Playlists saved my Quarantine

Well, it’s been an interesting month. Six weeks. Eternity.

Hope you’re all doing okay. That you’re healthy, first of all, but that you’re also mentally okay.

I have good days and bad days. I’m a bit of a worrier, so my imagination gets the best of me some days. But I’m hanging in there.

Definitely getting by with a little help from my friends. One bunch, in particular. My core Rock Boat group.

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Sometime at the end of March we decided to start having Thursday night Zoom happy hours. And they are epic. We talk for HOURS. The shortest one was like an hour and a half. Two weeks ago, we started at 8 PM and Jen and I were the last one’s standing at 1 AM.

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Somewhere along the way, the playlists started. Themed collaborative (for the most part) playlists.

The first one was an individual challenge – My Life in 15 Songs. Stacy and I had done this one a few years back, but the rest of the gang hadn’t. So we made it a thing. And a bunch of people made them.

It’s just kept going since then. Something comes up in our conversation, and then it’s dubbed the theme for the coming week’s playlist. We make them collaborative… each person gets to add three songs.

Honestly, these playlists have become my favorite thing about Quarantine. They make me smile. They’re not edited or overthought … They just ARE. And that makes them amazing. And fun. And a little glimpse at all of our personalities.

I love that this particular group of friends all gets it. Music is just our language. I could talk about music with these people forever.

Anyway, since these things are bringing me so much joy, I thought I’d share them here.  They’re all on Spotify…

 

652 square feet

“I did not go outside yesterday.” – Counting Crows, “Millers Angels”

652 square feet.

That’s the size of my apartment.

It’s not big. If you stand at the right place in the apartment, you can see just about every part of it.

Normally, I’m all about my small space. I don’t need a whole lot more than this (although I will freely admit to collecting too much stuff and I could do with spending some time purging some of it). It doesn’t require a ton of effort to do a good solid cleaning. It’s a perfectly fine little apartment.

And right now, it’s pretty much the world I’m stuck in.

Today, I am not doing well with what is happening in the world. Today, I’m sad. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss going to see live music.

And I feel really alone.

Logically, I know I am not. This weekend, I’ve talked to my brother, sister, and nephew, traded text messages and emails with my Dad and stepmom, texted with friends…And tomorrow, I’ll wake up and sit at my table and work, and conference call with co-workers, and give the big presentation I’m supposed to give. I will, indeed, be connected with people.

But right now, this 652 square feet of space feels incredibly small and isolated. And emotionally, I feel cut off from everything.

I’m a worrier by nature, and trust me when I tell you that I’ve worried about this mess every way possible. I worry about people I love getting sick. About how we’re all going to survive this.  I sent my brother cases of instant mac and cheese and beef jerky because I’m afraid he isn’t stocked up. I’m worried about his job, my sister’s job, my job, my friends’ jobs, my Dad and stepmom, my musician friends and how they are going to make it through this, all of the music venues I visit, my 401(k), and yes, whether or not I’m going to have enough toilet paper and toothpaste (I know, shut up, I know).

For the first time since he was born, I’m going to miss my nephew’s birthday. He’s going to be 6. That is crushing me.

Today, I read a news article about a guy who is living on an Italian island by himself. It made me incredibly sad. I think the article was meant to convey hope, but it did the opposite. I can’t imagine a life like this. I’m a mess after a week.

Being online has seemed like a necessity to connect with people, watch online music shows, and generally feel some sort of lifeline to the world…but at the same time,  the amount of doom, gloom, and scary shit is overwhelming. (This coming from the human that often watches “Friends” before going to bed so that she can end her day on a happy note.)

The thought of being stuck in my 652 square feet for 3 and 4 months terrifies me.

There has to be some hope somewhere, right?

Spring Mix time…not talking about salad, gang

Hey, hi, how ya been?

Sorry, I’ve been MIA for a while. No excuses, really. Just haven’t felt like writing. I promise I’ll be better.

For now, though, I’m going to cut to the chase. I’m here to deliver the Spring Mix.

Not gonna lie, folks, I’m REALLY loving this one. It’s long…close to 50 songs! There’s something on this one for everyone… And that run of the first 15 songs? It’s my favorite thing I’ve done in awhile.

I had a lot to say about these songs, so here are the ridiculously long liner notes. Sorry, not sorry?

And because I’m COMPLETELY on top of things – don’t let the Mix fool you – you should see the Spotify playlist below. The Apple playlist refuses to embed, but you can get to it with that link…

Happy almost spring…Hope you find something new to love!



A helpful Spotify tip to avoid totally messing up your Discover Weekly and 2020 Wrapped

The other day, a sorority sister from college – hey Denise, love you! – who shares a love of music sent me a text with a dilemma. She is a masseuse and a fitness instructor, so she plays a lot of music for sessions and classes that she wouldn’t ordinarily listen to.

The problem is, it was completely jacking up her Spotify Discover Weekly playlists, giving her recommendations that weren’t quite in the genre that she enjoys.

There was also a recent news story about folks complaining that their 2019 Spotify Wrapped end-of-year results were a mess because they were listening to meditation or sleep music at night, making their “top tracks” or “top artists” something that they wouldn’t really qualify that way.

So, Denise wanted to know if I knew of a way that she could avoid that from happening.

Confession: I did not. But I’m a really good Googler. And I figured I’d share what I found here because it’s actually super helpful.

Turns out, there’s a way that you can help reduce the likelihood that workout music, sleep music, meditation music, whatever, will influence your Discover Weekly, New Releases, and Wrapped 2020.

It’s called “Private Session.” It takes a little bit of manual work on your part, but if you want to influence your Spotify algorithm, this is the best way I can figure out to keep the integrity of your recommendations to what you want.

How to enable a Private Session on Spotify

So here’s how you do it…

Before you turn on your workout class playlist, your sleep music, or whatever it is you want to listen to in private, take these steps.

Desktop Spotify app

Click the dropdown arrow next to your username in the upper right hand corner of the app and select Private Session.

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Mobile Spotify app

Click on the gear icon for Settings in the upper right hand corner.

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From the menu, choose Social.

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Locate Private Session at the top and use the slider to turn on the Private Session. It will display as green when the Private Session is on.

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Don’t forget to turn the Private Session off

The important thing to remember is to turn the Private Session off when you’re done so that your regular listening can be counted toward your algorithm.

Happy Spotify-ing, kids.

Happy New Year, Happy New Krissie Mix

Hey, gang. Happy New Year. Look at me…January 5 and already making my first post of the year!

In all seriousness, I had hoped to do this post on New Year’s Day, but I got sidelined by a pretty wicked cold/virus thing. Bummer of a way to start the New Year, but I figure it’s gotta be like rain on your wedding day, right…if you start the week out sick, your year can only go uphill, right? After a week being down, I’m feeling mostly like a human…

…and I finished the Winter Mix! This one came together pretty easily…although there were probably about 15 songs that I dropped from it to keep it a reasonable length. Lots of good music has come out in the past few months… New music from Mighty Oaks, Future Thieves, Fort Frances, Mondo Cozmo, Emerson Hart…so many. Bodes well for 2020, methinks.

The Spotify version is embedded below, and the Apple Music playlist is here.

READ THE LINER NOTES: Warning: I had a LOT to say about these songs, so the notes are a little much. You’ll get all up inside my brain…

As always, if you dig something you hear, please support the artist and buy some of their music, merch, or a ticket to a show. And of course, if you have thoughts that you just can’t keep in about any of the music, I always love to hear people’s reactions. Comment below or shoot me a message on the socials – @jrzygyrl just about everywhere.