I share a lot. Some may argue too much. From the first time I shaved my legs to my first time. It’s all here. For the world to read.
One thing I’m always reluctant to share, however, is the contents of my iTunes. I think it sends a mixed message of who I am. It screams I-menstruated-for-the-first-time-at-Lilith-Fair-while-on-ecstasy.
I have just as many Britney Spears tracks as I do David Guetta. I also have every recording ever made by robe-wearing monks. As a matter of fact, I can probably do an awesome monk mashup of Tibetan and Gregorian chants – and set it to a Spears-Guetta mash of I Wanna Go and I Wanna Go Crazy.
There was a time when I wasn’t embarrassed about my music. I made mix-tapes for everyone I knew. And then, when technology allowed for it, I made mix-CDs and gave them funny names like, “The Best Sex I Never Had,” “Are You Gay?” and “I’m Over It.” For the most part, people enjoyed my tapes and CDs, and I tried very hard to stick with the theme, whether it was Musicals or Smooth Jazz.
But that all changed with the invention of the iPod. Not only did the mix-tape become extinct, but we all started walking around with our entire record collection in our pockets. No longer was I judged solely on my selection of 12 tracks of upbeat dance music. Now when plugging my iPod in the hopes of creating an instant party in a room at the Holiday Inn on the Fourth of July I was exposing every dance track I ever owned.
“Change that!” “Oh my God, what kind of playlist is this?” “You actually paid money for that song?”
Those are actual quotes from people exposed to my, “Party People” playlist. Sure, it leads with I’m too Sexy and winds down with Unexpected Lovers, but that’s the kind party I like to throw. I’m pretty certain the inventors of Pandora experienced this same rejection and therefore thought to create their perfect website that magically plays the music you like. Even giving you an option to never hear a song again, in case I’m too Sexy starts playing unexpectedly.
For years now, I’ve kept my playlists secret. Until recently. When I joined Spotify.
Of course, I was scared at first. I worried what were people going to think about my obsession with Everything But The Girl. But then, something amazing happened. I realized that this website was not about music at all. It’s really about the disposition and intent of the person that created the playlist.
For instance, one of my Spotifriends has a workout mix that lasts nine minutes. And by the looks of the artists, it’s an intense nine minutes. If she was too thin, I’d assume that she works out every hour for nine minutes. I’d also assume she was anorexic and this was her way of crying out to me. If she was fat, I’d assume she used this playlist once a week, warm up for the first five and cool down on the last three minutes. But, she’s neither too thin or fat. She’s just right. Which leads me to believe she’s on some amazing, new fad workout technique that gets you in shape by doing some weird yoga pose for nine minutes a day.
Another Spotter has a 12 minute relaxing mega mix entitled, “I’d like to buy a bowel?” I’m pretty sure it’s a joke. I don’t think anyone really has a playlist to poop to. I really hope it’s a joke.
I’m lying. I hope it’s real.
I want to know these things about all my friends. I want to know all of it. I want to know what songs people listen to. I want to judge. And, I too want to say, “Oh my God, what kind of a playlist is this?” And, I totally want to see the time it takes you to get ready for “Date Night,” or “Night Prowling,” or what you listen to when you’re “Locked up.”
And I don’t care about exposing my playlists anymore. So what if you know I listen to Amy Winehouse while I write. And, yes, my “Writing” mix is exactly an hour. Funny enough, I’m on the next to last song, which means I should be wrapping this up, because as soon as I hear Valerie I know to hit publish. If you want to know what songs I dance to and/or how many minutes my sexy-time playlist is, let me know, I’ll send you an invite for Spotify.