Community: Fall 2001 – Spring 2002
The Fall of 2001 was when I finally entered college – community college, that is.
Some people (and a certain comedy show) may look down on community colleges, but I had some great teachers there.
And I was overjoyed to be learning again, challenging myself, and working toward a larger goal.
To commemorate this time, I tried to arrange an academically ecstatic set of songs that suits how I was feeling.
The exuberance does settle into a darker mood by the end, which I thought appropriate to mark the apocalyptic turn things had taken that year on the national level:
With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurring just as my school year had gotten started.
I was nowhere near the sites of attack. But in the moment, when I saw those smoking ruins from TV screens in my school building, I was immediately afraid that more attacks would be coming to other cities.
I ran into a few people I knew on campus, and we wondered who could have committed these terrible actions, and if we might be sent off to war like in the old days.
More than anything, I needed to see my family, so I went to stay at my mom’s house for the night.
Here’s the year’s mix:
And here’s the bonus mix.
Hear the World: Fall 2002 – Spring 2003
My second year of community college was much like the first. One difference is that I had moved back in with my mom, to put more focus onto my schoolwork. Another difference was that I changed my major from English to Psychology, after taking some classes that really resonated with me.
There’s another slight difference, and it’s reflected in this year’s playlist a bit. And that’s that I was starting to pay more attention to artists from countries other than the US and the UK.
Working at Tower Records, I spent a fair amount of time in the Classical Music room.
But a lot of what I listened to there came from the “World” music section. It’s not a dramatic shift, but still a noteworthy development in my musical journey.
I have one vivid memory from around this time that’s related to this theme. I was working in Tower’s Classical room, and I was playing a compilation of African and Middle Eastern fusion artists as the background music.
A customer walked in as a song by Emil Zrihan was playing. The man approached my register with an air of agitation. “Why are you playing this?” he asked me, “Don’t you know we’re at war with Iraq?”
I explained to him that the artist was a Moroccan-born Jew playing a hybrid of styles. But I also pointed out that the Iraqi people were not our enemy.
After all, wasn’t the current US military initiative called “Operation Iraqi Freedom?”
Still agitated and confused, the man silently went about his browsing.
Perhaps there was an element of me that started to pursue art from other cultures in order to not become that man.
In any event…
here’s the playlist:
And here’s the bonus, with arguably more international flavors.
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