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Q2 Playlist: Music To get Dirty To

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4 Big Monoclers. 10 songs each. 40 ways to get dirty in the Spring — whether that’s gardening, painting, or makin’ love 😘 

 

Amy
I’m in quarantine with my 10-year-old Virgo/Aries/Capricorn order-muppet son. In general he seeks precision and accuracy and routine and safety. I resist precision, measure recklessly, and hate doing the same thing every day. I’m basically a Gemini/Sagittarius/Libra chaos-muppet of a mother. I get to teach his home-school home-ec class and we have a fun, and interesting, push and pull, with him turning down my music and insisting we stick to the recipe. While he has a fair point most of the time (the brownies were better with the prescribed amount of cocoa powder), I want him to know that every framework that came before is just one person’s suggestion. It’s a great starting point, but let’s not forget to follow our hearts when we think the brownies could be fudgier or the salsa a little bit roastier. The creative process is risky. It’s dirty. There’s no guarantee we will improve on the recipe. But what if we do?

Mayra
My apartment is in a constant state of flux. I’m often changing things around on a whim, like switching the brutalist newsprint poster I got from a New York City design studio for letterpress test prints somebody discarded (and I rescued), moving the plants around to follow the sunlight, or trying to find the perfect spot for the 80 lb (SO SMALL BUT SO HEAVY) dusty blue antique mirror I got from a friend. I’m not sure why I love constantly making changes and never letting my decor be permanent, but it gives all of the things I treasure a space to temporarily live in my apartment, almost like a museum with it’s many changing galleries. Curating ever-evolving living space and a good playlist to accompany it is pretty much a combination as good as brie and fresh strawberries on a saltine.

Dillon
As I live in a condo with no yard, the dirtiest I get is usually while baking. Whether it be cheesecake, homemade nutter butters or simple and delish, gooey brownies, I’m sure to have worn some sort of black attire and soon look like a black bear stuck in a snowstorm with various ingredients smeared on my face. And let’s not even talk about the end state of my small, galley-style kitchen. And as it is in the war of baking, perfect measurements and timing are crucial in creating a mouth-watering genoise or perfectly-balanced lemon bars, while dodging the baking god’s cruel hammer of failure. You gotta be focused, sharp, and not afraid of a little mess! Enter my baking playlist. This collection spans from positive, upbeat jams such as BJ the Chicago Kid’s “Reach,” keeping my spirits up while obtaining stiff peaks of meringue, to slow-and-steady songs like Michael Kiwanuka’s “Cold Little Heart,” keeping my head in the game while eyeing through the oven window for the perfect doneness of that tarte tatin. Bon appetit!

Jeff
Margaret Atwood said that “in the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” I couldn’t agree more. So with the scent of soil in mind, I contribute these ten songs to the spring edition of the Big Monocle Quarterly Spotify Playlist. May they be an invocation for weather so good it’s a crime to ignore (from inside the house), picnics on newly green grass (six feet away from other diners), and hands fresh with dirt, nature’s original blank page. Whether you plant a trimming in a jar, herbs in a pot, or a garden in your yard, it’s Spring — dig in with both hands.

Boogie the Cold Away

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Introducing the Big Monocle Quarterly Playlists. Each quarter, each Big Monocle employee shares 10 songs for our quarterly playlist. Here are the picks for Q1, a Seasonal Depression Dance Party playlist to shake off the winter blues.

 

Jeff
I used to live in Idaho. It’s a beautiful place, but it’s also a place with snow on the ground 8 months of year. (One year, the last day of snowfall was in June!) My friends and I found that the best antidote for sub-zero temperatures was dancing, so here are ten of the warmest, most booty-shaking tunes from our Idaho dance parties, each guaranteed to melt the frost away. If you too find yourself stuck in winter gloom, try basking in the sunny synth of electropop. It’s easy. Just turn down the lights. Turn up the volume. And dance yourself clean of winter’s icy grip. 

Dillon
It turns out, through scouring through my personal playlists, that I’m honestly not that big a fan of pump-up, dancey music. But after searching far and wide, my 10 songs gathered consist of a few heavy-beat, dance club-y jams as well as one Heart song (cuz it makes me feel old school badass, ya know?). Added to that, throw in one electro-pop French artist and 3 AlunaGeorge collabs and you’ve got what I turn on on a February drive home, dreaming of that sweet, sweet spring air to hit me like a ton of bricks. Or one can hope it will sometime soon.

Mayra
I chose a couple of good mood songs that make me pick up my dog and dance around my apartment. I also probably chose my dog’s least favorite songs. In particular, Hunnybee by the Unkown Mortal Orchestra is one you can’t help but dance to, and Attack of Panic by my favorite middle school pop duo Aly & AJ.

Amy
I get stuck on songs for days at a time, so my SDDP playlist would probably only have two songs on it: Purple Hat by Sofi Tukker and Dance Monkey by Tones and I. I dare you to explore the simple pleasures of one song on repeat for an hour — do it on a roadtrip, power through a design session, clean the kitchen, the louder the better.