To get it right out and in front: this playlist of Bloomington music is absolutely nothing other than a totally subjective representation of what I remember hearing in my four years living there. It's no best of, and it's only even partly a primer for the years of about 2006 through about 2011 (but again, it's hardly that). The point is not to say, "here is the list, now we're finished," the point is to say, "what if we started here and then kept talking about cool music for a while until the iceberg water's up to our ankles?" Cool?
That said, and to totally contradict myself, looking at the way these tracks group, there's something here I think. I had to trim down from about 25 tracks just to fit under my arbitrary ceiling of 10 songs per playlist, and even so. If you hear these songs when the sun's at just the right angle you may just get a partial sense of how Bloomington sounded to a tall nerdy kid right around 2009.
I've written before and at greater length about the first time I saw Chris Barth play out, at a venue that was called the Art Hospital at the time and is now Russian Recording. The vibe of that show on my young brain confirmed something but I'm not sure exactly what. Probably that Bloomington was a place of deeper weirdness than I was used to; it was exciting. Barth's Impossible Shapes were in the air and I was buried under stacks of their CDs at WIUX. There were bands I saw or heard more, bands I was closer with, but the Impossible Shapes more than any other group from Bloomington seem to coalesce the feeling I had about living there when I did. That's why they're first.
I could sketch out half memories for each and every one of these songs and bands, but I won't, because it would end up more like a list of venues that aren't there anymore and stories about people you may or may not know. Just buzz with me through these ten great songs; use them as a jumping off point; send me your own playlists.
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