Sad Girl

Adobe Spark (17)

I’m sleep-deprived. I’ve been binge-watching Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs and Bondi Vet. Especially Bondi Vet. Have you seen that guy? His jaw game is strong. Watching animals being cute and fluffy relaxes me. Someday I’ll have my very own dog. For now, I’m happy dogsitting my brother’s grumpy but delightful 13 year old Yorkie.

This week’s playlist sounds like its title. Not that I’m sad and not that sad is a bad thing. Everyday life is mostly just blah anyway. I’m not saddened by that either. I just thought that if I were to anthropomorphize this playlist it will be a sad girl.

Tracklist:
01. Stranger’s Kiss – Alex Cameron, Angel Olsen
02. Break Up Together – Theo Katzman
03. Downhearted – Molly Burch
04. Diamonds, Girl – El May
05. Equal Mind – Beach House
06. I Need Your Body – Brooke Bentham
07. Mood – Porches
08. Tearz (45 Mix) – El Michels Affair
09. Pain – The War on Drugs
10. Time To Decide – Al Sunny

Subsequent songs come from the older version of this playlist (Runaway).
Enjoy xo

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Bess Clef Selects & Radio Days

Adobe Spark (3)

This week, the groove is a little slow. I feel like this would fit in a 2-5pm slot on the radio, if only I had everything my way. I always thought the 2-5pm slot is the mildest of all daytime slots. It’s probably a siesta thing. On the other hand, radio stations are very specialised nowadays. Jazz will only play jazz and the occasional rhythm and blues. Top 40 will play itself every 30 minutes. HAHAHA. I loathe Top 40 stations.

So, back in the day, where I came from, even a radio station that you would consider Top 40 now will play a variety of genres throughout the day. By the time things had settled down, maybe sometime between morning rush and lunch, and lunch to evening rush, they’ll switch from something loud to something more work appropriate. That can either be adult contemporary or talk radio.

When I was around 10, my mom gave me a portable cassette player. It wasn’t a walkman. It was larger than a walkman but smaller than a boom box. It was purple, I remember. I used to love purple a lot. I didn’t like pink because it was too flashy. I also thought people who liked blue were just too cool to admit that they really LOVE pink.

In my hometown, there was one station that played classical music on Wednesday and Sunday nights. I faithfully tuned in on those nights because, if I remember correctly, the DJ was the consul of Germany to my city. He had a very unusual accent (unusual back in the day because you don’t meet a lot of Germans where I’m from) that easily became my favorite radio voice. His program was the only one whose lines were open enough to actually accommodate requests. I was so lame, I actually called in to request titles that I found in my family’s encyclopedia. So, if I wanted to hear Mozart, I got the M book and looked him up. Whichever composition I saw first, I called it in. I didn’t know anything about classical music. So, when he received the request from me, he would start explaining certain concepts in classical music. I learnt early on that you can’t request for the entire 4 Seasons by Vivaldi because there’d be no room for other requests in the program. The more I called in, the more I learnt about classical music. I’m not expert level but I’m no longer ignorantly picking songs from encyclopedias either.

I really miss the good ol’ days.

I hope you enjoy my selections this week. xo

Tracklist:
01. Double L – Club Kuru
02. Don’t Believe – Slow Dancer
03. She Won’t Go Away – Faye Webster
04. Feelin’ Lovely – Devonte Hynes, Connan Mockasin
05. Whatever You Want – Sports
06. Blinding Sights – Yellow House
07. Marcel – Her’s
08. Jones’ Disco – Los Porcos
09. Zero – Electric Guest
10. To Move On – Alex Izenberg

Following songs come from previous versions (ie Zero) of the playlist.

Bedhead

Adobe Spark (16)

Have you had those afternoons where the sun looks really nice outside but you just can’t get yourself out of your bed? I have and I made a playlist for it. I used to call it Summery Daiquiri (really bad rhyming job there) but I decided summer will end soon, outside won’t look as bright but I will still have afternoons where I won’t want to get out of my bed.

Tracklist:
01. I Need A Man – Sam Evian
02. Silly Girl – Lonely Benson
03. Dumb Love – NEIL FRANCES
04. Summer Days (Roosevelt Remix) – Rhye, Roosevelt
05. Cruel – Adrian Underhill
06. Falling – Forever
07. Tailwhip – Men I Trust
08. Arty Boy – Flight Facilities, Emma Louise
09. Overdressed – TWINKIDS
10. Downfall – Kllo

The Evening Stroll #2 & Music for TV

Adobe Spark (11)

I had to redo this playlist because it did not sit right with me.

I’m a bit fussy like that. If it doesn’t flow for me, it eats at me. For days!

I saw a documentary tonight about animals rearing their young. And the music didn’t match with the images at all. Okay imagine tigers, lush forest, then cue… ‘Don’t leave me high….. don’t leave me dry….’

Uhm, what?!

I don’t have anything against Radiohead. I love a number of their songs (No Surprises, Fake Plastic Trees). But I wish this doc invested in a better sound guy.

That being said, I also notice good music in ads, especially. Have you seen the latest Levi’s ad? It features Makeba by Jain.

When I was still watching The Premier League, I absolutely loved the choice of Kasabian’s Fire for the intro.

Ads are indeed a good way to discover new music. I’m that person who approaches a TV screen just to Shazam the song in a 30-second spot. I’m also the person who disrupts the barista at your local cafe to ask for the song playing in the background.

Did you ever discover a wonderful song through ads?

Tracklist:
01. Disco Muse – CAPYAC, Caroline Watson
02. Something More – Date Night, Neda
03. Don’t Wait – Leisure Suite
04. It’s Only Music, Baby – Kid Francescoli
05. Beneath The Lights (Jean Tonique Remix) – Cool Company, Jean Tonique
06. Midnight Emotion – Work Drugs
07. I Know How You Get – Mk.Gee
08. Thinking Bout You – Flo Morrissey, Matthew E. White
09. To You – Andy Shauf
10. Please – Rhye

Songs playing after the songs listed are from the first version of the playlist.

Enjoy xo Bessy

Roadtrip: New England

Adobe Spark (5)

Before I tell the lengthy account of my week-long vacation, please enjoy the songs I loved from playing my song library during the trip!

I went on a roadtrip with my boyfriend. It was a good mix of nature and city. We went from Toronto to upstate New York to Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and, finally, New York City.

When it comes to lengthy roadtrips like this, it’s always advisable to get a second driver. You can cover more area and save energy for more activities if you can distribute the driving to more than 1 person.

If you know someone working at a hotel, ask whether you can get discounts as their relative or friend. Big hotel chains may have those kinds of benefits for their employees. Take advantage of it, especially when you’re going to a place like New York City. It’s a good place to pig out, and your hotel savings can open your wallet up to more food cravings, and gifts!

We didn’t really plan every little thing in this trip. We just decided to go away for a certain number of days and decided which spots to check out. We booked our hotel stays usually a night or two before we arrived at our destination. It usually freaks me out when there are no plans laid out. My boyfriend enjoys going with the flow. I now realize the value of his spontaneity. Vacations cannot be too regimented. There’s no specific time to enjoy yourself. You just have to enjoy now, wherever you are. Of course, this comes with the risk of spending more. But, this is why we save for vacations. Vacations are not the time to be uber-stingy. You can be thrifty but live a little.

There were times that really tried me during the trip. I have very high standards when it comes to toilets. One of the inns we stayed in at one of the small towns we visited gave me nightmares. I may be exaggerating but I clean my own washroom – a less than immaculate washroom irks me! That’s why I’m writing a paragraph about it. It offends me that I’m given a service as if I didn’t pay for it. We found a cheaper inn where the people were nicer and the place spotless, the following night. Thank the lawdddddd!

We wanted to set aside the biggest chunk of our budget in New York City. So, we ate a lot of turkey sandwiches from upstate NY to Rhode Island. We were amazed at how cheap ready-made food were. We were more amazed that fruit was very expensive. For a country that has plenty of arable land, this didn’t make sense. But, damn, I learnt to love turkey sandwiches. I’ve become an expert at making them. The recipe is easy: sourdough bread, hummus (preferably with tomato and basil), pepper jack cheese slices and turkey slices. The entire thing costs less than $10 and makes 4-6 sandwiches. Bring a water canteen with you. Buying bottled water can really become expensive. If you like your water cold, hotels have ice machines on each floor.

I’ll write about the New York City leg of our trip in the next post because NYC is an experience of its own.

We needed a vacation and we got what we needed. Traveling always gives one some perspective into the goings on in their life. There was a point in this trip where I started to miss Toronto. It’s not perfect here but I am proud to live in this city.

Coincidentally, this trip is the first trip I made as a Canadian. I am proud to bring that identity with me everywhere I go now. And I make sure that people think of us as good tourists. We signal before we turn or change lanes. We don’t litter nor spit. We don’t talk loudly because we don’t own the space. We treat locals kindly because it’s their home and we’re guests. We don’t trample on vegetation because ecosystems are fragile. I’m not writing these to brag. I’m writing these to remind fellow tourists that the places we visit are the places some people call home. Please respect their home.

Shoutout to the people of Vermont. Your towns are clean and you have good driving habits. Drivers in Vermont actually give way to emergency vehicles, and drive on the slow lane when they’re slow, fast lane when they’re fast. Plus, we like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Bernie Sanders. We also liked the double cheeseburger at Al’s French Frys in South Burlington.

And while you’re on the interstate roads, check for an IHOP nearby. The mozzarella sticks are worth the stop. Also, I’d like to mention the abundance of Dunkin Donuts branches during the trip. The last time I ate at a Dunkin, I was probably 16 or younger. It was such a 90’s thing to get doughnuts from Dunkin. Before we left the US, I had to get the munchkins. I know we have Timbits in Canada but my childhood can only identify with Dunkin Donuts munchkins. I’m usually an emotional mess when it comes to these things but I held myself together while eating a piece of little nostalgia.

We’ve done California before and it was a paradise. We have New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut (briefly) on our list now. The US is an exciting place, I must say. The terrain is varied across states and there’s all sorts of interesting things and people within those states worth discovering. I actually wanna experience the music scenes in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Chicago next time. I’m always game for another roadtrip!

Zero Vol 2

Adobe Spark (3)Y’all know how I like dreaming up scenes for my playlists. This is an update to the Zero playlist. There’s no context for this. So, enjoy as you please.

xx Bessy

01. Call Me Up – HOMESHAKE
02. Pick Up – Bastien Keb
03. Sunrise – Cool Company
04. My Little Dream – James Kakande
05. And If We Could, We’d Say – Ephemerals
06. Johnny It’s The Last Time – Raveena
07. Too Good – Jo&Me
08. Lonely – Mac Ayres
09. Diddy Bop – Noname, Cam O’bi & Raury
10. We Ain’t Feeling Time – FKJ

Sweetwater

Adobe Spark (1)I was a child in the 90’s. And apart from my love for Eurodance (or Eurotrash, depends on who you ask) and alternative, I loved the R&B of the day. It’s been 20 years – the 90’s is making a comeback. The songs in this playlist remind me of the slow jams of that era. It’s not baby-making territory but it’s fucking smooth.

Enjoy xx Bessy

01. Cure – Moonchild
02. Collect – Matthew Young
03. No Other Lover – The Flavr Blue
04. Dream Girl – Ivy Sole
05. Turn Me Down – Jess Connelly and LUSTBASS
06. Sober – Mahalia
07. The Ballad – Otis Junior and Dr Dundiff
08. Kendrick (Too Hot Outside Edit) – Anushka
09. Soon – Gelka and Ella May
10. Casual Encounters – James Tillman