Friday, January 7, 2022

Music playlists commemorating my 50th birthday

As I approached my 50th birthday in 2022, I had an idea of creating an anniversary playlist commemorating important songs and music in my life the past 50 years. Music has been a very important part of my life. As I thought about this playlist I began to realize that there were specific times in my life and a musical playlist that marked it. It's been a joy to create this and to look back on the music in my life. I'm also very happy to be able to provide this to my children so they know what music has moved their pop!

I present the playlists below in this order because it's the style of music which I currently listen. I also present a brief paragraph introducing each playlist. While some songs appear in a playlist I have to say that some of these songs I don't listen to much anymore. In particular the rock and roll playlist. Those songs were quite relevant to me as a late teen and into my 20s but I developed other interests outside of rock and roll. The very last playlist is all playlists into one, a nice 50 hour playlist. And I didn't even plan that.

I've been very thorough in creating these playlists. I include these particular songs for one or more reasons:

1. they have lyrics that have been important to me
2. the music has really moved me
3. the songs symbolize something in my life which I resonated with

The songs in each playlist are in no particular order.

The playlist below is the shortest of the ones presented. I present it first though because these particular songs and artists have been inspirational to me since 2010 as I began and have grown as a computer based musician and DJ. I gravitate to ambient and chill music when I work and when I compose my own music.

The playlist below ranks second because this style of music and these songs are what I also listen to most these days. The playlist contains songs that I listened to as a young child but also songs that I've come back to as a result of my affinity for New Orleans and New Orleans funk. 

The following playlist is probably the most important. I became enamored with the Grateful Dead and other bands of the 1960s late in high school (1989-1990). These songs have particular relevance to my personal philosophy and my love for improvisation jamband music. I come back to this music often.

The following playlist contains much of the New Orleans funk I came to know and love while I lived there from 1998-1999. After diving into NOLA music I would return to New Orleans each year for a decade for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Over these years I discovered music similar to that NOLA funk but from outside of New Orleans.

My interest in bluegrass began in earnest during the early Bluegrass Music Festival days on the riverfront of the Ohio River. My fiance at the time and wife of 20+ years came together through bluegrass music. It became something of a style of music where we bonded. This playlist includes other music too, all very important to me in my early to late 20s (1990s).

My interest in world music came about after discovering Mickey Hart's work with world music. That coincided too with my interest in Sociology and global cultures. Around this time I found great joy in playing drums and owned several world drums. These songs were important as a self taught percussionist. My attention to rhythm and patterns also helped me to better understand Sociology. I came across most songs in this list beginning in the early 1990s.

My interest in Mexican music was because I lived and studied there for half a year in 1996. It's so interesting to look back on this because I never anticipated a love for the Mexican style. After returning to the states I found myself pursuing more of the genre of cumbia. 

The last playlist is probably where my early memories of loving music began. I have two older brothers and they introduced me to rock and roll. While I still listen to some of these songs rock and roll now is not my preferred genre of music.

This very last playlist is the one playlist that contains songs from all the previously mentioned playlists! Ironically, it's just over 50 hours of music.

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