A Summertime Blues Playlist

RND/ To seriously consider the old Rock N’ Roll adage that “There ain’t no cure for the Summertime blues.” A playlist.

And everything depends upon
How near you stand to me

Curse the Summer and everything to do with it. It was too damn hot this year – borderline unendurable. Oven hot air with zero movement. Stuck in a shitty rented shoebox at night with gnats buzzing round one’s idiot head. Sticky, tacky legs. Empty hours staring at the ceiling, feeling uselessly horny and frustrated as fuck. An aggressive Summertime nothingness, a dull baked blankness, reminding you of all those days alone when young. Sitting alone on the kerb of that desperately boring housing estate, staring at red brick suburbia and baking slate rooftops which went on forever. Summertime and existential depression always go sweaty hand in hand.

The single most important message of this awful season is “Leave.” Do not say goodbye or weep like a clown, simply depart and do not look back. Gently but firmly shut the front door behind you, switch the fans to full blast and get back to your [/‘Big Science’] Projects. To leave immediately upon arriving is good, but to never have left is infinitely better. Oh, and while they’re at it, mobile phones can also fuck off infinite, day-burning hell. Synthetic fun in social media sun. Utterly hateful.

Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence
– Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Last night under the stars, you stood together, staring up at Ursa Major. Wondering about deep time. It was quiet and cool and peaceful under the trees. You were asked why you found the idea of wanting friends absurd. You couldn’t really explain yourself. All you knew was, you just suddenly wanted to kiss them so bad, your bones hurt. But the very next morning you got the answer you were searching for – why the idea of friends is so alien.

You politely received a face smack full of cold shoulder, so frozen it burnt your skin and left a mark. Suddenly meeting up with their true significant other-other, you got thrown a casual sideways glance, clearly meant to signal “Oh, that – that’s just.. someone.” That is, you were never a true friend, but only merely some thing to talk at. A hollow listening post, partially filled with dirty desert sand and dead time. You slunk off back inside like some hyper-embarrassed city rat and swore never to show your ugly mug to the disgustingly humid, inhuman world again.

When it comes to being talked at by people you falsely imagine like you, what’s worse than Random is Arbitrary. If it’s only through mere chance you suddenly find yourself in earshot of someone needing to chat at you, that’s often bad enough. But casual, throwaway acts of sheer ‘Talkaholism’ (like Alcoholism but with speech) often seems noting but outright capricious indifference. It clearly marks you out as a sap, a mark, a total schmuck – a dumb object to throw empty words at. Some disposable ass sponge, used for the convenient absorption of egocentric speech. THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS; rather, you’re simply their next E.S.P Emotional Support Pig to be sucked into their public-private expositionary black hole. For such endless talkers, you’re not really there – even if you suddenly decide to leave, you’ll not be missed in the slightest.

Your central mistake was to mistake a pleasant smile and a beautiful pair of tanned legs for genuine human contact. They however could not help but emotionally unload themselves in a stranger’s direction at the slightest available opportunity – like a tic, a strange neural habit, an inner sensation of continually mounting tension which manifests as ‘constantly being friendly to passers by [/during summer]’. Except it’s never really about your feelings – such talkers aren’t really interested in what you have to say – as long as you say it nicely, with feeling. Just like they always seem to do, without effort.

Yet you didn’t feign understanding, because you’ve been there yourself. For a while, you really listened. When you nodded at their words, you understood exactly what they were talking about. But then your mistake was to assume that such shared experience meant there was any actual relationship between you – despite what you felt in your heart, this intense compassionate feeling of connection. (Or was it merely unrequited Summertime lust, in all its desperate, tedious obviousness? Yes, you’re afraid it was that too.) For such endless talkers, you’re simply one in an infinite line of droids, always ready to bear witness to their entire life story. You’ve never seen this odd public act before so up close and impersonal – this quietly excessive, indiscriminate non-reciprocal self-disclosure. It seems to stem from deep historical trauma, from deep abiding loneliness and abandonment. OK. You’ve been through something similar.

Golden Hour at Minnis Bay by Alan Glicksman

Golden Hour at Minnis Bay by Alan Glicksman (via Flickr)

But outright rudeness, a willingness to casually drop others like a dirty sack of shit the instant Real Friends™ turn up feels inexcusable. (Impossible to say how much shit like this chokes you up and makes you fucking steam inside. Samurai have unceremoniously beheaded motherfuckers for less.) For you, what’s traumatic is the extreme blank faced poverty of the present. To be this skint and sweaty and horny and pissed off, with no fucking moving air and nobody who truly wants to reach out and touch you – ‘make you real’ as The Mighty Rollins says.

As you’ve known all along (but conveniently forget), your desires made you act like an asshole, but that’s because you are an asshole – unironically, just like The Father Figurine. You aren’t even that worthy of other people’s fake, egocentric attention. Much better that you spend your remaining days alone, inside, where you always end up anyhow. From nowhere to nowhere, a constant blank. Life in P.S.L Permanent Social Lockdown. And yet despite all this, the endless burning cloying muggy Summer can most definitely fuck right off. (Autumn’s all right, though.)

Playlist of Sad Summer Songs

In which you were after certain songs that somehow evoke Summer’s heavy, slow sad blues. (There’s more than a few obvious ones here, but bare with me.)

  • Higgs Boson Blues – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Sad Memory – Buffalo Springfield
  • In The Summertime – Bob Dylan
  • Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths
  • Bend to the Road – Calexico
  • Cruel Highway – The Texas Toad Lickers
  • April Come She Will – Simon & Garfunkel
  • Urge for Going – Joni Mitchell
  • Merciful – Nils Petter Molvaer
  • Générique – Miles Davis
  • September – David Sylvian
  • Ghost Of Love – David Lynch
  • Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder
  • Sleep Walk – Santo & Johnny
  • The Warmth Of The Sun – The Beach Boys
  • Indian Summer – Friedemann
  • Dear Mr. Fantasy – Traffic
  • Eyes Of A Stranger – Payola$
  • Wave of Mutilation – Pixies
  • Summer Kisses, Winter Tears – Julee Cruise
  • Summer’s Almost Gone – The Doors
  • White Sands – Patrick O’Hearn
  • Who Knows Where The Time Goes – Fairport Convention
  • Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
  • The Boys of Summer – Don Henley
  • Almost Cut My Hair – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith
  • Dead Flowers – Townes Van Zandt
  • I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen

// how to play big science