My Perfect Playlist

I used the Lo-Fi Filter for this Instagram. GET IT?

(August 2012)

This August, PretentiousPDX took our Hipster Notoriety to the next level. A couple of weeks ago I, Yume D, submitted a five-song playlist to local disk jockey Gustav at our much beloved alternative radio station, 94.7 KNRK. Yesterday, after a particularly grueling weekend of jet-setting (more on that later this week), I got an email saying that my playlist had been selected for airplay on the station at six that evening and that I was going to win a badass prize (more on that at the end of this blog). At about quarter to six, I got a phone call from my friend Bree yelling that she had heard my name on the radio. And that, my friends, is when SHIT GOT CRAZY.

For the next twenty minutes, not only did the fine people of Portland get treated to some of the raddest music in Hipsterdom, but I got my Andy Warhol on and thoroughly enjoyed my 15 Minutes. In true old school fashion, I also managed to dig up a tape deck and a blank cassette tape so that I could record the spectacle for future generations.

So now, for those of you who weren’t sitting by your radios yesterday, here is my Widmer Brothers Perfect Playlist, along with the comments I sent to Gustav explaining my choices. (The bold-faced portions he actually felt were witty enough to read on the air.)

1. Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait
I’ve heard a lot of people discuss who’s the better or more quintessential Portland artist – Everclear, The Decemberists, or occasionally Elliott Smith or The Shins. In a few years, perhaps people will throw Radiation City and The Monarques into the mix. BUT THEY’RE ALL WRONG. The best Portland band will always be 80’s jazz-funk band Nu Shooz and their one hit, “I Can’t Wait.”  All of those other bands are great, but can you imagine blaring any of those other bands while cruising down Burnside on a hot summer night? Yeah. I can’t, either.

Purchase This Song on iTunes:I Can’t Wait (Powermix) – I Can’t Wait (Powermix)

2. M83 – Midnight City
For a couple of years, MGMT’s “Electric Feel” was my quintessential Summer Song. (It probably would’ve made it on this playlist if someone hadn’t just used it for their perfect playlist.) But this summer, that accolade goes to M83. Moody, vaguely sinister, and totally badass – just like a summer track should be.

Purchase This Song on iTunes:Midnight City – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

3. Modern Lovers – Hospital
On a roadtrip a couple of years ago, my friend pulled out an old, beat-up CD and insisted that I needed to let Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers into my life. She was absolutely right. With lines like “I go to bakeries all the time / there’s a lack of sweetness in my life” – how can you go wrong? I can’t think of a better song to play in a dive bar while you try to forget an old flame… which admittedly I’ve done from time to time.
(And since I didn’t name-check her in my original email, I’ll take the opportunity to point out that the aforementioned friend is Angelique H, my original hipster partner-in-crime from Back In The Day, or as I like to call her, The ProtoHipster.)

Purchase This Song on iTunes:Hospital – The Modern Lovers

4. Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside
In addition to being a great song, the music video is one of two that features the ever-gorgeous Christina Hendricks. (The other is Everclear’s “One Hit Wonder”, but that’s not as good a song.)

Purchase This Song on iTunes:The Ghost Inside – Broken Bells

5. Alabama Shakes – Hold On
If you aren’t listening to M83 this summer, you’re probably listening to this.

Purchase This Song on iTunes:Hold On – Boys & Girls

Hell yes, I’m famous on the internet.
Correction: I’m MORE famous.

So aside from becoming momentarily famous, apparently the prize for my little foray onto the airwaves is a pair of passes to Bumbershoot in Seattle this coming September. An announcement that was not lost on my friends who tuned in to hear my playlist, as I was immediately deluged with about twenty text messages asking who I was taking with me to Bumbershoot. (One friend who does not listen to much alternative music asked me “What Bumblefest” was, so I told her that it was a Festival Celebrating Our Insect Friend, The Bumblebee – which actually sounds like a rad idea, now that I think about it.)

But sadly, those passes are spoken for. If all goes as planned, in a few weeks, Jenna B and I will be BLOGGING LIVE FROM BUMBERSHOOT! That’s right, we’re taking this shit to the next level! (Ironically, a scheduling conflict is probably going to prevent me from catching the day of the festival, so I’m going to miss Gotye & AWOLNATION. Jenna and I are beside ourselves with grief.)
On a slightly less self-congratulatory note, when Jenna and I started Yume And Jenna Are Cooler Than You (the predecessor to PretentiousPDX), it was a small pipe dream of mine that we would either make enough money or gain enough street cred to subsidize our uber-hip show-going ways. I would say that this fulfills that dream pretty handily. So to our loyal readers – thank you for supporting us, and we look forward to rocking your world in the weeks and months to come! Stay sharp, Portland.

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