By Duck Kolenik

Over here at The PLG we take what we choose to fill our ears and brains with during the workday quite seriously, so building a perfect playlist is tricky business!  You can't just throw something together willy-nilly like you would for a backyard soiree with pals, mimosa-fueled brunch or last-minute Vegas adventure.  Everything feels fine in those situations.  Work mixes get a tad more hairy to concoct.  You have to dig deep, in terms of setting a mood and sustaining the right amount of energy until closing.   It’s like running a marathon.  You don’t just show up wearing Converse drinking an orange juice.  Sneakers and liquid.  That seems almost right, but really it’s just not right at all!

You have to think things through, calculate.  For instance, you can’t go spinning ALL hits.  Though the intentions are great, the outcome not so much.  There’s nothing worse than trying to craft a critical email when you suddenly realize you’re typing the words of whatever famously catchy chorus is blasting.  “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” is probably not a great valediction when writing a client.  A song can have all sorts of issues for productivity; too bass ridden, too dissonant in tone or peppered with one too many expletives.  Those should be kept for weekend mixes involving cocktails or kites.    

The key is to have a delicate balance of mind-soothing sounds with upbeat undertones and nothing that snaps or lands too hard.  I do however, like to channel Franz Joseph Haydn (in his composing of the ‘Surprise Symphony’ just to wake sleeping Royals in his audience)… and toss in a semi-jarring song to jolt anyone potentially about to doze off.  Abel, by The National, is perfect for such a task.  It’s healthy to act as a human shot of espresso for others, now and again, right?  Finally, I like to close shop with a whimsical and relevant tune.  Everyone can go back out into the world calm and refreshed.  California Stars, by Billy Bragg & Wilco, usually nails that sentiment.    

Enjoy and circle back for more of the PLG’s Perfect Plays to come! 

Big Thief – Shark Smile

Amen Dunes – Believe

The War On Drugs – Holding On

Ryan Adams – La Cienega Just Smiled

Cat Power – I Don’t Blame You

Handsome Furs – Dead + Rural

The Walkmen – We’ve Been Had

Father John Misty – Ballad Of The Dying Man

The Kills – The Last Goodbye

The National – Abel (to pull a Franz Joseph Haydn)

Grizzly Bear – Mourning Sound

Cass McCombs – City Of Brotherly Love

Sharon Van Etten – We Are Fine

Dr. Dog – Where’d All The Time Go

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

The Magnetic Fields – The Dreaming Moon

Jenny Lewis – Just One Of The Guys

The Replacements – Swingin Party

Phosphorescent – Song For Zula

Billy Bragg & Wilco – California Stars





Juefeng Ge