The Big Electric Playlist, June 2020 Pandemic Edition

Okay, technically, any playlist or post I author during these scary, crazy-ass times falls under the “Pandemic Edition” label. Hell, I can’t help but mention some aspect of it in pretty much everything I do. It’s pervasive and invasive, an unwanted visitor that refuses to leave. And no matter how hard I’ve tried to strike it from thought, wipe it from memory, erase it from conversation, it’s still there. Not to sound too pessimistic, but that’s my reality. And I’m sure there’s many others like me, who just want all the madness to end, so we can get back to our regularly scheduled lives.

From that mindset, I give you the second Big Electric Playlist in as many months, thanks to a reboot, remodel, and restart of this here blog.

It’s interesting, because I’ve been systematically combing through all my old posts, fixing links, correcting typos, adding pics/artwork, and doing a general dust-up and polish. Honestly, I probably could use an editor, since the mistakes are many.

Thus far, the big takeaway from all that has been the journal-like historical chronicle of the general state of my world, as told through music, bracketed by month, and ultimately summarized by these Big Electric Playlists.

This month is characterized by an on-again, off-again reopening of our economy (see CA today), as well as the general state of looming armageddon. Last month was similar, yet more motivated by the lack of live music, which lately seems destined for an indefinite absence. Past themes have included work-related issues, fluctuating health, beach excursions, drive-by discoveries, festival outings, travels, etc. For better or worse, there’s always something that sets the context.

I know … I’m totally going off on a tangent. But it’s on my mind, and has been since this whole socially distanced dilemma started. Thus, the Big Electric Playlist, which is the compilation and aural summary of the given month’s posts, seems as good a place as any to wax poetic, both past and present.

So here we are, July 1st, smack dab in the middle of 2020, which I’m finding pretty hard to believe. The month of June just flew by, even if a few of those days felt like they went on forever. Without the typical day-to-day distractions, this appears to be the new normal.

As such, June’s collection of material is somewhat of a mishmash, dominated mainly by three acts that fulfilled my live music fix. Two of those shows are oldies from the vault, Texas neo-psych outfit The Black Angels and Philadelphia’s transcendent indie dream-rockers The War on Drugs, the latter being featured way back at the blog’s beginnings, resurrected here in a fuller, fleshed-out rendition. The third is a recent show from L.A.’s own garage-rock psych artists Wand, which took place earlier this year, pre-pandemic lockdown.

I’ve also got a trio of fluid and freeform West Coast house grooves from San Francisco DJ/producer Spencer Brown, some progressive electronic ambience from chilled auteurs Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk, the requisite dash of dream-pop/shoegaze from saucy German outfit Seasurfer, and some straight-up ’90s-styled alternative indie rock from the U.K.’s Wolf Alice.

This round’s a more concise selection, but one I fully anticipated and expected, due to all the reasons I mentioned in the opening paragraphs. Quite frankly, this blog, these posts, all of the flashbacked concerts, they’re all creative coping mechanisms to help with the mental state. Most of the time, it’s just plain fun, and all that other stuff is a bonus. This year’s a little different.

I’m not entirely sure what the upcoming months will bring. I’ve got some ideas, all good ones. But for the immediate future, I’m guessing I’ll be digging into the past, as well as amping up the Spotify shuffle, since all my usual haunts remain on standby.

By the way, as I’ve been penning this post, I’ve been giving June’s Big Electric Playlist a spin. It’s actually pretty decent, with an uplifting vibe, engaging melodies, slightly trippy tones, and way more positive grooves than what I’ve been thinking. Let’s count that as a win, and move confidently into July.

Stay safe and enjoy the June edition of the Big Electric Playlist.