Musical Scrapbook: 2022

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.

You can stream it as a YouTube video playlist up above, or listen on Apple Music or Spotify. Find more reflections and tracks in my 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 musical scrapbooks.

Come on Come onNashville PussyTen Years of Pussy
Love-Lore 3DeerhoofLove-Lore
Sentimental X’sBroken Social SceneForgiveness Rock Record
Meant for Livin’Mondo CozmoMeant for Livin’ – Single
11th Street KidsHanoi RocksBangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks
The Hand That Held Me DownTwo GallantsTwo Gallants
If You Want TobeabadoobeePatched Up
Falling Out of Love at This Volume (Companion Version)Bright EyesA Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997: A Companion – EP
ShiversCourtney BarnettBoxing Day Blues (Revisited) – Single
Echo PartySylvan EssoNo Rules Sandy
SugarcubeYo La TengoI Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Do Ya Wanna Taste ItWig WamNon Stop Rock’n Roll
What Do You Want Me to Say?The Dismemberment PlanEmergency & I
The Sun Hasn’t LeftModest MouseThe Golden Casket
You Got I WantPrism BitchThe Getaway – EP
The City Has Sex (Companion Version)Bright EyesLetting Off the Happiness: A Companion – EP
I Will Find YouSimon JoynerThe Lousy Dance
Scared TogetherSilversun PickupsPhysical Thrills
Literary MindSprintsLiterary Mind – Single
Western SunsetBob MouldSunshine Rock
TerminatorGoldie & Rufige KruFabio and Grooverider: 25 Years of Drum & Bass
OhmYo La TengoFade
Carry On Wayward SonKansasThe Best of Kansas
DronesSprintsManifesto – EP
DriveGretel HänlynDrive – Single
God Was Never on Your SideMotörheadKiss of Death
Poisoned WellFour On The FloorMaron
Punks In The BeerlightSilver JewsTanglewood Numbers
A Passing RainThe BethsExpert in a Dying Field
Make You SufferThe Mountain GoatsBleed Out
EtcFoyer RedEtc – Single
Dead MollyCome11:11 (Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition)
Agenda SuicideBright EyesDigital Ash in a Digital Urn: A Companion – EP
Gonna LoseBuilt to SpillWhen the Wind Forgets Your Name
What Feels Like EternityMetricFormentera
Mr. GreivesTV on the RadioYoung Liars – EP
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