Because “Autumn” in L.A. is negligible at best, I have to live my seasons vicariously through media. I tend to make music playlists, for example, to play in my car or iPod whenever I want to feel like I’m living in some crisp, fall-like place. I do this for other seasons as well. It works fairly well, I think.
Anyway, the following is my “Autumn 2008” playlist. These songs alternate between a sort of shiftless urban malaise and a midwestern harvest-time sturdiness. It will make more sense if you hear the songs (which are mostly available for mp3 purchase, wherever you purchase your tunes!).
“Cold Wind” – Arcade Fire: Songs about cold winds always strike me as quintessentially autumnal.
“Memorial” – Explosions in the Sky: Explosions in the Sky makes music that I will always associate with fall, maybe because I’ll always associate them with Friday Night Lights.
“Victoria’s Secret” – Quiet Village: The schmaltzy, early-80s-nighttime soap vibe of this track has a strangely nostalgic, haunting effect.
“Sonho Dourado” – Daniel Lanois: Truly one of the great instrumental treasures from Daniel “I produced The Joshua Tree” Lanois.
“Guilty Cubicles” – Broken Social Scene: Aptly used in the film Half Nelson, this song has one of the most curiously appropriate titles ever.
“Closing Scene” – The Radio Dept: A fall mix would not be complete without some neo-shoegazer lamentation from The Radio Dept!
“UK” – Burial: My second favorite song for turning up in my car when I’m driving in L.A. late at night.
“Lemon Tree” – Herb Alpert & Thievery Corporation: A truly gorgeous song I recently discovered featuring Thievery Corporation’s treatment of jazz trumpeter Herb Alpert.
“Trials” – Damien Jurado: From his brand new album, this Damien Jurado track finds him sounding remarkably like Nick Drake
“Constants Are Changing” – Boards of Canada: The title says it all.
“Torn Blue Foam Couch” – Grand Archives: I highly suggest this new Sub Pop band. Very easy-listening with a touch of nostalgia.
“Rollercoaster” – M. Ward: My new favorite song from quiet alt-country folkster M. Ward.
“Too Late” – M83: My third favorite song for turning up in my car when I’m driving in L.A. late at night.
“Yardwork in November” – The Actual Tigers: I haven’t heard anything from this obscure band since this song, but I really like it. Sounds kinda like Paul Simon-esque folk.
“Long Nights” – Eddie Vedder: One of many great songs from Vedder’s spectacular Into the Wild soundtrack.
“Family Tree” – TV on the Radio: From their new album; a brilliant, subtle ballad from an increasingly impressive band.
“Peace of Mind” – Mindy Smith: What I listen to on stressful days.
“Ponytails” – Panda Bear: My favorite song for turning up in my car when I’m driving in L.A. late at night.
“Fljótavík” – Sigur Ros: Simple but devastating.
“Meadowlarks” – Fleet Foxes: Can’t get enough of Fleet Foxes’ beautiful Appalachian-inspired tunes, which are thoroughly autumnal.
“Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum” – Flying Lotus: A solemn beaut from hip hop producer Steve Ellison (aka Flying Lotus).