when it’s the dead of winter

22 Feb

sligo creek trail in winter
This winter I have biked in the rain and through the snow, wiped out in ice, and tasted road salt. It’s the gloomiest time of year, but we have to remember to find small adventures and musical sources of warmth.


  1. I probably spun this song every winter on KDVS. I was all about playing seasonally appropriate music. Even though the title doesn’t fit, there’s a lyric about February 22, “when it’s the dead of winter.”
  2. Eskimeaux is from New York, and on one frosty night in January I got to see them in the body-heated basement at Babe City. I picked this song because the percussion sounds like (or maybe it really is?) boots walking in the snow, which is my favorite winter sound.
  3. Dura is a newcomer to D.C. After his December show at Union Arts, he had two cassette options; this is the wintry one, he said. I mixed in the voice of a grandma in Iowa from some cassettes Craig found in Ellensburg, Washington.
  4. I haven’t seen Generifus since last winter in Baltimore, but I bought his tape The World at that show and had it on repeat while I made breakfast for the rest of the season. He’s from Olympia, so he probably doesn’t have to wait long for a rainy day.
  5. Adult Mom, also from New York, also played that Babe City show. Their set was a bit of a feedback train wreck, but their recordings are pretty.
  6. My favorite moment of January was sitting squished on a couch with my friends at the Communiverse, my favorite show house, surrounded by past and future crushes, listening to Mirah play this song. I think this is what Danish people call hygge. Such an overwhelmingly bittersweet, cozy feeling it made me want to cry.
  7. #3 continued.
  8. I’ve seen Hot Tears the last two winters, and both times she delivered on the loop crescendos. Her tape is another one of my regular winter breakfast jams.
  9. KDVS and I lost a great friend to cancer in January. Even though this is the most upbeat song on here, this is the one that kept playing in my head as I read the news about and tributes to Ed Martin. Deep sadness mixed with some kind of exhilaration, that I was stuck at work but all I wanted to do was fly home and hug every one of my friends. I got to see Tom Brosseau perform in January as part of John C. Reilly’s band at the Sixth & I Synagogue.
  10. This was another one of my KDVS winter standards. I’m going to see them this week!

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