My Adult Life: The Playlist
I’m getting old.
If you’re using the loose definition of “high school graduation” as the inflection point, I’m coming up on the day when I will have been an adult for as long as I was a kid.
As a child, you get most of your new music first from your parents, then from the radio, then from your friends.
As an adult, it’s a little bit more difficult —we become more insular as we get older, MTV has essentially disappeared and the radio only gives us a 12-song sampler every hour — and it’s tempting to give up and just settle into what you know and what you’ve always liked. You can make your bones catching Collective Soul / Tonic / Sugar Ray nostalgia bills (and I’m just guessing that’s been a thing before) for $55 at your local sit-down theater. Or catch the Warped Tour every year it rolls into town. Or see Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge. Again.
Maybe this speaks to my many, many larger commitment issues, but I find the prospect of checking out of pop culture frightening. You don’t ever, ever get the zeitgeist back once you’ve been gone a while. Unless you’re D’Angelo.
People always ask me, “Where do you find new music?”
And, truth be told, I’ve been scouring Metacritic’s New Album Releases page for about the past decade. And it’s served me pretty well.
So what the below, here, is, a complete list of every song I’ve ever liked from the day I graduated high school right up until today. They are arranged chronologically, by album release date, and songs appearing on the same album are ordered by track number.
If you play this list chronologically, it’s a slow, meandering crawl from late 90’s post-grunge alternative to our current climate of woozy southern-fried trap, with a lot of lengthy detours into EDM, Americana, Hip-Hop, College Jam Bands, Crunk-n-B, Synth Pop, Emo, Slow-Core, Post-Rock and Metal.
If you play this list on shuffle, it’s musical whiplash that just barely hangs together.
So here it is: The 1,663-song, 118-hour and 17–minute Spotify playlist that spans the entirety of the 21st Century, from the day I graduated high school right up through today. From “Song From An American Movie, Part I” to “Bad and Boujee.”
It’s every song I’ve ever liked. And only every song I’ve ever liked.
I hope you enjoy listening to it even half as much as I enjoyed making it.