The way I see it, everybody has a “thing” they do when they get high. Some people gorge themselves on as many edible objects as will fit in their cottony mouths. Other people lay in the dark and listen to Phish. Still other people sit on their couch and look at Vine.
Me? I fall down what I’ll call “internet research holes.” Recent romps include reading the entire Daenerys Targaryen character page on the Game of Thrones Wikia, the entire post history of a person who supposedly writes for Total Sorority Move, and the collected web history of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s marital problems. (I should note here that I do not watch Game of Thrones, read Total Sorority Move, or know Bey and Jay personally.) No matter the subject matter, the process is always the same: Smoke a bowl, open up my computer, follow my heart, and sit in bed for the next two hours fixating on whatever I find.
Recently, that internet corner has been occupied by Spotify. Sure, the streaming platform is full of “normal” music. But in March, it came out with a birthing playlist, to which my immediate reaction was, what the fuck?
My second reaction was, “there must be more.” I decided to investigate further, which is to say I got high and spent a lot of time parsing Weird Spotify. I invite you to join me on a journey to hear what I found, which includes former presidents, cat lullabies, and Hitler’s remixes.
This album contains all kinds of bizarre household sound effects, but the lawnmower portion is king. The beauty is in the specificity: “lawnmower starting idling shutting off” (versions one and two), “lawnmower approaching and shutting off,” and “lawnmower starting cutting grass shutting off” (versions one, two, three, and four).
Yep, it’s exactly what it says it is.
“Sound effects of the sea,” you might be thinking. “How nice!” This album does not contain relaxing waves or other assorted water noises, however. For reasons unclear to me, it is comprised entirely of sea animal grunts. Dolphins, sea lions, walruses, whales, and seals. “Walrus single call with break intake.” “Sea lion straining scream.” It is weird.
This, on the other hand, is beautiful.
Let me tell you: This album will fuck you up. I briefly considered running away to join the Mars One mission after listening to a few tracks.
This is a track on an album called Halloween Party Noises, which seems appropriate. It’s like Christmas music, except horrifying.
A single by an artist who goes by the name Dr. Steve. Sample lyrics: “I got syphilis for Christmas / We started kissing underneath the mistletoe / She gave me VD underneath the Christmas tree / That girl is just a ho.”
If you’ve ever wanted to hear the greatest hits of the Oval Office’s very own Walker, Texas Ranger in one place, you can do so right here. I will note that he sounds marginally less horrible if you are under the influence of drugs.
People are fucked up, so there’s an album of weird, Nazi-themed techno remixes on Spotify. There’s even a track called “The Next Holocaust” set to the beat of Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode,” which I would imagine is not Dre’s favorite remix.
Public transit is a nightmare and I don’t know why you would want to listen to it while not actively on it, but maybe that’s your thing!
To artist AzR’s credit, this is a fairly sophisticated mashup of Apple product sound effects (the iPod charging noise, for one) and Steve Jobs speech clips. It’s still fucking weird, though.
Break at Work: Office Music for Busy People, Reduce Stress, Pleasure and Easy Listening in Workplace
An easy listening instrumental soundtrack for the workplace is more or less my own personal nightmare. I’m not even really sure where you would play this. Over the loudspeaker? That assumes your all employees perform exactly the same duties at exactly the same time, which is all but impossible. Please, make it stop.
The track, by Liberty Patriot, kind of sounds like mid-aughts Christian pop rock, which seems about right.
Did you know that soundtracks for The Sims—including the expansion packs—are on Spotify? I didn’t either, but now I can say I’ve listened to the techno remixes of “Stop and Sim” and “Arch of the Sims.”
Theoretically, this should be relaxing, because it combines soothing nighttime music with womb sounds. However, all I could think about was how fucking weird it must have been to hang out inside the uterus of my mom for nine months. On the other hand, it is an excellent post-birthing soundtrack option.
Many thanks to Jezebel’s inimitable Joanna Rothkopf for the inspiration.