Despite the best of my intentions, I am not a journal person. I’ve never been good at keeping one, or trying to keep one, and many years ago I gave up on the trying. Several times I would get a new journal for a new year, write in it for all of four days in January, then abandon the thing to collect dust somewhere.
I am not a journal person.
Ten years ago I was not on what you would call a winning streak. Nearly every part of my life was the unideal, and no matter how I was trying to turn it around, it wouldn’t turn around.
It damn near broke me.
It wouldn’t be until the following year that I started to make any kind of headway, but that’s a story for another time, another place.
Music (more specifically musical theatre and playing the piano) has always been the foundation of my passions. I don’t often talk about it, but it’s always there. Always in my mind. Hopefully in the future, the musical theatre will make its way to reality as well. Who knows. We’ll see.
Music has often held stronger reminders for me (of a time or place or experience) than words ever could. Some feelings can’t be put into words. Or at least, I’ve not found the accurate words for them.
In October of 2005 I started doing something that I wasn’t sure would work: documenting each month with a playlist of the songs that either reminded me of that time specifically, or of a situation, or of my feelings in general. Or, sometimes, the songs were just songs I was really into at the time. I put no boundaries on this endeavor. So I started.
And as of the end of last month, I’ve done it every month for a decade.
A lot has changed in ten years (obviously), but certain things have not. My taste in music has evolved, but the backbone of theatre is still there. I make no excuses for the music I like. If it is meaningful to me for the month in question, it goes on the playlist.
I have never shared the playlists themselves, but I thought it might be interesting to look at the original one from October of 2005, as well as my most recently playlist from last month. I can only offer a short explanation of why each is there, as, again, I’ve never been great at putting certain feelings into words.
Ironic for someone who writes, isn’t it?
The humor is not lost on me.
Here are the songs from that initial playlist. If you click on the videos, I ask that you listen and not necessarily watch. The songs stood alone in their moving me one way or another.
Anna Nalick – Forever Love
Cary Brothers – Forget About You
Jason Mraz – Geek in the Pink
Jason Mraz – Life is Wonderful
Velvet Underground – Pale Blue Eyes
Until I just looked back at these, I didn’t recall that there were only five tracks on that first playlist. Most I can recall why they are there (one in particular caught me off guard and made me instantly recall certain things about that time), and one in particular I had no idea why it was there.
Those are memories for you.
Now, here is the juxtaposition of my most recent playlist. Again, if you take the time to listen to any of these, please do so without watching the videos. Think of this as the mixtape of my life.
Because it is.
Brian Tyler – Broken Compass
(From the moment I heard the Far Cry 3 soundtrack back in 2012, it has resonated with me. Certain songs from it have been present on my monthly playlists each month since then.)
Sukhwinder Singh & Sapana Awasthi – Chaiyya Chaiyya
(Here is one where it’s perfectly fine to watch the video. This was from a Bollywood film and this scene was actually shot entirely on a moving train.)
Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark
(This about sums it up for me.)
Petula Clark – Downtown
(A dear friend told me she thought of me singing this, and it made me want to.)
Electric Light Orchestra – The Fall
Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire
(This song is powerful. It is something to aspire to.)
Brian Tyler – Heat
Pawel Blaszczak – Horizon
Electric Light Orchestra – I’m Alive
Brian Tyler – Journey Into Madness
Yann Tiersen – Les Jours Tristes
(If there is one song I’d prefer for people to remember me by, this is the one. I believe this is my favorite song of all time.)
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
Kenneth Young & Brian D’Oliveira – Record Scratching Tune (Sogport Remix)
(I find something deeply moving, uplifting, and moderately out of control about this. I adore it.)
Electric Light Orchestra – Ticket to the Moon
(This is another song I found myself wanting to sing. It has certain similarities to a particular song from “Evita.”)
Electric Light Orchestra – When I Was a Boy
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1
I can’t quite impart how personal it is for me to share this. I’m not sure why I did. I hope it meant something to you, whoever you are who is reading (and perhaps listening along) this.
Cheers, friends. Thank you for visiting my past and present.