasting Time” by Alfie Templeman
It’s impossible to feel like you’re wasting time right now, but I’ve rediscovered Alfie Templeman during this break and have been bumping this sunny tune for a good portion of my Personal Corona Nightmare. I actually interviewed him in 2016, and it’s crazy to see how much he’s grown! This song is definitely keeping my hopes up during these weird cold days for the summer, which I really hope is actually going to be a thing.
“All the Time” by Bahamas
“I got all the time in the world…” Yes, I do! This is another summer-sounding song that I play when I want to skip to July in my mind. It makes me feel better when I’m being lazy because self-quarantining isn’t always productive for me. It’s truly the perfect jam for lounging around in your bed that you have not left in 4 days.
“I Don’t Wanna Die” by The Unicorns
With the way the world is right now, it sure seems like the end of all things is near. This is a very fitting bop for this feeling. The Unicorns are just one of my new musical discoveries that I’ve been occupying myself with during this extended break, and the title pretty much speaks for itself. Just remember, you can’t feel too scared when you have good tunes playing through your earphones.
“Is It Raining In Your Mouth?” by Fat White Family
FWF has been another musical discovery this break, and a lot of their songs are the perfect amount of chaotic, this one being included. I feel like it could have been in an episode of The End Of The F***ing World, so I think that’s enough explanation as to why I’ve been bumping it during these times.
“I’ll Believe In Anything” by Wolf Parade
I had to end my list with a hopeful, happy sounding song! If my Corona “vacation” was a movie, this song would play once everything finally ends and I take my first step outside in days as the credits roll. It just makes me feel like everything is going to be okay, a reassuring feeling that I think we all need right now. I hope that this song invokes the same sense of hope in everyone that it does for me.
Daytime DJ Angelise Farina said,
I’ve been into the garden’s new album and any other city by life without buildings. my featured picks from those are
“Kiss My Superbowl Ring” by The Garden
“AMPM Truck” by The Garden
“New Town” by Life Without Buildings
“14 Days” by Life Without Buildings (because that’s how long we’re supposed to quarantine for… lol).
I’ve also been enjoying
“Sweet” by Porridge Radio
“New Job” by Dry Cleaning
These are all post-punk influenced with more frantic spoken vocals and noisy guitar, which has been cathartic in a time where we haven’t been able to exert much energy outside of our homes!
Thank you to all our daytime and FM DJs for their music picks. We wish we could have you all back on air to help us through quarantine, but we can only put the music on and get through this together while apart. For my personal picks, which I wish I could have been spinning on Off the Record these past few Friday nights, I chose,
“Home” by Caribou because that’s where I am. Back home in my apartment with my family, I can throw this track on a feel a bit better about not being able to leave.
“What Happens to People?” by Deerhunter… the lyrics are all you need to understand why I picked this one… “What happens to people? / Their lives up in arms… I can’t remember / Your face / It’s lost to me.” Luckily, we have technology nowadays that makes it nearly impossible to forget someone’s face, even in the midst of a pandemic that keeps us all away from one another.
“Where’d All The Time Go?” by Dr. Dog seems to take on a new meaning in times like these… “She gets dressed up like a pillow so she’s always in bed…” Time itself has taken on a new meaning, or lack of meaning in the past few weeks. Maybe one day we’ll find out where it all went.
And lastly, “Hysteria” by Kurt Vile, for obvious reasons.
Thank you to all our DJs, staff, and listeners. Stay safe, and put the music on. You’re never truly alone.