3hree Things: A Post-Show, Post-Work, Post-Whatever Playlist

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

On tour, I spend a majority of my waking hours around loud, heavy, high energy rock music. That, coupled with the adrenaline that courses through my veins after playing an hour-and-a-half set makes it awfully difficult to come down after a show. Sure, a hot shower and a few beers helps, but in my ten-plus years of touring, I've spent a many a night wide-eyed and restless, staring at the roof of my bunk, thinking about how I badly need to sleep in order to be rested for the next show, and thinking about how I'm thinking about how badly I need to sleep, and thinking about how I'm thinking about how I'm thinking about how badly I need to sleep. And then it's 2 AM, then 3AM, then 4AM, and holy shit this is getting ridiculous, and then it's 5 AM, and hey, guess what? NO SLEEPING.

Thankfully, those nights are far and few between now, thanks to a handful of songs that help me clear my head, unwind, and get some much needed rest. (Also: melatonin.)

My nighttime playlist is deep, but what follows is a list of three songs that I've been using on this tour to help me find a balance and catch some much needed Zs. (Note: In no way am I implying that these songs are boring and/or snoozeworthy. I'm saying that they're so good that they put me in an almost meditative state, and if they didn't exist I'd have even bigger bags under my eyes and probably end up stumbling through this tour like a zombie from The Walking Dead.)

Hopefully, if these songs are new to you, they'll help you like they're helping me. I'd love to read some suggestions in the comment section, because this playlist is always growing and ever-evolving.


Other Lives, “For 12”

This song actually reminds me a lot of Radiohead's “How To Disappear Completely”, which is one of my favorite songs of all-time, and was a song I relied on for years (and hundreds and hundreds of shows) for a post-show cool down back when we were touring nine or ten months out of the year. “For 12” will never knock “How To Disappear Completely” out of my top spot, but it's proven to be a worthy replacement on this tour. There's something about the sweeping reverb-drenched string arrangements in this song that instantly sets my mind at ease and helps me melt into my dude dander, goon sweat, and whatever else steeped bunk. It's horrifying to think of what these poor mattresses have been polluted with over the years, and if I let myself do that, I'll never sleep on tour again.
Wait, what were we talking about?
Oh yes, Other Lives. Good stuff. Buy Tamer Animals here.

Mogwai, “Kings Meadow”

I am of the opinion that there's no such thing as a Mogwai record that isn't great. While The Hawk Is Howling isn't my favorite, it does have some incredibly moving songs on it, the zenith of which is “Kings Meadow”, as far as I'm concerned. Call me twee, but I'm a sucker for songs that feature a harp. (Mostly because of how delicate and ethereal it sounds, but also because you can't really fuck around on a harp; you either rule or you just don't play one.) That said, the harp lines in this song take it from soothing and calming place to a place that just crushes me (in a good way).

Buy The Hawk Is Howling here.
   Philip Glass, “Mad Rush”
I was vaguely familiar with Glass' work on the soundtrack for Koyaanisqatsi, but didn't dive into any of his solo piano work until I read a recommendation from Ben Sharp, the man behind one of my favorite one-man bands, Cloudkicker. Glass' piano compositions are beautifully minimalistic and haunting; a style I've been trying to write in for several years, with varying degrees of success ranging from “absolute failure” to “OK” to “marginally successful”  (Hear: The bridge from “For Miles” from Vheissu.) Solo Piano is a fantastic record, and one I'm sure I'll be spinning often during what will probably be a fairly rainy So Cal winter.
Buy Solo Piano here.

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