Death, despite all the advances of modern witchcraft and wizardry, remains undefeated. It endures as one of the few certainties in life, on par only with taxes and people getting uncomfortable when you talk to them about death. It comes for us all, so we may as well prepare accordingly.
Setting aside the fun stuff, like completing a last will and testament or picking out your pine box, make sure to prioritize the funeral playlist. Your funeral will be the last party you attend and you have full creative control on the soundtrack. Music sets the mood. Music can take an otherwise sad event and temporarily inject joy and lightness into even the heaviest and most somber room.
I've attended (too many) funerals, and without fail the music is a bummer. If you play sad music at a sad party, people are gonna cry. The goal of my festivities will be to keep tears to a minimum, and happy music seems like the best way to ensure success. The other consideration is to pick songs that attendees won't often have to hear; if your happy songs take on an unintended sad-by-association connotation, you want to avoid one that randomly pops up on the radio to ruin someone's day.
With that, the top 5 songs I want played at my funeral:
"When I'm Dead and Gone" by McGuiness Flint
The debut single from English group McGuinness Flint serves as the guiding light for this audio mood board. Mandolin and kazoo, two instruments incapable of sadness, are heavily featured. Vocalist Graham Lyle pleads that when he's dead and gone, nobody mourn beside his grave. We should all be so lucky.
For some people, Valentine’s Day being around the corner is a reminder that things are not going so well with their sweetheart. Maybe it’s time to let go and move on from your partner. Have no fear, we have the tunes to help you out and make this all a little bit easier for you. Here’s your Break Up mixtape to help you get over your new ex:
"Dancing On My Own" by Robyn
Your former significant other in a new relationship? Well, it’s not ideal, but you can take your mind off of it by dancing to this catchy tune. Spin around circles, belt this out and show that you don’t care anymore.
Valentine’s Day has always been a silly holiday for me. It is supposed to be a day for showing love to your significant other, which to be honest I don't have usually. However, Parks and Recreation soon came into my life and shed some light. When I found out about their invented holiday, “Galentine’s Day,” all of this made sense to me. This holiday shouldn’t be exclusive to the significant others, it should be about celebrating anyone you love in your life in this case specifically your gal pals. Because of this, I decided to put together a list of songs to celebrate the lovely women in your life. Head to brunch, maybe even at JJ’s Diner, and press play on these songs.
“Woman” by Kesha
How do you not feel empowered after hearing this tune? She discusses the strength and power women have on their own and with each other. And, she makes you feel like you are a complete badass. It is the perfect anthem to celebrate ladies in our lives.
We have just survived a long period of subarctic weather and for that, we are rewarded with a couple of rainy days with temps above 50 degrees. (It was 58 degrees at the time this very sentence about our short winter weather break was written.) And not only do we get winter weather again, but more snow is coming! And the storms have names now. Yippee!
Here are five songs about the cold to accompany you while are walking (in layers) in this winter wonderland. Stay warm!
“Cold Weather Blues” by Muddy Waters [from Folk Singer (1964, Chess Records)]
The opening (oh man, that guitar) 15 seconds is possibly the best way to step outside into this Chicago winter. Its early morning, still dark. Snow is falling onto your head. You can see your breath even though your mouth and nose is covered under a wool scarf. Recorded at Tel Mar Studios in the South Loop, this track includes Buddy Guy strumming on the guitar that sets the mood for the dark wintry day. Oh man, that guitar.
Despite what your mom and dad may say, there’s no such thing as the “good old days.” Life’s never been perfect. That being said, things in 2017 have definitely been crazier than usual.
When you flip on the news and see the daily doom and gloom report of potential nuclear war with North Korea, Nazis marching in the streets of American cities, President Trump’s bizarre behavior and climate change related destruction in the Caribbean and south American coast, even the most rational person would come to the conclusion that we were living in the end times.
With that being said, here are some songs that would make for a good EP as Rome burns to the ground…
1. “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire (Dunhill, 1965)
For a protest song from 1965, this track seems to be shockingly relevant to the world of today. Combining elements of Dylan-esque folk and the wall of sound from Phil Spector’s renowned “Wrecking Crew”, Barry McGuire’s heartfelt singing about Asia, the Middle East and racism in the USA sounds like he could be talking about ISIS or Kim Jong Un.
It also does a good job of chastising those who would rather ignore the world’s problems rather than work to solve them. The only noticeably dated lyric in “Eve of Destruction” would be the line “You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’,” since it was written before the passing of the 26th amendment.
Before then, under-21-year-olds who didn’t even have any political say where being drafted and sent to die in the jungles of Vietnam. Thank god that doesn’t happen anymore!