[PLAYLIST] Untitled (Rock of Youth) Vol. 1

In which I pull select tracks from much larger playlists that highlight a certain mood or subject apart from the whole.

Let’s Bring Back #MusicMonday. I’ve been wanting to write and contribute to this blog I’ve been paying to maintain for such a long number of years, I can scarcely remember when I started the damn thing. That’s a lie — I do remember. It was some time back in 2013 when people blogged, and they did it well. It got them somewhere, and once upon a time, I probably thought it would get me somewhere too. Except I’m not really all that good at it. I am not, at the very least, the kind of consistently dedicated to it that you need to be in order to attract interest, build an audience, keep and grow it. There’s a ‘but’ coming …

One thing I am though is passionate. I am passionate about many things, but two of the most precious objects of my ardor are writing and music. I don’t even know if that’s the right order to list them. Music. Writing. Writing. Music. One of these things, writing, I can produce myself. I know how to write. Or so I believe. The other, music, I cannot create on my own. I can’t compose notes, play an instrument, or write (heh) compelling song lyrics. So, I suppose writing would need to be the first in the list of passions I constantly obsessive over, day in and day out. Mostly, I need music in order to write. Fantasy is a heavy part of the (my) creative process, and music helps round out the world I build in my head. Make sense?

So, I thought: “why not start writing for this blog again with another addition to my playlist series?” It’s the easiest thing. I can slide right back into typing words in a document while listening to music. Putting together a playlist is something that gives me enormous satisfaction, and, as I’ve mentioned in previous playlist posts, I have curated dozens of them in my Spotify account. Writing these posts will help loosen me up for the real writing I try to do in my (still) aspired profession, and putting together the short versions of much larger playlists will help to organize and direct my focus. So, there’s that. And here is this week’s playlist:


Untitled (Rock of Youth) Vol. 1. These are 34 tracks from my playlist, Remember When. I started putting this playlist together when I heard the news that Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell had passed away of an apparent suicide. It was the first high profile suicide death that marked a period of time where a few others followed after. Eventually, the phenomenon bled into my personal life with the unexpected suicide of a middle school friend. These deaths shocked me, to say the least. Starting with Cornell, who I had forgotten about, to be honest.

When it happened, I thought of nothing but my adolescent years, spent in the library listening to CDs with my sister, checking them out and creating mixtapes on our boombox full of tracks that were foreign to us, having grown up in a black family surrounded by soul, pop, and hip-hop. His death incited me to recall the chill his voice stirred in me the very first time I heard “Black Hole Sun”. And again, later, in high school, when I saw the video for Audioslave’s “Like A Stone”. His voice, so simultaneously soulful and yearning, smokey and strong, coupled with Tom Morello’s piercing guitar riffs, gave me those same chills.

When I heard of my distant middle school friend’s apparent suicide a little while after Chris Cornell’s, again I was shook. Personally taken aback, because, as deceptive and misleading as a person’s social media life always is, I still had the impression that this girl-now-a-woman was happy. She was married with at least one kid. She had her own business. She was always smiling or laughing in her pictures (as if people do anything else in selfies that they post on the internet). Thinking of her conjured memories from my adolescence again, of discovering the kind of music I wasn’t supposed to be interested in at sleepovers with this girl and her friends who were now supposed to be my friends too. Of mixtapes with listing band names like The Cranberries and Bjork and Hole and The Verve and Silverchair.

Thinking of these things, I began to expand upon a lengthy playlist I’d already begun featuring music from the 80s, 90s and early 00s. I at first titled it “On the Run”, which would be a “rolling” playlist I could listen to while I traveled to and from work. But I later retitled it “Remember When” because the songs I added were meant to conjure a type of nostalgia I would need in order to maintain youthful energy and hopefulness as I made several very large, very scary changes in my adult life. For this shorter version of that, I took the rock songs I can remember first hearing as  I grew from pre-teen to teen that opened me up to all sorts of new music in the coming years as I came of age.

Listen to: [PLAYLIST] Untitled (Rock of Youth) Vol. 1

Bonus – Watch: Audioslave, “Like A Stone”