One RADICAL Playlist

It’s almost my birthday! In honor of…myself, I guess?…I created a playlist of songs that have been meaningful to me in one way or another throughout my life so far. Originally I was just going to do a top 10, but that was too tough, so I upped it to 15. There are still so many that aren’t on here, it seems almost Criminal (Fiona Apple), but we have to draw the line somewhere. Here’s a link to the playlist: Below I’ve listed the 15 songs in no particular order (although originally I was going chronologically) with a few notes about what each meant to me. Thanks for stopping by.

    Coward of the County – Tommy is quiet and, most people think, timid–until, like Popeye, he’s had all he can stands and he can’t stands any more. As a kid, this song was the epitome of manliness to me. Walk softly but carry a big stick, and all that. Hide the tiger inside. Now I wonder if it isn’t just another song about toxic masculinity and its destructive effect on our culture.
    Shout at the Devil – I was a teenager. My dad was a pastor. Our religion said rock music was “of the devil.” These guys were literally writing devil music. I took all the quiet seat prizes I’d won at children’s church over the years, cashed them in at the pawn shop, and came out with this cassette. Life would never be the same. (Only a small part of this is true, but this IS a fact: I also liked that with Vince’s singing you can mishear this lyric as my last name.)
    Up All Night – See above. My most rebellious teenage acts were reading “bad” books, listening to “bad” music, and driving too fast. I did stay up all night re-reading The Hobbit one time. Also playing Spider-Man vs. Kingpin on my Sega Genesis.
    Come Out and Play – I had started my first year of college when I discovered this song. Add another cassette to the tape deck, sister, because this one got me through many Mt. Dew fueled study sessions.
    If You Could Only See – I was 19. I COULDN’T see that she DIDN’T love me.
    Intergalactic – By this time I had a red Camaro Z28 convertible. This song (and the entire Hello Nasty CD [CDs!]) was the soundtrack to an awesome summer.
    Down in a Hole – I used to listen to Alice in Chains while I was driving to pro wrestling training. One time I got pulled over for speeding but the cop let me go because he said I sounded just like Lane Staley.
    Without Me – Did I mention toxic masculinity somewhere above? Good, so I won’t have to go back into it here. But this song and The Eminem Show CD accompanied me on some great rides in the only brand new car I ever bought (or probably ever will) – a 2001 Pontiac TransAm Firehawk.
    I Ain’t No Nice Guy – This one’s a relatively recent addition to the rotation. I think the lyrics provide enough explanation.
    Home – In the fall of 2018 I started a new job. To alleviate the culture shock I was experiencing I started asking for Friday music recommendations on Facebook. One of my friends suggested this song and it blew me away. That feeling of home being wherever you’re with the person you love (in my case, my wife in an “exact” interpretation of the song, my wife + kids in a more general one) was captured perfectly. I know that’s cheesy and it’s ok if you don’t feel the same way about it, but this one always makes me happy when I hear it.
    Hypnotize – I was a white kid from a small town in Ohio so I should not have been able to relate to this song at all. But man, Biggie was so smooth! I think this one got a lot of rotation in my original black Camaro (not a Z28).
    Protect Ya Neck – WuTang was like nothing I had heard before. The lyrics here are fire. I wore this one out in the Z28 too.
    Enter Sandman – There was a time when I lifted a lot of heavy weights. This song was motivating to me and helped me push through many a rep at the Marion Raquet & Health Club. I hope that place still exists because it was great.
    After the Flesh – I was obsessed with The Crow movie and the entire soundtrack is worth a listen, but this is my favorite (also from my favorite scene in the movie).
    Hey Ya! – This song seemed to be playing at a lot of parties I went to in my late 20s. From what I can remember.

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