Writing is 1% writing, 1% staring into space, and 98% doing little errands to “prepare” for writing. My favourite method of not writing is to compose a very specific playlist to “soundtrack” the thing that I’m writing. If you go hunting for the right music to write to, sorry, I’ve just ruined your excuse: here is Lifehacker’s four-hour playlist of writing music.
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Of the many pleasures of working in the place that you live, blasting your own music might be the best. (That or going pantless.) To help you get into that chill workplace groove, we built you a playlist for cranking up in the home office, or pumping through your earbuds to drown out the Starbucks crowd.
When my baby daughter was getting grumpy in the bathtub, and I put TLC’s “No Scrubs” on Spotify, I knew I had something special to share with the world. There are tons of bathtime songs for children, but most of them are tedious. So I made a bathtime playlist for adults (and people of any age who don’t mind some swearing and sexual references).
Back in the day, all the big singers shared the same songbook: A canon of folk tunes, jazz standards and borrowed Broadway numbers. Louie and Ella and Duke and Nina and the boy bands and the girl groups, they were all sharing the same songs up until the middle of the last century, when things settled down. Now we think of popular songs as “belonging” to one artist or another.
Goood morning Lifehacker! I hope you’re fired up and ready to go, cause we’ve got a high-energy morning playlist to get you out the door and into your work! And if you dry-heaved at the words “fired up,” we also have a low-energy playlist to ease you into your day. And we’re taking suggestions for both.
What was the most timely hit of 2018? It’s either the 1975’s “Love It If We Made It” or Janelle Monae’s “Screwed,” right? For this year’s New Year’s Eve playlist, I collected some of the best party music of 2018, some evergreen NYE songs like “Auld Lang Syne” and Death Cab’s “The New Year,” and a few songs that just seem to fit. Come get it in Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube form.
I love overly dramatic cover songs, the kind you hear in movie trailers where some lady is stage-whispering "He did the mash, he did the Monster Mash" while the Inception sound blasts over shots of a robot wizard tornado. I play them in two moods: feeling extremely dramatic and pumped up, or feeling goofy. So I took a few dozen of these songs and I made a dramatic, embarrassing Spotify playlist.
You've got a week before Christmas music starts seeping into every crevice of the ambient soundscape. So let's throw one last hurrah of Halloween music. With the help of my colleagues throughout Gizmodo Media, some YouTube recommendations, and old episodes of Dr. Demento, I've built a playlist (embedded above) of 52 songs for Halloween.
“Sea chanteys are work songs, so they’re designed to coordinate effort between a group of people doing physical labour,” says video producer Jamison Hermann, who sang them while working on ships at the Mystic Seaport maritime museum. “The saying in maritime historical circles is that a good chanteyman is worth ten sailors on a line” — because he helps everyone pull the rope at once.
Usually when I load up a “biggest hits” playlist, I end up skipping half the tracks. I’m barely skipping anything on NPR’s new playlist, “The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+”. Every song is good! Even the country songs! And the lead performers are all women or non-binary.
Highlights include “F**k the Pain Away” by Peaches, “Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs, “Drone Bomb Me” by Anohni, “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo, “Help I’m Alive” by Metric, and “Good as Hell” by Lizzo. There are also megahits such as “Run Away With Me” and “Single Ladies”. This is real singalong stuff.
Eight years ago, musician Nick Pittsinger made Justin Bieber's "U Smile" sound like ambient pop band Sigur Rós by slowing it down 800%. Bieber haters celebrated this beautiful edit, and ever since then people have been slowing down songs by 800%, 1000%, or more, and uploading them to YouTube and SoundCloud.
The genre's smooth sounds and lack of discernible lyrics makes it great background music for creative work, so we've collected some of the best in a YouTube playlist, "All Music Sounds Good at 1/10 the Speed."
Spotify's top playlists feature way more men than women. Not just in the algorithmic playlists, which reproduce inequalities in the music industry at large, but also in the curated ones, according to a thorough, stat-filled feature article on The Baffler. For example, Spotify's top curated playlist of 2017 was RapCaviar, a rotating 50-track playlist with nine million followers. Over the entire month that The Baffler tracked, it included one woman-led song. One.
In the Pomodoro Technique for productivity, you work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. (After two hours, you take a longer break.) You can use a kitchen timer, your phone, or a specialised app.
In the Popodoro technique, instead of a timer, you use music - like the new Spotify playlist from Popjustice.
Ravel's Boléro, the famous repetitive piece that builds to a full-orchestra climax, is the most famous example of a classical form, based on the Latin dance genre of the same name. TV Tropes, a website made entirely of rabbit holes, lists over 50 examples of this particular song structure, and we've collected as many as we can in a Spotify playlist.