Jordan Pedersen realizes it’s technically spring, but hey, sometimes it snows in April.

I gotta keep it 100: I wrote a pathetic, self pitying pile of crap for my first pass at this. “Wah wah it’s cold in Chicago wah wah winter is an insoluble injustice wah wah why won’t Kate Upton RT me.” I was on the plane from my new home – Los Angeles – to my old one – Chicago. And I wasn’t looking forward to leaving the 3 Ws in middlemarch for Chicago’s dreary late winter doldrums.

Eh fuck that though. Home may be inextricably tied to your upbringing, your stupid, angsty, upbringing, fraught with frustration but redeemed every so often by glory. But a place doesn’t have to be one thing: just because I grew up in Chicago, it doesn’t mean I have to experience it as the same place it was when I was a kid.

It’s funny because when you’re in the middle of teen angst, it doesn’t seem like a lens so much as a reality: the world doesn’t seem awful, it is awful. But with the benefit of hindsight, I realize that avoided 90% could be traced back to two things: needing a snack – I’m a low-key hypoglycemic – and winter.

Winter for me is just endless bummer. It’s asylum slate grey sky for four months. It’s trudging home through a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland, no visibility and all mounds of snow turned shit-brown. You alternate between wallowing and distraction. You Netflix binge. You drink so much dark beer that your heart rate falls. If you’ve got somebody to fuck, you fuck a lot. Who cares if you’re both fat from all the shitty food you’ve been sad-eating?

Winter, then, is all about mitigation. You can’t change your setting, but you can change how you deal with it. I wish I’d realized that when I was growing up, but hey that’s why you grow up.

This mix has its share of bummer tunes, but it would’ve been exclusively those if I’d made it for you when I was 17. Now it’s more ambivalent. Burial’s “Rough Sleeper” is the heart of the mix: equal parts evocation of the grinding icy desperation of winter, and the brief streetlights-through-snow beauty of the same. It’s a mix that sympathizes with how much you hate winter and then distracts you from your myopia.

It’s a lot like how I deal with Chicago as an adult. Sometimes I wallow in what I don’t like about it, but more and more I figure out ways to keep my spirits up despite my surroundings.

I love L.A., and I’m so thankful I get to live there. But I can say for maybe the first time that I love Chicago, too.

Thanks, adulthood.

P.S. – Maybe UOENO yet, but don’t sleep on this WΛ††S dude. He’s the truth.

Zip: Winter Mix #8 – Jordan Pedersen’s Epilogue

1. Marvin Gaye – Distant Lover
2. Rhye – Open
3. Jai Paul – Jasmine
4. Jose Gonzalez – Crosses (Boogaloo Crew Edit)
5. FKA Twigs – Water Me
6. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
7. Aretha Franklin – Are You Leaving Me? (Demo)
8. How to Dress Well – Decisions (Orchestral Version)
9. Cut Copy – Need You Now
10. Jeremih – Fuck U All the Time (Shlohmo Remix)
11. James Blake – The Bells Sketch
12. Jamie Woon – Night Air
13. Burial – Rough Sleeper
14. Banks – Brain
15. Clams Casino – Numb
16. Bon Iver – Woods
17. Cass McCombs – County Line
18. WΛ††S – FEEL666

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