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The Memory Mixes – Part 6: Major Changes

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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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Phylum of Alexandria

Committed music junkie. Recovering academic. Nerd for life.

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rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 7:57 am

Out of all of these playlists, I knew about 6 songs total, but one of them (“Do You Realize??) changed the way I hear and experience music, as a listener and a musician, and another (“Love Comes In Spurts”) could have been an anthem to my teenage years had I discovered it then and not over 30 years later. For me, that’s a significant connection.

I was significantly older than you when 9-11 hit, but I related to much of what you said. I will never forget the fear and insecurity I felt living in a country where I never thought safety would be a concern. That feeling was felt by countless people in our country probably for the first time, and it could have led more of us to empathize even a little with those who whose lives are truly in danger every day, who are looking for a safe haven. It seems that the fear for so many was quickly smothered with anger and the desire for retaliation, which led only to more division, mistrust and misinformation. Some did experience a new awareness of the global community around us. Your reaction to that Tower Records customer is a pinprick of light.

Last edited 26 days ago by rollerboogie
rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 10:51 am

Your boss nailed it.
I had to look up “Manayunk shop”. I thought maybe it was a variation of a kayak. Don’t know Philly at all. Stranded at the airport for 13 hours many years ago, and that’s my only visit.

rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 11:44 am

I feel like I’ve heard this before. Yes, that chant does sound like he could be saying that. I will definitely hear that from now on.

Pauly Steyreen
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January 24, 2024 11:46 am

B.O.B. and Stereolab and Cesaria Evora and Svefn-g-Englar, oh my! Great mixed bag of cool stuff! My favorite Outkast and Sigur Ros songs…

Pauly Steyreen
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January 24, 2024 12:09 pm

You really like to give your customers dance fever, eh?

lovethisconcept
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January 24, 2024 12:33 pm

That is just mean.

rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 12:46 pm

I had to listen to that intro to see what was so cruel about playing it on a loop. Yikes! I never paid attention enough to realize just how off pitch Boy George is on that. Management was definitely asleep at the switch on that one.

mt58
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January 24, 2024 1:13 pm

A somewhat adjacent, and very possibly apocryphal story:

There was a guy we’ll call Phil who had a neighbor who was just awful. Always complaining about nothing, and whose life mission seemed to be making others miserable.

Phil speaks to the landlord, but the complaining guy knows exactly how far to go without crossing the line, so not much can be done.

Phil decides to go on vacation for a week to get away from it all. But before he goes, he digs up his favorite Crosby, Stills and Nash record, and does some creative loop editing.

And so with a strategically placed speaker that faced complaining guy’s shared wall, and at just the legal limit of volume, it was:

“Doo doodoo doodoo
“DOOT doot, doo doodoo doot…”

…continuously – for the next seven days.

LinkCrawford
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January 24, 2024 1:57 pm
Reply to  mt58

Tom in the adjacent cube has a similar college story. He had a lousy neighbor in his dorm that was always blasting his music at crazy loud levels. So one weekend when he went home for 3 days, he cranked up the volume on his stereo, put U2’s “Lemon” on repeat, locked the door and left.  😂 

rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 4:51 pm
Reply to  mt58

And Phil grew up to become the editor-in-chief of a prominent blog site called tnocs.com. Great story!

mt58
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January 24, 2024 5:35 pm
Reply to  rollerboogie

“Actually…”

IMG_5561
JJ Live At Leeds
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JJ Live At Leeds
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January 24, 2024 11:50 am

Quite a bit of crossover again with my own tastes and record collection.

A lesser known T-Rex track in New York City. I love some T-Rex and I know that they toned down the magic, hobbits and hippy vibes only their early stuff to find success with a glam rock sound but NYC is a step back into a WTF direction.

‘Did you ever see a woman
Coming out of New York City
With a frog in her hand?
I did, don’t you know’

And repeat and repeat and repeat.

No Marc, i’ll be surprised if anyone else has ever seen this but I’ll have whatever you’re having.

rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 12:48 pm

I actually have found it quite interesting to see your progression of musical taste and choices over the years.

rollerboogie
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rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 12:50 pm

I wouldn’t doubt that he did see that. Nearly anything is possible in NYC.

lovethisconcept
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January 24, 2024 12:31 pm

I admire your sense of openness to other cultures. I am going to be up front and admit that I struggle with music by non-English speakers. I am a lyrics person, and it frustrates me not to be able to understand the lyrics. I am open to it, and I continue to try, but I vastly prefer instrumental world music. The exception is French, as I try to improve my minute knowledge by attempting to interpret the lyrics.

On another note, this seems like a wonderful time to share Daybreak Star Radio. There is a wide array of musical styles represented, but every artist has some connection to the Native American or Pacific Islander communities.
Also, the newsfeed has frequent updates on cricket news, with which they seem fascinated.

LinkCrawford
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January 24, 2024 1:58 pm

I think that you are mellowing out! There’s a lot more than angry punk.

rollerboogie
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January 24, 2024 4:52 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

Richard Hell would like to have a word.

cappiethedog
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January 24, 2024 8:31 pm

You can draw.

I can’t draw.

But Terry Zwigoff’s American Splendor taught me that I could use stick people like Harvey Pekar to tell a story.

16 Horsepower, oh yeah. David Eugene Edwards on Low Estate reminds me of the Robert Mitchum character in Night of the Hunter, an imagined early period, before something went horribly wrong. I misremembered Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes as the follow-up. Wovenhand is a terrible band name. I wish he kept the old moniker.

It was nice getting a bonus Sparklehorse album last year.

Oahu has a military presence, of course. I thought we were a target, for sure.

thegue
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January 25, 2024 9:35 am
Reply to  cappiethedog

Great mix of music! My tastes definitely had an international flavor while I lived overseas (’95-97); not so much these days.

I went to Punxsutawney, PA for the “Phillenium”: 02/02/02

It was one of the greatest weekends I’ve ever had in my life, and I can say that because I got married on a Monday night. For some reason, Gobbler’s Knob was guarded by members of the armed services, because…terrorists have heard of groundhogs?

It was the 48th most ironic thing that happened that weekend.

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