Here’s what I want to say: Good fucking riddance you shitty fucking year. And I did say it, I’ve thought it and written it. Fuck you you bullshit arbitrary unit of time! Like this:
Because it was bad, right? It seems like everyone’s was bad. Mine was bad. I had a long and difficult cross-country move to a place I didn’t really want to go to. I got COVID at least once, likely twice, and had full-on pissing-out-your-ass liquid diarrhea for almost an entire month. I spent around two months in total sleeping (barely) on a camping cot. I got to add a new trauma to the stack from experiencing what everyone in the room thought was an active shooter situation. I had some rough patches with taxes and money things and ended the year with little confidence that I could make any money at all doing what I had planned to do in 2023. I got fatter and dumber and drunker and got dumped and got angry and got tired and on and on and on and on. That’s just for starters.
But I also don’t want to say good riddance, that it was all shit. Because, well, hey: I’m alive! You’re alive, too, if you’re reading this. We got to exist for another year, and keep existing beyond it. The year was the year I got, and I’m glad to have gotten a year.
And I know, I know I know, it wasn’t all bad. That’s just not a thing. I can paint the sunniest scene in black, and I can turn an already dark image so grim it would make the devil squirm. My big dumb literary imagination is great at that. It’s always the end of the world in my mind, even on the best of days. But a “bad” year? Really? Did I experience 8,760 hours of continuous abject misery? Of course not, of course not.
And that’s why I do things like keep these musical scrapbooks. Reviewing this, it’s hard for me to believe myself when I say that everything about 2022 was shit. Reviewing this, I am reminded of good times with friends, of artists I couldn’t believe I got to see play live, of delightful new TV shows I got to obsess over, of books I got to read, and even some happy feelings of coming out the other side (often limping and bleeding, but still coming out) of particularly bad experiences.
So not all bad, no, but it was a weird and rough year, with lots of time on the road, broken routines, slow and delayed travel, and other stuff I find difficult. So my first observation on review of this playlist is how short it is! Was I not in the scrapbooking habit as much? Was I just not listening to as much music? Likely a bit of both.
Anyway, here I am, here we are. 2022 wasn’t all shit, but there was a lot of shit, and I’m hoping for a whole lot less of it in 2023. We’ll have to see what the scrapbook says.
My usual context and caveats: This is not a party playlist. Using my skills as a former minimum-wage overnight radio personality, I make an effort to sequence the tracks in a pleasurably listenable way. But ultimately this is a personal playlist of songs that caught my ear in 2022, for whatever reason. Sometimes old favorites pass my way and I want to notice them; sometimes I want to bookmark a cool new song I heard on the radio; sometimes I’m explicitly adding songs as a reference point to a specific event, moment, or memory from the year. I share it just to share it, to mark being alive, and with the hope that it might inspire you to keep your own musical scrapbook or do something similarly useful and reflective with the music that comes your way this year. Aren’t we lucky to have music? It’s nice.
|Come on Come on||Nashville Pussy||Ten Years of Pussy|
|Sentimental X’s||Broken Social Scene||Forgiveness Rock Record|
|Meant for Livin’||Mondo Cozmo||Meant for Livin’ – Single|
|11th Street Kids||Hanoi Rocks||Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks|
|The Hand That Held Me Down||Two Gallants||Two Gallants|
|If You Want To||beabadoobee||Patched Up|
|Falling Out of Love at This Volume (Companion Version)||Bright Eyes||A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997: A Companion – EP|
|Shivers||Courtney Barnett||Boxing Day Blues (Revisited) – Single|
|Echo Party||Sylvan Esso||No Rules Sandy|
|Sugarcube||Yo La Tengo||I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)|
|Do Ya Wanna Taste It||Wig Wam||Non Stop Rock’n Roll|
|What Do You Want Me to Say?||The Dismemberment Plan||Emergency & I|
|NAAI IS ‘N LEKKER DING||Die Antwoord||HOUSE OF ZEF|
|The Sun Hasn’t Left||Modest Mouse||The Golden Casket|
|You Got I Want||Prism Bitch||The Getaway – EP|
|The City Has Sex (Companion Version)||Bright Eyes||Letting Off the Happiness: A Companion – EP|
|I Will Find You||Simon Joyner||The Lousy Dance|
|Scared Together||Silversun Pickups||Physical Thrills|
|Literary Mind||Sprints||Literary Mind – Single|
|Western Sunset||Bob Mould||Sunshine Rock|
|Terminator||Goldie & Rufige Kru||Fabio and Grooverider: 25 Years of Drum & Bass|
|Ohm||Yo La Tengo||Fade|
|Carry On Wayward Son||Kansas||The Best of Kansas|
|Drones||Sprints||Manifesto – EP|
|Drive||Gretel Hänlyn||Drive – Single|
|God Was Never on Your Side||Motörhead||Kiss of Death|
|Poisoned Well||Four On The Floor||Maron|
|Punks In The Beerlight||Silver Jews||Tanglewood Numbers|
|A Passing Rain||The Beths||Expert in a Dying Field|
|Make You Suffer||The Mountain Goats||Bleed Out|
|Etc||Foyer Red||Etc – Single|
|Dead Molly||Come||11:11 (Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition)|
|Agenda Suicide||Bright Eyes||Digital Ash in a Digital Urn: A Companion – EP|
|Gonna Lose||Built to Spill||When the Wind Forgets Your Name|
|What Feels Like Eternity||Metric||Formentera|
|Mr. Greives||TV on the Radio||Young Liars – EP|