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Ten Songs Keeping Me Sane This Week: Work Edition

I just got off of nine days in a row as a retail shift lead. This was not a fun stretch by any means. I did four shifts of four to midnight, two shifts of seven a.m. opening, including a clopen (closing one night then opening the next morning), and three night shifts that ended at 10:30. Needless to say I needed my music this last week to keep me going.

1. “The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton” by The Mountain Goats

Merge Records just released All Hail West Texas on vinyl for the first time and of course I preordered it. It is a nice gatefold LP that came with seven extra songs. This was the very first Mountain Goats song I ever heard and I was hooked. The theme of following your dreams even in the face of adversity really struck a chord with me. The refrain/chorus makes for one hell of a singalong too, especially on a long bus ride home at night.

2. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke

I never thought I would ever like a song by Robin Thicke mostly because I have a hard time imagining Alan’s kid being an R and B singer. This song is terrible but it is so fucking catchy. I have never seen the original video but all the random ones going around like the “Blurred Lines” gender flipped video are awesome. Vampire Weekend’s live BBC cover is pretty good, too. I included the video for the classroom instruments version from Jimmy Fallon because Jimmy Fallon and the Roots are awesome.

3. “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” by the Arcade Fire

This is my favorite Regine-led song by the Arcade Fire. The Suburbs is such an underrated album. It is funny that it won album of the year because it is by far the least liked by fans of the band. I have really grown to love it over the last year. It will never be Funeral which is probably in the top five best of the 2000s but overall, it has a better flow than Neon Bible.

4. “Me and My Shadow” by M. Ward

M. Ward is a musician’s musician. He has played on a lot of people’s albums but his solo stuff is really amazing. A Wasteland Companion is probably my favorite M. Ward album but I have only heard a few. This song has just the right late night feel to it. Zooey of course provides one line of backing vocals.

5. “Lost in the World” by Kanye West featuring Bon Iver

This might be my favorite song by Kanye. Of course the Bon Iver sample is actually from the song “Woods” or the song “Still” depending on what Justin Vernon group is singing it. Justin actually provided the vocals in the studio so this is less a sample and more a repurpose by the original artist. “Still get laid in the afterlife” is a lyrical masterpiece. Kanye has a way with words, for sure.

6. “Ænema” by Tool

Best. Tool. Song. Ever. The fact it references Bill Hicks (“See you down in Arizona Bay”) just makes it more awesome.

7. “Cooling” by Tori Amos

This is such an underrated Tori song. It hits me so hard when I listen to it. I had visible sniffles on the bus the other day.

8. “Into Dust” by Mazzy Star

This might be the best song to listen to late at night. It has a very ethereal quality to it that really haunts me.

9. “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle

I am the woman I am today because of Belinda Carlisle. I can remember wanting to be her when I was a little kid. This video had heavy rotation on MTV and I would try to watch it every time it came on. This song is sentimental in helping me realize my innate femaleness. Bonus trivia: the video was directed by Diane Keaton.

10. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert

This song is famous for being written from the hook Mary wrote for “Same Love.” Mary is such an amazing musician in her own right. I hope she can have the break out career Macklemore has had. This song goes out to my wife Carolina.

This week is more hopeful for me. I am glad P-Mag’s new digs are up looking awesome. I should be getting my job transfer in about two weeks. Overall, it’s looking up.

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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