A Physical Playlist

The best music conversations are the ones that never really end. They live on in the reminders you enter into your phone’s notes application — a band name you don’t want to forget or the title of a documentary that needs to be added to your Netflix queue. They pick back up thanks to the follow-up emails, tweets and texts in which the recommendee shares a reaction with the recommender, or the recommender finally remembers the album name that a few too many beers spirited away. They leave traces, like the stack of records that flew out of the crate because they demanded to be played (you can only talk for so long about how Exile on Main St. was recorded before you’re morally obligated to put it on).

Mrs. You Hear That and I hosted some friends from out of town over the long holiday weekend (the same friends who clued me into Moon Hooch a little while back), and our many music conversations — exchanges about Exile, the George Harrison documentary Living in the Material World, Jack White’s Blunderbuss and the mention of King Sunny Adé in Pitchfork’s vicious Body Faucet review — are still bouncing around the front of my brain, just as surely as the above-pictured records are still leaning against the side of my TV stand.

I snapped this photo because I loved how these albums offer an actual, real-life, honest-to-god playlist — a tangible version of something that, in my experience, usually exists on a computer screen. I also love how well this small collection of albums encapsulates the weekend as a whole. Each one wiggled its way into a meal, outing or conversation, and I’d like to think that if you showed me this picture 10 years from now, I’d still be able to remember where we went to dinner on Saturday night (Stella’s) and how our Sunday trip to the James River proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that my wife’s iPod loves Lil Wayne (doesn’t matter what else is on there, that thing shuffles straight to Weezy; it’s uncanny).

Though there’s no denying the wisdom inherent in the title of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (Saturday’s lunch music), a weekend spent listening to good music with good friends doesn’t have to vanish the moment it’s over, and I’ve got the physical playlist and iPhone reminders to prove it. Listen to a few favorites from the weekend below to help me keep the conversation going.

The Rolling Stones — “Sweet Virginia” [Spotify/iTunes]

Alabama Shakes — “I Found You” [Spotify/iTunes]

George Harrison — “Wah-Wah” (live) [YouTube/iTunes]

King Sunny Adé — “E Saiye Re” [Spotify/iTunes]

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