→ The Covid-19 Blues

Just got this from my brother, who at this moment is being hospitalized in Louisiana for pneumonia and possible coronavirus infection. Still awaiting results of his 2nd test. Hasn’t killed his sense of humor. We love you, Josh. Get well.

→ This Soft Jazz Will Cure Your Coronavirus

I guess it’s true that there really is a jazz for every conceivable mood or situation.

→ Reduce Your Anxiety

Is this the most chill song in the world?

In fact, listening to that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.

I have a lot of tracks I listen to alter or set my mood, but I’ve never seen the phenomenon quantified so neatly. I’d like to see the measurable improvements in focus, attention, or creativity that music is capable of producing. Not to mention physical effects — improved strength, speed, and stamina. The immune system. Can music heal? Why do we respond to music?

The answer lies somewhere, I think, somewhere outside of human psychology or physiology.

Anyway, calm down and listen to this. Or vice versa.

Read the article. They posted a playlist of the top 10 songs studied with the greatest effect on mood and anxiety.

→ Listening — Tema Di Valeria, Interrabang 1969

Music for Black Friday Shopping

For all you folks out there enjoying the savings and discounts, and perhaps needing a little mood music to go along with.

You might recognize that one. It’s sort of famous. Here’s a link to the entire playlist, which I don’t seem to be able to embed on my page. Maybe that doesn’t even make sense. The 1950s gave birth to shopping music, and I’m not sure its bright and chipper tone has ever been topped.

Contrast that, for instance, this supposed actual recording of mall music from 1974, sounds I might have been more personally familiar with. Surely the recording is busted, or maybe this counts as a piece of experimental music. I wouldn’t recommend listening to this for long periods of time as the warbly, dreary sounds can lull you into a weird, trance-like stupor.

Or maybe you like that kind of thing.

The opening ballad-like anthem on this Kmart track tells you just how popular and influential the Carpenters must have been in the early 70s. The rest is a pretty cool nostalgia trip for the ears. Impressed with the bold logo on the television screen as I was listening to this stuff in the background, my kid asked me about Kmart and it got us to talking about old department stores of that era. Before I knew it, and as we were talking, he had built a little Kmart playset for his robots. I enjoyed that very much.

Happy Black Friday to all!