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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Nature

The theme this month is Nature. During this time of isolation and separation, I’m very fortunate that I live in an area with convenient access to green space. I try to get outdoors at least once every few days (while practicing physical distancing of course). These little excursions are a remedy to the glowing screens and closed spaces that fill the indoor world. While there, I’m hyper-aware that nature doesn’t seem too concerned with our small human problems, the trees slowly grow, the grasses sprout, the birds soar, the frogs still sing, the fish spawn and it all just keeps moving forward. There’s something encouraging about the resilience of the natural world. It’s easy to forget we are part of it with our increased distance from it. But like nature, we will keep moving and eventually get passed this.

The theme this month was selected by the Salt Lake City chapter and I’ve pulled a few favorites from the city between the canyons. The first track is “Time Will Tell” from rockers Say Hey. Next enjoy the soothing atmospheric bliss of “Breeze” by less.people. From there, Josaleigh Pollett croons us a somber contemplative tune with “Crying Wolf”. And finally from an artist you’ll swear you already know but probably don’t is Vincent Draper’s metaphorical “Angler”. Oh also, next time you find yourself in the city make sure you visit one of my favorite SLC spots, The Heavy Metal Shop. Grab yourself an Iron Maiden record or something.

Among the many terrible loses due to the coronavirus, we lost a treasured artist. John Prine passed away early this month at age 73 due to complications related to Covid-19. Prine gave us over 5 decades of beautifully crafted and timeless songs. I open the playlist with one of his best and most well-known songs, “Paradise”. Written with this signature amalgam of charm, wit and biting commentary, Paradise is a sharp criticism of environmental exploitation through personal narrative,

Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land Well, they dug for their coal ‘til the land was forsaken Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

With songs like this, Prime earned the respect and adoration of songwriting heavy weights such as Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. The more youthful among you may know his name from the more contemporary Kacey Musgraves song, “Burn One With John Prine”:

If you would like to know more about Prine and his legacy, Rolling Stone has a great article here. The musical catalog left behind by Prine will keep your ears busy for some time.

From “Shamekia”, off of Fiona Apple’s latest release, to “Boys Will Be Boys” from pop sensation Dua Lipa. This month’s playlist is swarming with themes of nature. Nature has two meanings, that which pertains to the natural world and it can also mean traits or features that are elemental or fundamental — the nature of something. Both contexts are thoroughly examined in this song list. Enjoy the ambient sounds of meadow creature woven into the Pink Floyd immersive “Grandchester Meadows”, Thundercat brings us beneath the water’s surface as we are submerged in a “Life Aquatic”, and UMI sings an apologetic song to “Mother Nature”.

Well that’s it from me. Be well, stay safe, and thanks for listening. If you enjoy these playlists, please follow me on Spotify and give me a shout on Twitter, I would love to hear from you.

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