Playlist: Fall 2014 — Those Peanut Butter Vibes

Hello, friends. (I don’t know why I’ve been saying that a lot lately. I particularly enjoy walking into a room and saying, “Hello, friend” to a cat.) I have been working on this playlist for a long time. In fact, it was originally called “Summer 2014 — Those Peanut Butter Vibes.” The good news is that peanut butter vibes are delicious any time of year.

There’s a lot of new stuff on here, and not too many of those songs I seem to include on just about every playlist I ever make. I’ve been trying to branch out! And branching out has been fun! You’ll notice there’s a lot of Glass Animals. They’re probably the best band in the world right now. We saw them live at Larimer Lounge last night and they were fantastic. Best show I’ve seen in a long time, which isn’t saying much because I haven’t been to all that many shows, but really they were very, very good live. The sound was tight and you could tell they were really into what they were doing. Plus the crowd was super into it, the way the crowd can only be into a show of a newish band at a small venue. Do you know what I mean?

This is a tangent, but hang on for a second. I’ve realized that the biggest musical disconnect I have with (and I hate to use the phrase “people my age,” but) people my age is that I don’t want to listen to music I listened to when I was in high school or college. I don’t even want to listen to music I listened to when I was in my 20s. There are always exceptions, of course — even I throw in the occasional Jesus and Mary Chain track. But the point is I don’t like old music, and I don’t even particularly like music performed by old people. And to me in terms of music, you’re old at a much younger age than you’re old in real life. It’s like sports. Ben has a theory that bands have a 2-year window: you’re good for 2 years and then you should quit and do something else. I’d probably be slightly more generous and say maybe there’s a 4-year window (e.g., MGMT probably should’ve called it quits after Congratulations). In any event, maybe “old” means band age, not person age.

And that’s the problem I had with Riot Fest. It was a lot of old people playing old music. People my age ate it up and tweeted about it every second for days. I smoked some weed and listened to alt-J at home, which kind of disproves my theory because they’ve been around since 2007. But you get what I’m saying, maybe.

And I know it’s not right to hate the Cubs because of Cubs fans or to hate Jesus because of freakshow Christians, but old bands can have annoying fans. You have the old guy at the show talking about how he’s been listening to the Flaming Lips or whoever for years and he’s so cool and legit and hip and you could just die of boredom. When you have a new band playing at a small venue where you have to squeeze onto a tiny sticky floor while you feel each individual bead of sweat roll down your back and ration your beer because you can’t lose your spot to get another one and it’s the only liquid you’ll have to consume and you’re thirsty from the grueling workout of loving this band so hard your heart feels exhausted by the end, there’s no cool factor. There’s no I knew them when. There’s no live tweeting. There’s no giving a shit about anything other than being there for the music, and you know all the words and so does everybody else. And that’s what I’m into.

Long story short, if you can see Glass Animals live, please do, and if you can get there early enough to catch opening act Rome Fortune, do that, too. And for a limited time you can get the whole playlist and a pdf of the track list here. It is important to put the songs in the correct order (I tried numbering them but it didn’t seem to carry over when I tested the download). If you want to see what you’re in for before downloading, here you go:

Fall 2014 — Those Peanut Butter Vibes

Away Frm U – Oberhofer
Cool Song No. 2 – MGMT
Firework – New God
Sowing Seeds – The Jesus and Mary Chain
Mind Mischief – Tame Impala
Black History Month – Death From Above 1979
Miracle Mile – Cold War Kids
Every Other Freckle – alt-J
West Coast – Mainland
Do You – Spoon
Penelope – Pinback
Ben’s My Friend – Sun Kil Moon
40 Day Dream – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
How Can You Really – Foxygen
Fire It Up – Modest Mouse
Gooey – Glass Animals
1998 – Chet Faker
Cruel Intentions (Single Version) – Simian Mobile Disco
Fiona Coyne – Saint Pepsi
Les Voiles – POOM
Chandelier (Plastic Plates Remix) – Sia
New Dorp New York (feat. Ezra Koenig) (Belarbi Remix) – SBTRKT
Losing My Edge – LCD Soundsystem
Amateur – The Eyes in the Heat
Jamaica (Plastic Plates Remix) – Van She
Even If I’m Loud it Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking to You – Tove Styrke
Sick Beat – Kero Kero Bonito
High Pressure Days (Todd Terje Remix) – The Units
#1 in Heaven – MDNR
What Else is There (Trentemoller Remix) – Royksopp
Hold On – The Chain Gang of 1974
Drone Logic – Daniel Avery
Boy From School – Hot Chip
Pools – Glass Animals
No Diggity – Chet Faker
Love Lockdown – Glass Animals
(You to Be) Be Happy – R Kelly feat. Notorious BIG


Step 1 of healing from loss involves music. Really good music. Fortunately, I’ve discovered some. Like this song. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard. It’s the musical equivalent of lying on the beach with your eyes closed under your sunglasses, letting the waves wash over you until you obtain a state of bliss. (And good news! Glass Animals are playing at Larimer Lounge on September 25. There is nothing better than discovering a new band when it’s at what I refer to as Larimer Lounge Level. It’s when a band is awesome but not too big. Once a band plays at Red Rocks or the Fillmore it’s just not as exciting.) (Playlist coming very soon. Music is just about the most important thing in the world to me right now.)

Sunday Smoothies

Sunday smoothie

Saturday nights are for, well, partaking and other fun things. Sunday mornings/early afternoons are for running and having a smoothie. I’ve finally perfected my Sunday smoothie, like so:

  • one banana (preferably frozen)
  • up to one pint strawberries (I usually use 1/2 to 3/4 of a pint) (preferably frozen)
  • 6 nice big kale leaves, stems removed
  • one cup water (or ice if your banana and strawberries aren’t frozen)
  • one Medjool date, pit removed

Put that all in your fancy blender and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

Also here’s a good Sunday song for you.

Twisted Diamond Heart / I’m the Weekend Warrior

MGMTAnother bad picture of MGMT

We walk through the cold air conditioning to the outside area, where it’s stifling hot, and get seats at the concrete bar. I’ll either get panicky or forget about the heat. As we look around, we realized we’re in an 80s teen movie. I always play the same character in these movies: one of the freaks, standing at a distance assessing everything and providing “witty” commentary. Sometimes I don’t want to be this character any more but by now I’ve been typecast.

“You can smoke out here!” he says, and sure enough, there are ashtrays spaced at even intervals on the bar. So retro.

As a woman, it’s hard to walk the line between looking like you’re trying too hard and looking like you’re not trying at all. I try to accomplish this by wearing something interesting and never doing anything to my hair or wearing eye makeup. Actually the hair and eye makeup aren’t part of a plan. For years, I would spend hours getting ready to go anywhere. Now, I’d rather do anything than stand around a bathroom putting on mascara or, worse, eyeliner. I figure I use the time saved to work out instead. I’m wearing a patterned, sheer dress that makes you look like a butterfly if you hold your arms out, brown fringey ankle boots, big earrings, giant glasses.

The other women here are wearing sleeveless sheath dresses with belts. The men are wearing polos. All of them. That’s right, it’s an 80s teen movie. Someone is Anthony Michael Halling a woman who looks like she just came from a wedding shower where she had to feign enthusiasm over bad drinks and her friend’s upcoming wifedom. Matthew Broderick is nowhere to be seen (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is highly overrated).

We drink our canned IPAs and aside from an occasional why in the hell did I wear boots ping I’ve forgotten about the heat. In my many years of observing people I’ve learned two things about being an appealing woman: (1) have shiny hair; (2) walk like a runway model. I try to do these things even though I technically don’t need to be appealing to people in bars or anything but it’s nice to maintain at least some relevance. A guy in a turquoise polo might be checking me out as I fiercely tromp to the bathroom.

We have time for only one beer before it’s time to sit in front of someone’s exceptionally fancy house smoking weed and then head to the show.

“I wonder what it’s like to live here and have to deal with all the people going to shows.”

“Fuck, man, they’re really rich,” which can mean either fuck them or they have ways of dealing with it.

I honestly didn’t realize “80s” was still a viable fashion decision. Fashion blogs have moved on from this except when they post photos from a roadtrip that involves a music festival in rural England. I quickly realize that headbands worn the way I want to wear them (around the head, like an NBA player, not like Blair Waldorf) tend to read as trying too hard even though I wish they didn’t, plus they run the risk of pushing your hair up so the top of your head looks like a loaf of bread.

I do, however, need a shirt with a cat on it. A fashionable one, not the kind an actual cat lady would wear. (Full disclosure: I have at least one of those.)

It’s been a long time since we’ve been to a show. I don’t remember what it’s like to be in a dark place where the music pulses under your skin. It’s crowded (but not ridiculously so) and hot, so very hot, in the Fillmore. We scope out the first floor and as promised, it’s big and flat, not sloped like most venues (it was originally designed as a roller rink). This is why I wore heels, but the boots were a terrible idea. We end up upstairs anyway because even in heels, with all the dudes here if we stay downstairs I’m probably going to end up trying to peer over people’s heads all night. The good news is I’m high and I love everybody.

The opening band sounds like Def Leppard had sex with some hipsters who recreationally hunt raccoons. The sound is terrible, too quiet and too echoey at the same time, and I can’t tell if they’re good. I might kind of like them because I love everybody. Still, we don’t need to see this so we sit against the wall and watch people go by and check out some artwork that’s on the wall above us. The crowd is 1/2 80s teen movie, 1/2 random normal people, and 1/2 teenagers on spring break in Miami. (I say “Miami” in my best Fiona Glenanne voice.)

“You watch too much tv.”

This is true but I hate to admit it because I’ve reached the Mexican yoga blanket stage of hipsterdom and hate to be so common. “So you’re saying Abu Nazir is in the country?!” (We’ve been watching season 2 of Homeland because we got free Showtime for a while after our internet got screwed up. I refuse to watch any of those fancy-cable-network shows but this one because it’s so good and we’re not paying for HBO or that shit after our free trial runs out.) This becomes our inside joke for the rest of the weekend. A shady figure leaning in a doorway. Two matching helicopters flying overhead. So you’re saying Abu Nazir is in the country.

I note the women who look awesome; there are fewer of them than I’d imagined. The crowd isn’t what I expected, not quite a parade of models who look like they just had sex with the Free People catalog in the back of a VW bus. People are real. People are bored. People wear athletic shoes to concerts. Not necessarily stylish athletic shoes — the ones you’d wear while “cross training” at a strip mall gym. It takes a while to realize we’re drinking the wrong beers and then we trade and oh, that’s so much better.

I am deeply in love with MGMT in general and Andrew VanWyngarden in particular (Congratulations on your face!), so when MGMT starts we find a place to stand, behind a couple, just outside the VIP area, where the sound is decent and we’re at the edge of the balcony so we can see. Aside from the one time he goes to get a beer for us to share (at $10 a pop, we were trying to minimize the damage) we don’t move from this spot until the show is over.

They play a lot of stuff from Congratulations and I love this, bobbing my head and singing every word. It’s not really dancey music. A few songs in, he says, “Nobody here knows any of these songs except you.” I’d normally be the one to make a snotty observation, but the pot really takes the edge off. I’m exceptionally charitable tonight and not ready to admit this is true until they play the hits: Electric Feel, Time to Pretend, Kids, and the crowd changes from the kind of creek even I’d raft on to a rollicking ocean, arms up, everybody into it. Everybody, even the rich people down the street, screams at just the right time: Decision to decisions are made and not bought but I thought this wouldn’t hurt a lot I guess not!

Because I am deeply in love with Andrew VanWyngarden I also don’t want to admit that I see the Robert Smith influence seeping in through the seams of his oversized white shirt. Even he comments on it. “I know,” I say, rolling my eyes at the absurdity of it (my deep teenage love for The Cure did not survive to adulthood and now I find Robert Smith tedious and unappealing), “I’ve been noticing that for a while.” I’ve never heard Andrew VanWyngarden even mention The Cure, but it’s there, the same way a writer doesn’t tell you what he enjoys reading because then you see the influence in everything he writes.

When the show is pretend over, quite a few people leave, either because they’ve never been to a concert or because they heard the hits and are ready to go stand around Colfax bars waiting for something exciting to happen. After a not-too-long wait, MGMT comes back out and plays a new song and Siberian Breaks, which, if you left before they played Siberian Breaks you might as well spend the rest of the weekend listening to Pitbull, drinking Coors Light, and eating McDonald’s (that’s the best insult I can come up with right now because like I said, I’m exceptionally charitable; MGMT makes me soft). Stay far gone for all eternity.

We kind of mean to go somewhere after, but we’re tired and go home, where he falls asleep and I eat bread cheese, my latest food obsession. Bake it until it’s nice and melty and serve, for example, with fancy apricot preserves or, lightly salted, with pumpernickel bread (recipe here).

As they say, collect experiences not things. We are well on our way to destroying the fun deficit.