Thursday playlist: Fighting depression

Summer is ending. Just typing those words depresses me. This post is about depression. I get depressed a few times a year and I'm sure most of you probably do too. It's happening to me again. The days are getting appreciably shorter and the light is changing. Our tree is already losing its leaves. Nights are cooling. The certainty of another winter is seeping in. And worst of all, we've reached that point where all those exciting summer travel plans and anticipation and imaginings are coming to an end. And the old predictable routines are returning and winter is just a few months away–and all the restrictiveness and diminishment and sadness that comes with winter. Yes, it must be getting clear to you, that the end of summer depresses me.

But this post is not as much about depression as it is about fighting depression. This Thursday playlist is about those things that help get me through it. Those things that bring me hope. This time of year I have to deliberately collect a list of things that I can look forward to in the coming months. And I invite you (implore you) to contribute your own things to this list. I make this qualification though. I am explicitly avoiding things like upcoming vacations, family gatherings, weddings, birthdays, jobs, moving, all those things that are exclusive. I mean this list to be a compilation of things in which all of us can find some consolation. What things give you hope, dear reader? What buoys your spirits? I want to know. I need to know. Here is the beginning of my list:

1.) TV. I know, ridiculous. But I actually look forward to resuming those old series I enjoy: Entourage and Flight of the Conchords, 30 Rock and The Office. Dexter perhaps. Even, dare I say, another lame season of SNL. What TV do you look forward to?

2.) Grand Theft Auto 4. I know, even more ridiculous. It's been well over 20 years since I wasted time playing video games, but after an afternoon playing this game recently I've totally changed my mind about video games (Thanks Jeremy!). It's best to find a buddy because that's half the fun too. (Trixie wants to add in a very different tone: Thanks a lot Jeremy.)

3.) The Sigur Ros tour. Back in 2002 we saw them play and it was one of the best live music experiences of my life. It's probably hoping too much that it can happen again. But still, the new album has some gorgeous songs on it. If you haven't heard it, here are two of my favorite songs of the year: here and then here.

4.) This scary election on November 4th. I feel like I've been watching a painful TV series EVERY DAY for the last eight years which might just possibly, maybe, finally end with a heart-bursting joyful finale. It makes me so tense thinking about it. I can't think of anything in the next few months that is more gripping.

5.) Getting a new tattoo. It's exciting to think about that. How to add another permanent image to this body and an image that communicates great meaning and does so with aesthetic economy? How fun to think about. And more fun even, since one of our own unnamed contributors currently on sabbatical has just added two new tats of his own.

6.) Getting a new computer. Six years with this one, how nice to upgrade soon.

7.) Fresh home-made apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Seriously, one of the best things about the coming months.

8.) Making more lists. With the Aughts coming to a close just over a year from now, I look forward to that process of sifting through the last nine years of music to rank the pop music output of the first decade of this new millenium. There are a lot of dusty albums that I look forward to thoughtfully reexamining in the coming months. When's the last time you played Yankee Hotel Foxtrot?

That's it so far. It's not much, so I'd love to have more. Please help. In the mean time, since this Thursday post is traditionally a music playlist thing, well, here's the second half of that mix that we posted several months ago. Songs we played most. In case you still care. And here's the tracklist:

1.) Shout out louds – Tonight I have to leave it (Kleerup Remix)
2.) The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover (Crystal Castles vs Simian Mobile Disco Remix)
3.) Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye (Jason Bentley Remix)
4.) Kathy Diamond – Over
5.) Mark Ronson – God Put a Smile upon your Face (Feat. The Daptone Horns)
6.) Matthew Dear – Pom Pom
7.) Bjork – Earth Intruders (Spank Rock Remix)
8.) Sally Shapiro – Anorak Christmas
9.) The Clientele – Here comes the Phantom
10.) Odd Nosdam – The Kill Tone Two
11.) A Sunny Day in Glasgow – 5:15 Train
12.) Panda Bear – Bros
13.) The Field – Kappsta
14.) Dean & Britta – The Sun is Still Sunny
15.) Super Furry Animals – Show Your Hand
16.) Robert Pollard – Pop Zeus

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17.) The Polyphonic Spree – Running Away


40 responses to “Thursday playlist: Fighting depression”

  1. Looking forward to soup. I like to eat soup, but not so much in the summer time.

    Looking forward (and dreading) the election. Really I guess I’m looking forward to the conventions being over and seeing what the actual campaign looks like…

    Very much looking forward to Robyn Hitchcock’s “I Often Dream of Trains” tour in November. I’ve seen him a couple of times but (a) never in a space as grand as Symphony Space and (b) never performing a concept album. Though I guess all his stuff is pretty conceptual, come to that. Got my front-row tix, I’m set!

    Looking forward to getting cable internets, which is supposed to happen next Friday. The DSL has been slow and a pain.

  2. Oh I forgot. Three other things I’m looking forward to: Miyazaki’s new movie “Ponyo on the Cliff”, Pamuk’s new book “The Museum of Innocence”, Saramago’s new book “Death with Interruptions”.

  3. Dave says:

    Fall is probably my favorite season, so I”m looking forward to fall things, like wearing the jacket I bought on sale last week about which the store clerk said that Mario Van Peebles had bought three of the same model just the day before, one for himself and one for each of his sons. And being able to sleep without running the air conditioner. And new music and opera seasons, even though I can’t afford to go to most of the events. Although, before we get to fall, there’s the free Yo La Tengo concert in Williamsburg in a week and a half — sweaty summer bliss, that will be.

  4. One of the benefits of having a kid has been the excuse to keep up with video game culture. I traded a lame fighter for GTA4 yesterday and had my first look, and JFCOAS, if that isn’t the most stunning realization of an interactive city I have ever seen! It is a matter of time before we get a video games exhibit at the MOMA. The medium deserves it.

    If this election goes wrong, I might finally follow through on past threats to move to Canada. I know that sounds cliche, but the last Bush win finally prompted me to apply for my dual citizenship (through Canadian mother). A McCain win might push me to the next step. Then I can get me some of those sweet loonies that spend so much better back here in the states.

    That reminds me of why I hate John Edwards. I don’t care that he had an affair. According to what has been said, if one can believe it, his wife had a pretty good idea about things, and there may have been more of a tacit understanding than the public can see. My problem is simply that it could have lost him the election. If he had been the nominee, and this came out in late November, it could have easily ruined him. He was willing to take that gamble, with so much on th line, and that pisses me off.

    2. “Ponyo on the Cliff?” Awesome! The family will be thrilled to hear.

  5. “Ponyo on the Cliff?” Awesome!

    Indeed. You can find (Japanese-language) trailers for it if you search around a bit. Looks very elegant, I think a little more refined/ethereal than most of the previous Ghibli movies. IIRC the story is of a fish who wants to be human, or possibly a human who wants to be fish, and the identity issues that come with wanting to live in a world which is not your own. Which sounds a bit like “The Little Mermaid” or “Splash”, but I’m trusting Miyazaki to bring more to this plot line than has previously been brought.

    Remembered something else I’m looking forward to: The new Robyn Hitchcock box set, “Luminous Groove” (or “Ludicrous Grove” if you prefer) is set to be released next week! And, the third volume of Drawn and Quartered’s collected Moomin comics series should be coming down the line in a month or two.

  6. Dave says:

    MoMA had some video games in an exhibit earlier this summer.

  7. Marleyfan says:

    I loved the turn from a playlist to a favorite things list.

  8. Jeremy says:

    I’m looking forward to getting regular paychecks again but not, of course, what comes along with that–the beginning of the semester.

    Playing GTA IV with you was a delight, Farrell, even if we caught all kinds of shit for it afterwards…

    I didn’t know that our unnamed former contributor got two more tats! (i am so out of the loop… and i sure do miss said unnamed contributor! do you hear me, unnamed contributor?)

  9. LP says:

    Things I’m looking forward to:

    1. Neil diamond. Yeah.
    2. Football Sundays (I admit it. Guilty pleasure.)

  10. unnamed contributor says:

    still blogging, just over here. feel free to visit and comment from time to time. no comments there yet. make unnamed contributor sad.

    unnamed contributor misses you too. working very hard. just home from playing very hard on three-week vacation too. that make unnamed contributor very happy.

    unnamed contributor like writing in Incredible Hulk voice.

    unnamed contributor want to start commenting more soon but has lots of work to do. starting now.

  11. unnamed contributor says:

    unnamed contributor thanks farrell for playlist part 2.

  12. Rachel says:

    Yes, thanks very much for the playlist. A Farrell/Trixie mix is always most welcome.

    Me wish unnamed contributor would divulge details about new tats. Me glad he still read TGW. Me miss him terribly.

    As for autumn, what’s not to love?! Doesn’t summer kind of overstay its welcome anyway, dog days and all? I love the changing leaves, the note of crispness in the air, the reinvigoration of a new school year (OK, so that’s not universal…). Also a new round of Oscar-contending movies for us to complain about, pomegranates coming back into season, and finally being able to enjoy cooking (not just throwing together cold salads) again. Don’t be sad, Farrell! Fall rocks!

  13. trixie says:

    i agree. i love fall. i even love the beginning of winter- i love lighting a fire in the evening, wearing a scarf and a hat, making pots of soup, hoping for snow.
    i think it’s really fun through early january actually, because of all the holidays (and in my family, many birthdays as well) to plan for and look forward to.
    but late january through march is a big bummer. especially with farrell complaining about how much it sucks all the time. (but he’s so darn cute i let him get away with it…)

  14. farrell fawcett says:

    Unnamed contributor,
    you very funny. you no work. you write many good blog. you very funny. now me leave comment on other blog.

  15. farrell fawcett says:

    Thanks for the cheering up Rachel, yes, fall is a great season. And there’s still some good times left in summer. Also, TMK–thanks for the media recommendations. I haven’t heard of Pamuk. And a Miyazaki movie is definitely something to look forward to. Also, I liked poking around the drawn and quarterly website. Thanks.

  16. farrell fawcett says:

    Oh and thanks rogan for backing me up on the TGA4 thing. Yes, JFCOAS, indeed.

  17. LP says:

    OK, I’ll bite. JFCOAS? Can someone translate?

    ZOMG I’m sick of all these new, unfigure-outable acronyms.

  18. Rachel says:

    I have a guess, but when I say it,the Messiah is on a pony, not a stick.

  19. PB says:

    New Harry Potter, James Bond and Teeny Bopper Vampire Movie (with Watchman in the spring!!!).
    Along with #1: Hot food – I come from peasant people – we like our food mixed in one pot with sauce.

  20. Tim says:

    My favorite thing about fall, and something to which I always look forward: THANKSGIVING! Lots of food? Check. Lots of friends? Check. At least four days off from work? Check. Also, there’s pie. Best. Holiday. Ever.

  21. jeremy says:

    hey, speaking of playlists, have any of you seen this? Blender mag polled Obama and McCain on their top 10 songs. Who would you rather have DJ’ing your next party?

  22. jeremy says:

    and, thanksgiving? bah!

  23. trixie says:

    i don’t see mccain listening to “take a chance on me” by abba. that seems like a thinly veiled pronouncement to whatever loser gives a shit about what he has on his ipod (assuming he has one, or has even ever used one, which i highly doubt)

  24. trixie says:

    also, that image of him and obama jamming out to their tunes on ipods grossed me out.
    i say this as an obama supporter.

  25. jeremy says:

    since he doesn’t use email, apparently, i’m pretty sure mccain doesn’t have an ipod.

    (and, trixie, are you calling me a loser?)

  26. Dave says:

    It’s a Google!

  27. That Blender piece is pretty hilarious. Trixie, how does that image gross you out? It just looks cute and edible to me. But then I guess I’m not associating it (or anything about the article) with actual candidates McCain and Obama. That article seems about 8 miles high to me.

  28. Dave says:

    Farrell, I listened to this mix on the way home from work and at the gym. Thank you. Great stuff. It made me think, “Farrell really has a knack for finding music that makes you feel good when you listen to it,” and reflect that that’s not always my motivation for finding music.

    That Panda Bear track is an answer to Sgt. Pepper’s, I think. Awesome.

  29. trixie says:

    jeremy, you will never be a loser to me, no matter how many hours you log playing GTA4.
    but honestly can you say that you care what’s on mccain’s metaphorical ipod?
    TMK- it grosses me out because i don’t want to think about our future president “jamming” to a “tune”. i don’t want to think about anyone doing that.

  30. trixie says:

    i have to say though that the fugees song that is the top of barry’s list is a really great song. i actually can honestly say that i pretty much am ok with his list, and i am not saying this because i am a supporter of the campaign of barack obama for president in 2008, although,as you must all know, i am.

  31. trixie says:

    this is from farrell:
    ching chang chong!

  32. farrell fawcett says:

    For the record, I renounce that comment, i did not say such an offensive thing. and i find it sickening that anyone would sock puppet farrell fawcett on other related blogs and say such a thing. it is dispicable, although perhaps funny to certain dispicable people. I say it is wrong. And i say that as an obama supporter.

  33. farrell fawcett says:

    also #18: on a sofa.

  34. farrell fawcett says:

    oops, despicable.

  35. farrell fawcett says:

    #18: how about a sled? looking forward to winter.

  36. farrell fawcett says:

    that was trixie. it’s a sofa. sofas are for making love. sleds are for non consensual sex.

  37. trixie says:


  38. Scotty says:

    Sorry to ring in so late on this post. Farrell, I look forward to reading more of your posts. I hope that your and Trixie can both make that happen. I also look forward to stepping outside to grab the paper in my bathrobe and feeling that little rush of cool air. And I look forward to the changing light — I love the fall .

    …and I’m sorry to say, a slight case of melancholia can be a great character in one’s narrative.

  39. LT says:

    autumn is my favorite season (wind, pumpkins, and the best holidays). autumn is also one of my favorite people.

    also also, i propose a gw comment offensive on unnamed contributer’s other blog until tatoo details are appropriately disclosed.

  40. CM Flatt says:

    This will be odd, but I’ve been away from school and home for about two months, and the end of summer for me means getting home and back to school. And I couldn’t be more excited! I get depressed when I’m out of academea for too long, so summer breaks always have me fretting by the end of them. The only thing that keeps me going is working on homework or doing prereading for the upcoming courses. I’m also looking forward to the rain!