Several years ago I went on a rant about what a horrible idea it was to switch to digital music. I had a whole slew of reasons why keeping my music library on disc was a better idea. I liked my portable music player and headphones. I could carry a bunch of albums with me, and I could be sure that those discs would play in either my computer, or in the stereo or most stereo music players that most people had. I didn’t have to worry that they would get erased, or that a new player I had would have compatible software.
So it was ridiculous that people where carrying around iPods! Or any other digital music player, for that matter! What if the digital format in question was abandoned or obsoleted? How would you play your music on another player when this one wore out? Did owning music even mean anything when it was just a file on your computer?
Now, to be fair, I had converted a small number of my music discs to digital to play on my computer1, so I didn’t have to walk across the room while I was in the middle of writing something to change music. That was all right, but it was an alternative. It would never replace my real music library.
Then my husband bought me a pretty pink iPod Nano for my birthday.
I make a lot of playlists. I buy new music, I listen to it a few times, then I start picking out other songs from my library that I think go well with the new music for one reasons or another, and soon I have a playlist or three. Or I’ll be having a conversation with someone, and some turn of phrase someone uses will sound like it ought to be the name of an album or band or something, and the next thing I know I’m constructing a playlist of songs that fit the title. Not to mention the many playlists I put together to help with my writing. I have playlists for specific recurring characters in my stories, and playlists for particular stories, and more importantly playlists for particular plot/character arcs within a story.
And every year during May I start constructing a Pride playlist. It’ll be a mix of new songs and old. What they usually all have in common is that they are songs I like to dance to, and resonate in some way with the celebratory side of being out and proud but especially loud. Or, as Miss Coco Peru might said, a life lived out, proud, loud and just a little bit ridiculous.
Some years I feel like putting in songs that are a bit more dirty and flirty, while other years my include some ballads and either more serious or slightly darker in tone. I also throw in songs that are by artists I’ve been thinking about a lot this year. Which is at least part of the reason you’ll see both Prince and David Bowie make an appearance.
Not all of these songs will mean the same thing to you or even evoke the same feelings, of course. And you may see some familiar titles that make you ask, “How can he dance to that?” Don’t just look at the title, but try to find the exact remix by the same artist. You may find that the cover version of an old pop song you think you know has been transformed into something completely different in the particular track I’ve listed.
Anyway, this is my 2016 Pride Playlist:
“Let’s Go Crazy (Special Dance Mix)” – Prince & The Revolution
“Feelin’ Free” – Sirpaul
“Spectrum (feat. Jo Lampert & Gyasi Ross)” – Ryan Amador
“Rebel Rebel” – David Bowie
“Reach out for the Stars” – Yehonathan
“Revolution (feat. Levi Kreis)” – Matthew David
“What’s It Gonna Be?” – Shura
“Genghis Khan” – Miike Snow
“Get Your Sexy On” – Lovestarrs
“I Wanna Boi” – PWR BTTM
“The Boy Who Couldn’t Keep His Clothes On” – Pet Shop Boys
“Just Stand Up!” – Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Natasha Bedingfield, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, Carrie Underwood, Keyshia Cole, LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Ciara & Mariah Carey
“How Deep Is Your Love” – Calvin Harris & Disciples
“For You” – Quentin Elias
“The Good, the Bad and the Dirty” – Panic! At the Disco
“Desire” – Years & Years
“We Don’t Have to Dance” – Andy Black
“Feel So Good [Orignal Edit]” – Sean Ensign
“Eddie Baez Donna Summer She Works Hard for the Money” – Eddie Baez Presents
“Only Love Survives (Timothy Allan & Mark Loverush Remix)” – Ryan Dolan
“You’re So Beautiful (White Party Version) [feat. Jussie Smollett]” – Empire Cast
“Breathe Life” – Brian Kent
“Try Everything” – Shakira
“Halo (Gomi Club Remix)” – Beyoncé
“You Are Unstoppable (7th Heaven Remix)” – Conchita Wurst
Whatever music you prefer, never forget: dance with joy, dance with abandon, dance without worrying what anyone thinks, because life is too short to waste time sitting still!
I was 19 years old when I got my first Walkman. It played cassettes, which while more compact than vinyl LPs (which was the dominant format for commercially purchased music at the time), they were large enough that carrying around more than a few albums worth of songs could be a bit awkward. So I usually had only one or two tapes with me at any time, and therefore tended to listen to the same album over and over again throughout a day.