I have made quite a few playlists on Spotify. Quite a few. I make them for my favorite bands, least favorite day of the week, special occasions and special genres. Truth be told, it’s kind of become one of my favorite things to do. Truther be told, the act of putting together a playlist and my enjoyment that comes with it could date all the way back to making mixtapes. I loved making mixtapes back in the day. And I’m not talking about the kind Drake releases when he releases something isn’t an “album” or isn’t a “playlist.” I’m talking about the kind of mixtapes you made on Maxell blanks, either 60, 90 or 120 minutes long. Expertly curated and constructed from start to finish. Themes, ideas, messages – they had a point to them.
Mixed CDs were fun, but they weren’t the same. It was too easy to skip ahead and the whole point of a mix was to create a continuity, cultivate an experience traveled through a selection of songs meant to be listened to in a particular order. CDs were the cheat codes.
Playlists aren’t a total move backwards towards mixtapes. Skipping is still a problem. But it seems like the beauty of mixtapes is akin to the beauty of college. It happened, it was fun, but alas, the magic can never be recreated.
So on Spotify I make playlists. Sometimes I write something about them or what inspired them. Recently I let my OCD tendencies get the best of me and I did some Spotify organizing. It was relaxing. Organizing does that for me. But in the process, I created a new playlist, one comprised of pretty much every playlist I have put together – definitely all the mix playlists. The end result was a pretty big one, currently it’s 1,733 songs and runs over 112 hours long. Only a few more hours and it would have the perfect companion piece to when that dude got his arm stuck in a boulder. You know, then James Franco made a movie about it and now we’re not sure what we think of Franco, but we’re damn sure that getting your arm stuck in a boulder sounds terrible, regardless for how long it’s stuck there.
I named the playlist Giddy Up America Radio. It’s not technically a radio station. However, if you press play and then press shuffle, it presents itself as one. Listening to a playlist that is 1,700 songs long on shuffle is basically just like listening to a radio station. And if you have Spotify premium, it’s even better because you can listen to it without commercials.
Giddy Up America Radio features everyone from Kendrick Lamar to Bleachers, the Beatles to Metallica, Pharrell to Phish, LCD Soundsystem to Social Distortion, Das EFX to Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop to Bell Biv Devoe and much more. I’ll also continue to update the playlist as new playlists are created.
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