playlisting

it’s alright, it’s okay: another playlist

Otter-Pops

it is sticky hot outside and the world is ending one day at a time. here is a playlist full of songs that will hopefully feel a little bit like a cool breeze, like wading into water, like distraction, maybe like peace.

wild – troye sivan ft. alessia cara
still too long ’til the weekend still too long ’til i drown in your hands

you don’t get me high anymore – phantogram
man i am faking it the best i can

rotten teeth – holychild ft. kate nash
i can never be the girl i wanna be no no i’m never free

blessings – chance the rapper
when the praises go up the blessings come down

sometimes – ariana grande
i ain’t even think of leavin’ sometimes

ice cream colours – corinne bailey rae
you make me dream in ice cream colours

kick, push – lupe fiasco
so we kick push kick push coast

red lights – chloe x halle
turn off the world dance with myself like ballerinas

moth to the flame – chairlift
i can’t help it i’m a moth to the flame

you’re the best – wet
well baby you’re the best we’ll figure out the rest

i love you always forever – betty who
you’ve got me almost melting away

thursday girl – mitski
glory to the night it shows me what i am

god only knows – the beach boys
as long as there are stars above you you never need to doubt it

boyfriend – tegan & sara
i need to know the rules if you want me to play

electric love – børns
she’s sweet like candy in my veins

radio – lana del rey
now my life is sweet like cinnamon like a fuckin’ dream i’m livin’ in

When Your Heart Begins to Break: a playlist for endings

It’s December, and the year is ending, and so are a lot of other things. It’s my last year of high school, and I can’t not be thinking about that all the time. I keep telling my friends we made it through, we really made it, because we’re only a few months away and we’ve been waiting for so long. There’s a time to think about the future and a time to set goals and plan ahead and motivate ourselves for a sparkling new year, but that time is not now.

I can’t not think about how it’s my last year of high school, and I can’t not get sentimental about that fact. I think one of the reasons the world is so irritated by teenage girls is because they forgot, they just forgot what it’s like to feel everything so deeply, to have every high and low stretched to the point of bursting. I am constantly in fear that my heart will break. People don’t like to remember what it was like being a teenager, mostly because it’s embarrassing, we’re all so embarrassing at 16, but also partly because it hurts a little too much to remember who they were when they first felt the cracks form.

I don’t know if I want to forget, because I don’t know if I’ll ever feel full to the point of bursting ever again. Maybe it’s not the best thing to feel that way, but damn it if it’s not satisfying. I sit with my friend in the car and we’re dancing even though she should really be looking at the road and we scream the words together, and I know in that instant that she cares just as much about this moment as I do. Isn’t that just gorgeous? That I can be sure that someone is feeling just exactly the same thing as me? That I can be sure that I’m not the only one who’s terrified her heart will break?

The point is that it’s not over yet, but it’s ending. It was forever and it’ll be gone soon, and these two things exist in conjunction with each other. I wish I knew a way to not ache over this, but there’s no way not to hurt over the end of a forever. All I know right now is that I can sing along to the music that made me and be sure that this feeling passes through all of us, at least until the song ends and our voices start to break.

Playlist

Wake Up – Arcade Fire
If the children don’t grow up
Our bodies get bigger, but our hearts get torn up

Heroes – David Bowie
Though nothing will keep us together,
We could steal time, just for one day,
We could be heroes, forever and ever

XO – Beyonce
Your heart is glowing,
And I’m crashing into you

Don’t Forget Where You Belong – One Direction
If you ever feel alone — don’t,
You were never on your own,
And the proof is in this song

Long Live – Taylor Swift
For a moment, a band of thieves in ripped-up jeans
Got to rule the world

Smile – Mikky Ekko
Got nowhere to turn,
And we’ve got nothing but time
But the future is forever,
The future is forever

The Kids from Yesterday – My Chemical Romance
Here we are and we won’t stop breathing
Tell it out ‘till your heart stops beating

Outro – M83
I’m the king of my own land
Facing tempests of dusts, I’ll fight till the end

 


Asif Becher is a 16 year old recently discovered cat lady who lives in the desert. She is often asked to “chill” about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Taylor Swift, a suggestion she finds absolutely ridiculous. You can find her on Twitter and on tumblr.

and i will grow out of all the empty bottles in my closet

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 5.24.32 PM

and i will grow out of all the empty bottles in my closet : november 2015

you wouldn’t like me – tegan and sara
up the wolves – the mountain goats
violet – hole
all your favorite bands – dawes
swan dive – waxahatchee
something bad – julia nunes
atoms – nana grizol
if you’re feeling sinister – belle and sebastian
me and you again – kelsey waldon
blowin’ in the wind – bob dylan
chinatown – girlpool
fast car – tracy chapman
the sound of settling – death cab for cutie
anywhere but here – chumped
gypsy – suzanne vega
fuck was i – jenny owen youngs
running on empty – jackson browne

 

 

i have been trying to pray, as an act of comedy and desperation, which are the same. i cannot bear myself so i make my mind a telephone and all the thoughts for someone else who is listening who does not exist who does not care about me who loves my soul because it’s criminal who will deliver me (deliver me!!) who lives above my grandmother’s piano on a glossy piece of woodwork, a maudlin t between the picture frames. at mass on all saints day in black jeans i was ruined already i said, have me, anybody, any of you. take these pieces. i have been trying to pray.

 

when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i think of pink bubbled fingertips burnt on ironed hair like pretty fake five dollar fried silk disgusting on the floor and chair and bed sheets after the rain messy soft and broken smooth. i was trying. and so many dressed like boys and moved like cats and more smelled like sugar. sugar on fire and sticky prom palms. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i see my new white sneakers stolen at the mall, from a display of sweaters, from a plastic bag. and i cried because i had known exactly what i was when i walked circles in those shoes across the speckled carpet and the loss seemed unsurmountable and the loss was an attack and i think maybe they cost forty dollars and i cried. i was nine they were nikes they were like my best friend’s. she ran faster than me. i didn’t know her anymore in middle school i let my hair grow out in middle school i found denim skirts in middle school. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i am playing redbutt on the blacktop and it is important not to wince when the ball hits you and it is important to wish it came harder to show no tears when you turn to taller boys who understand you as a creature that should be embarrassed all the time it is important to splay your fragile fingers without fear and i put my face right on the bricks. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i am thirteen and i put my ponytail up higher and i run and i run and i know the sound of so many pairs of purple cleats in the same dirt and i shave away the untouched weakness on my thighs so they won’t see it in the sun and we sit in spandex laps later and we smell like sweat if sugar sweat we smell sweet when we’re tired we taste like when something is ending already at the very start. the flipbook fast heartbreak of something almost like ease.

 

when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i get religious i get religion i get god from their discarded t-shirts like fallen soldiers from the sun through pink curtains part where they saw me over their shoulders saw me saw me i say the rosary and every bead is a noise of barely choked exuberance when she made a mean joke is a mangled pinky finger from a preschool break is a lie to spare my feelings that i caught and pretended not to is thick & full biotin & collagen shampoo and only blue m&ms. i see the slant of their handwriting badly imitated on my own papers and i think everyone who has ever died knows now exactly how afraid i am of living. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i am dressed as a football player for fourth grade halloween i am abandoning soccer for field hockey and girls with glossed mouths i am buying rap music i am running until i am sick and sick and as happy as i’ve ever been there to fall over helpless take me i’m yours. when i think of all the girls i have ever tried to be i am giving back their secrets i am braiding them with my own unspoken songs i am in a small dark room somewhere forever writing each of them a book of love poems that read like an apology. all of yours that was golden turned green against my skin, i say, and i am sorry that i took it. i was trying.

 

when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i see them as their parts i feel their old jeans i smell their skin taste crooked nailbeds and fine points of fraying baby hair at the base of so many necks. smiles full of teeth a doctor fixed and purple under beige under eyes and all the soap. every scar and cruel impulse i detected i devoured and it made them only more the magic it made me lean my head in closer yes tell me you are the monster i’ve been waiting for i need someone to fear. it wasn’t like that. it’s not that way. i look inside my closet all the time still, won’t someone eat me alive? when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i’m counting up my own pieces to see what can be saved. can i salvage the new electric bodily animation of being in love? swallow the want back into me til my tired stomach lining says no more, revolts, my insides are asleep out of self-preservation. you’ve fucked us up bad. weak ankles and swollen eyes and spite like spoiled red wine i carry i keep in new costumes with new faces. if i laugh in a booth with my friends, their vibrating builds and shaking hands, if i pretend i am a person does the small death at my center feel betrayed? eating breakfast seems inconsiderate when your minor organs are at war. when i think of all the girls i have tried to be i’m naked at the grocery store waiting for a sign in warbled fingerprint writing on the frozen aisle glass. what will you be?

i like confession, keep a Mary candle at my bedside i tell her hey girl please. please. cross myself until my arms ache i pull my hair out still I’m grown. first penance is a ceremony and i wore red shoes. first penance gave permission from god to be sorry all the time and i took it i was thirsty. O my god i am sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins. O my god because of Your just punishments. Just punishments. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good i have sinned against you i am seven years old please strike me down so that i can be born again with ashley’s fine bones and worth loving i am sixteen years old please whip the skin he ever touched my mouth and other open spots stained with whiskey and doritos i am trying O my god. i am twenty three years old and i only believe in my horoscope and no indoor heating before thanksgiving please cleanse me of the foolish notion that i know anything of love. in choosing to do wrong and failing to do good i made my heart into a new age smoothie my god have mercy.

Songs About Endlessness: A Playlist

I like to imagine a little world, floating above our own, in which things don’t end. Everything, from the lights at the concert glowing brighter and brighter and that amazing conversation you had with someone you barely knew about how Taylor Swift totally wrote a Paramore song that one time, to the worst nights and all the crying fits. It sounds kind of horrifying, it is kind of horrifying, but there’s also a comfort to perpetuity, isn’t there? In a little world where nothing ever ends, there can be infinite you’s, all running parallel existences. Every second of your life, every single incarnation of you there has ever been, would have its own place as a completely separate entity in this world, and it makes a strange kind of sense because every second of your life is different, isn’t it? You are different every second of your life. What I’m trying to say is a little world in which nothing ends isn’t all that different from an actual lived reality. (Sidenote: this idea of endless existence is the whole basis of fanfiction and even fan culture in general. The space for the thing you love is all filled up, so you take what you love and you make a new home for it–an object in motion stays in motion and you have no reason to jump in its way).

In this world where everything runs in straight lines, unobstructed and never ending, I like to think that there is always music. It’s in this world that songs that end on a fadeout are never quieted, they just repeat those last lines over and over and over and over and over and—you get my point. The beat syncopates on, the humming synth breathes in-out forever. Songs that aren’t just immortalized, but actually immortal. A memory, a feeling, in a form where it can last on and on.

Each of these songs promise forever in their own way, whether that be eternal love or longing or pain or loneliness. I’ll never want to let you go is different than I never want to let you go is different than I’ll never let you go. You can’t promise the latter, but you can be sure that the wanting is forever. Forever isn’t a concept in these songs; it’s a place. A place where the people are talking people are talking people are talking (but not you), where all I want to be is yours yours yours. The days are long here on these endless road trips with a girl who can see right through you. In this place of forever, you are ever spinning, a voice caught in a round that echoes on and on, threads of melody endlessly weaving themselves together and ripping themselves back apart. No time, no time, no time, sure, but also there’s no time here, in this place where you repeat words often enough that they float off into the little world where everything is endless. It’s a strange notion, that things don’t have to end. But like all the strangest things, it’s just a little bit magical.

You always seem to miss how things were. You always seem to be missing something, even as it’s still happening. The writer of the song has probably changed genres, the band has probably rearranged their lineup, the singer may have gotten sick and stopped making music. But the song lives on, lingering in a world where nothing ever, ever, ever ends.

Playlist

Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen
Hold onto me
I’ll never want to let you go

A World Alone – Lorde
People are talking, people are talking
Let ’em talk cause we’re dancing in this world alone, our world alone
We’re all alone

I Wanna be Yours – Arctic Monkeys
I wanna be yours I wanna be yours I wanna be yours I wanna be yours

Hannah Hunt – Vampire Weekend
Our days were long and our nights no longer
Count the seconds, watching hours
Though we live on the US dollar, you and me, we’ve got our own sense of time

Take Care – Beach House
Deep inside the ever-spinning, tell me does it feel
It’s no good unless it’s real, hillsides burning
Wild-eyed turning till we’re running from it

Eyes – Rogue Wave
We’ll be washing my hands of attachments, yeah,
Land on the ground, one thing I’m missing is in your eyes

The Chain – Ingrid Michaelson
I’ll never say that I’ll never love
But I don’t say a lot of things
And you, my love, are gone

Wait – M83
No time, no time
There’s no end, there’s no goodbye
Disappear with the night
No time, no time

God Only Knows – the Beach Boys
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?

Strange Magic – Electric Light Orchestra
You’re walking meadows in my mind
Making waves across my time


Asif Becher is a 16 year old recently discovered cat lady who lives in the desert. She is often asked to “chill” about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Taylor Swift, a suggestion she finds absolutely ridiculous. You can find her on Twitter and on tumblr.

Codas: A Playlist

I’m of the opinion that it’s in the details that all the most precious things in the world live. I walk into someone’s room, and I see the books on the end table, the Post-Its stuck to the desk, the way the light catches their eyelashes, and that’s all that I really need to believe they are fragile and lovable. Vulnerability in intimacy, in the minutiae of being a person. It’s also the little moments that make you. It’s rare that the cathartic revelations of your life happen in a rainstorm with an appropriately timed Bon Iver song in the background. You break down when you wonder if you mean anything in your school bathroom in the middle of third-period Spanish, you realize you don’t need another person to complete you at the 7/11 while buying an oversized Coke, etc, etc. You find love in small gestures, like your friend softly patting your shoulder, or someone bringing you a donut because you looked upset the other day.

There’s no second clause to those sentences, because that’s the point; the little things don’t mean anything and they don’t lead to anything, but nothing is more precious. So of course, the best song on any bombastic, wild album is the filler track. The one that doesn’t want to do anything to you except let your ears rest. It’s Part 1 of 2; it’s the coda. It’s an unfinished thought in the same way the curve of a smile is not a face is not a person. But the curve of a smile sure is pretty, isn’t it?

Sometimes a song fills you up inside and you feel like you should scream every time you listen to it, or you’re so happy your heart bursts. Sometimes a song leaves you hollow and by the 128th listen, you wish you had never heard it. Sometimes though, a song doesn’t make you hurt or elated. It just makes you ache in a sweet, quiet way, the way you mourn silently for summer when it finally starts to feel like fall. It’s not a song for the beginning or for the end, but rather for the end of the epilogue. You listen to a song like that, a song that’s only half full, and you wish more songs could be like that. You immediately realize why they can’t be, of course, but it’s lovely to want.

Playlist

Half Light I – Arcade Fire
Strange how the half light can make a place new/You can’t recognize me/I can’t recognize you

Hinnom, TX – Bon Iver
All this time/With your heart in mind

Come Down – Sylvan Esso
For years and years/I’m going to wait

Gospel – the National
We’ll stand by the pool/We’ll throw out our golden arms

Say You’re Mine – Amateur Love
I’ll be fine/Resting like a child

Caroline No – the Beach Boys
Break my heart/I want to go and cry/It’s so sad to watch a sweet thing die

Truce – Twenty One Pilots
I will fear the night again/I hope I’m not my only friend

Ladder Song – Lorde
See now a star bursts/Looks just like a blood orange/Don’t it just make you wanna cry?/Precious friend of mine


Asif Becher is a 16 year old recently discovered cat lady who lives in the desert. She is often asked to “chill” about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Taylor Swift, a suggestion she finds absolutely ridiculous. You can find her on Twitter and on tumblr.

DO I LOOK LONELY: a very brief thing

Hi buddies. I have not yet written your horoscopes, but I will. This has been a very trying week and that is not an excuse but it is at least an explanation. I love you a lot.

Panic! at the Disco has a new song which none of us has the time or the wherewithal to talk about in the manner it deserves yet, but we would like you to know about it nonetheless:

Also, I made you a playlist, which has no real theme or motive but is a bunch of stuff I’m listening to that is making me feel okay in the face of all things. It is not much but it is what I have right now.

click

Always Where I Need To Be – the Kooks
LOVE 3X – ZZ Ward
Collar Full – Panic! at the Disco
Jet Black Heart – 5 Seconds of Summer
Say Love – JoJo
What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
Break a Sweat – Becky G
Your English is Good – Tokyo Police Club
Yoga – Janelle Monae, Jidenna
High by the Beach – Lana del Rey
Feet Don’t Fail Me Now – Foxes
Disco Love – the Saturdays
Classic Man (remix) – Jidenna, Kendrick Lamar
She’s Not Afraid – One Direction
The Hills – the Weeknd
People Say – Portugal. The Man