April 24, 2013

Kathleen’s Spring Playlist: Chaos and Calm



Spring music in the past has been different for me. I always wanted something to evoke the riotous bloom of flowers, the world opening its clenched palms toward the jolly sun. The rain splattering on thirsty ground, and on the wet shins of kids running around in the park for the first time since October. I have always played music that’s about one metronome tick away from full on summer anthems. But spring is not summer. It is not blistering pavement and burying toes in sand, not sweaty nights spent on top of the covers, with naked permeable skin soaking up night breezes through thrown open windows. It is not the azure sparkle of summer days, or the smoky closeness of summer nights. Spring is its own being. And suddenly, this reluctant spring, I wanted to find its true voice.

In that way, this playlist completely anthropomorphizes spring. If spring could sing to you beyond the enthusiastic birds outside your window (BIRDS, WE GET IT, YOU’RE BIRDS) then this is what I think it would say.

I spent the past week examining spring. I have plenty of time, since summer doesn’t slather on sunblock and join the party until about July in Seattle. So far in March and April, Seattle has had buckets and buckets of rain. Not normal buckets, either. Buckets sent from Mount Olympus. Old Testament buckets. Buckets that even Roald Dahl’s BFG couldn’t hoist.

It’s been wet, is what I’m saying.

Also last week we had hail. So everyone stop making fun of the Mayans because I was sure the world was about to collapse in on itself for those ten minutes.

But we’ve also had sunny days. Days where I sat out on the deck and accidentally got a really weird tan line that I will still be sporting when I make next year’s spring playlist.

What I have noticed, though, is that spring is unpredictable. It hasn’t quite decided. One day you’re rushing out to Golden Gardens with perspiring beers in tow, giddy and sun drunk, and the next day you’re scowling at the sky as your boots fill up with about seven quarts of rain water. Spring is what summer needs. For summer’s show-offy splendor, we need the heavenly sky rivers and we need the days of sunny, growing rest. We need a gentle shake from the hibernation of winter. Also we need to have some time to find a spare hour to deal with the reality of showing legs again. Or perhaps that’s just me.

This spring playlist is dedicated to the necessary, annoying, totally separate spring identity. The indecisive, warm, chilly, stretched days that don’t really give a flying…kite whether or not we were planning on grilling. It is here to make you dance, and to make you rest. To be alone, and to entangle yourself in loving arms. It is a playlist of contradictions that work together, all bundled in the magnificent kinetic energy that is this transition season. Find the beat, sing a long, embrace the chaos. Summer will be here soon, and your tan lines will be just as funny as mine.

(Also, I danced like a fool at a wedding last weekend to “American Music” with Abbey, and it did wonders for my well-being and happiness. I suggest you do the same.)


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  1. Casey #

    Thanks for sharing – these really are some amazing tracks. I enjoy .7 I’m going down, the most.

  2. Mark #

    Great Blog and wonderful tracks, I’ll be looking forward to your next post. Thank You.

  3. DT #

    Great collection of music. You know your music.

  4. I really like the Salamanca track.

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