It’s been three years, nine months and three laptops since I embraced Spotify’s “who cares about Pandora and a few iTunes exclusives?’ spirit on Sept. 27, 2011, two months into my junior year of college.
It was a Thursday night and pillows propped me up in bed as I entered a very different musical world via a Toshiba laptop that wouldn’t make it to grad school.
That night I founded my “Starred” playlist with “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” by John Meyer.
It would now take you 45 hours and 59 minutes to listen to the 664 songs I’ve deemed significant – for whatever emotionally petty reasons – to my personal musical journey.
And for posterity, I never delete songs from the list. With the exception of possibly four or five questionable entries made in moments of weakness, my real time music tastes remain intact for anyone to look at.
Here are a few songs that stand out to me from my first seven months on Spotify – from September 2011 to April 2012 – and some stories to go along with them.
“Passacaglia,” added Sept. 28, 2011
I love the piano and I loved Battlestar Galactica. I had the TV show on the brain and very little can beat this piano cover of Bear McCreary’s song by Joohyun Park.
“Whatsername” by Green Day, added Sept. 28, 2011
I tend to discover songs much later than I should have. “Whatsername” was one of those songs. Though it was on the 2004’s American Idiot I managed to make it to 2009 only hearing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Holiday,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and the title track.
This was a constant listen for me during freshman year, along with “Photograph” by Weezer and “When You Were Young” by The Killers. It used to relate it to high school, but now it rings more true of the college years and the few girls I got to know really well, but…you know. They got hitched or had a baby and whatever, let’s move on.
“Immigrant Song” by Karon O and Trent Reznor, added Dec. 21, 2011
As much as I love David Fincher as a filmmaker, the only aspect of his 2011 adaptation of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I find pleasantly memorable is the opening credit sequence, which resembles what you could expect from a Fincher directed James Bond movie.
I saw the movie opening day with my friends Adam and Alex Pang as part of a double feature paired with Mission Impossible IV: Ghost Protocol. We made it a point to see GWTDT first, because we knew it was a movie that after seeing, you’d want to take shower.
MI: IV was that shower.
At one point in GWTDT, Alex left the theater due to how uncomfortably graphic one scene was. You know the one. I wish I had done the same.
“Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones, added Jan. 21, 2012
It’s a really good song and the story behind it is even better. Here’s a haunting segment from the documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” about Merry Clayton, the back-up singer on the song when it was originally recorded. Also, do yourself a favor and check out the documentary, which won the Oscar for best doc in 2014.
“616” by Adam WarRock, added on March 11, 2012
Instead of first hearing this song on the Internet or on the radio, I was exposed to Adam WarRock’s geek rapping in a concert at Smoke & Barrel on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Ark. While I’m from Northwest Arkansas, I was going to college in Jonesboro, about 5 hours east.
My friend Matt wanted to meet a rapper named Mega Ran who was also performing. So on the weekend of March 10, me, him and our friend Crow piled into my white Oldsmobile Bravada and made our way to NWA.
It was odd to hang out with my best friends from college in the environment of my high school days. It felt surreal all weekend long. But I remember the conversation he had during our drives to and from Fayetteville fueling one of the best road trips I’ve ever had.
At the concert, we had drinks and rocked out with this song, a tribute to the primary universe of Marvel Comics, being one of the highlights. The real high point though came with this tribute to Ron Swanson. We ate it up.
“White Knuckles” by OK Go, added on April, 24, 2012
An overwhelming number of the songs on my Starred list I first heard on TV or in a movie.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the highest concentration of these came in 2012.
A month before the Joss Whedon directed The Avengers was released, The Cabin in the Woods (written by Whedon) hit theaters with one of the best movie soundtracks of the last five years. (Others include Take Me Home Tonight and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World)
I saw Cabin in the Woods twice in theaters. If every horror movie was this competent with its music selection, I might become a fan of the genre.
Other movies from 2012 represented on my playlist: Perks of being a Wallflower, Dredd, Men in Black III, Skyfall, 21 Jump Street and Looper, which will come into play later.
Next time: “Dreamweaver,” Pizza Hut and the Summer of 2012