My favorite time of year, music-wise, is always when Spotify Wrapped comes out. I’m rarely surprised by the songs that are on my list, but I’m always excited to see what I’ve listened to the most. This year, I decided to make my 2022 Wrapped Playlist into a regular installment on my blog by listing my top 100 songs, ten at a time, and explaining why I like them and what memories I associate with them (reasons that often overlap, since music, to me, is always a nostalgic medium).
Today is an extra good day to write about my favorite songs**, because I’ve been home sick for three days now, and will probably be out for at least two more after today. I rarely get physical illnesses, so I hardly know what it’s like to get the flu, or something like it. But the past few days, my eyes have been constantly secreting disgusting substances, I’ve had a fever, and my throat has been incredibly painful, even after taking Ibuprofen.
Nobody likes to be sick. On the flip side, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had five days to myself to quarantine inside my house and decide how to divide my time all day.*** It’s resulted in a lot of organizing, when I have energy, and some intermittent sessions of online Monopoly with my friend Asma and her two oldest kids, who live out of town. And it’s also resulting in this…another blog post. Last time I posted (a couple weeks ago) I vowed to do so more regularly, and now I can fulfill that goal by talking about one of my favorite things on this planet, music. So, here are my 91st – 100th favorite songs from last year, in order from 100 to 91.
Michael and I were in the car yesterday and he accused me of “getting all judgy” because he was jamming to Brett Michaels—front-man of the 1980’s hair metal band, Poison and not exactly my poison when it comes to music (one play on words for me—cha-ching!) Now I don’t know if I can really support or refute this claim; what does it mean to be “judgy” after all (we’ll never truly know, because it’s not truly a word), and how does one express judginess in a given context? Planned ignoring, disdain, condemnation? I wasn’t condemning him for listening Brett Michaels, after all; I may have simply rolled my eyes or something similar to indicate my distaste for this particular brand of rather contrived 80’s rock. Michael’s response was twofold: First, he told me I was discriminating against diabetics, because Brett Michaels has juvenile diabetes like Michael. Second, he shot back with a gut-punch about my “pretentious” propensity for Radiohead music. He emphatically stated that he’s never heard a Radiohead song that he likes, that the band is “nothing” to him, and—as I stated—that only pretentious people listen to Radiohead. “Even me?” I asked. “Am I pretentious?” He paused for a minute, and we’ll let the reader infer where the conversation went from there.
The overcast, early December day had lapsed into an opaque blue sky arching over a frigid winter night in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. The lights shining out the window of the warm apartment in Indiana PA sliced through the tranquil darkness, penetrated the night. Inside the apartment, I reclined on a plush, brick-red chair while drinking tiny cup after tiny cup of Arabic coffee and conversing with a friend, and a friend of a friend I’d just met. The conversation, initially engaging to me, started to lapse in and out of English,veering off into a tongue that I could not understand, much less speak myself. As I listened to the melodic cadence of words, beautifully spoken but beyond my grasp, I instinctively did what any good,self-centered American would do; I reached for my phone, and started doing “taktaga,” which is an Arabic phrase (and some of the little Arabic I know) for the act of busying oneself on one’s smartphone. I planned on ejecting myself from the conversation for only a short moment or two, but as this story will demonstrate, the best laid plans are often not those that come to fruition.
Having not blogged in a long time, a week ago I put up a post about my top five most listened to songs of 2017, according to Spotify. And I’ll be honest: I really enjoyed writing the post. I will always love horror, but sometimes it’s an exciting sort of relief to blog about music, and the moments that add meaning to certain songs. I enjoyed writing the piece so much, in fact, that I decided to do another installment. Instead of writing about the top five most listened to songs of 2017, I’ll write about the next set of songs – my sixth through my tenth most listened to songs of that year. Music is one vehicle through which I create memoir, and I’m just self-centered enough to fathom that there are a few people who might care what songs I was listening to last year. More horror posts hang on the horizon; they will be posted eventually. But right now, I want to talk a little more about music. So, here they are, my sixth through tenth most listened to songs of 2017, and the memories that accompany those songs.
This summer I posted a list of thirteen songs that make me think of my early twenties. But time passes, and while I’m not exactly nearing the end of my thirties, I think it’s safe to say that I’m nearing the end of my early thirties. I thought, because I’ve been struggling with writing lately, that l would throw up another Friday Night Video post, this time about music I listen to right now – music of my early thirties, to parallel the post about music from my early twenties.
On my blog, Just Dread-Full, I’m adamantly open and enthusiastic about my love for all things (or most things) horror. Indeed, this passion is foregrounded so much that it often eclipses my other loves in life – a reason why I started another blog a few years ago, one I didn’t have time to follow through with and for which I ultimately stopped writing. One of those passions that I don’t frequently share on the horror-centered Just Dread-full is my love for music – and my interest in what I would consider a wide variety of music.
This may alarm you (in fact, you might want to sit down to hear it), but I wasn’t always an intrepid pioneer who sojourned through the world of horror with ease, grace, and relative peace of mind. I know: you thought I was born unflinchingly brave and are now trying to deal with the shock of finding out that even I, your humble Just Dread-Full writer, used to scare easily. But when I say “easily,” you might not understand just how easily I scared. To paint you a vivid picture of how far I’ve come in my (almost) 32 years of existence, how much bolder and more brazen I am, I’ve decided to tell you about one of my first scares (I’ll probably tell you about the other in a second part of this segment). Long before I sought the adrenaline of a tasty jump-scare, I used to quiver, quake, and cry at sudden upsets to my calm surroundings. I was, to be truthful, kind of a baby. You may gather that this is true when I tell you my earliest scary memory.