I don’t go to many concerts. Maybe it’s because I’m a journalist and don’t make a wage worth speaking of. But in actuality, all my favorite bands are either broken up or dead. So, if you’re looking for a concert at which to debut your post-spring break tan, I’m sorry to say you will find few viable (literally) suggestions here.
My daily mixes are anything but as they pay homage to a halcyon era of 33 cent-a-gallon gas, the first mention of Microsoft and movies pre-live action mutiny. I grew up in a home outside Minneapolis that tried desperately to ward off six months of winter with all the sunny sounds of Woodstock. The "listening room" in my house was sacred, and the record player was the child my parents never had.
Being raised, effectively, by the best rock ‘n’ roll, folk and jazz musicians of all time no doubt explains why I am the pretentious "dad" of every friend group, but I will say that when life gets messy, these tracks put it in perspective. Music was a craft then, inextricably linked to the raw human experiences that link us all — even those who claim any Beatles cover is better than its original.
Of course, to say that one decade was ‘simpler’ than another overlooks the fact that every age has its problems, but the oldies remind us that we are much bigger than whatever challenge we’re facing. Life goes on, as it did then, and hopefully we can all look back on our lives as fondly and proudly as I do on Freddie Mercury.
The music of the past is more relatable than you think. Music is the story of everything we touch and every thing that touches us. And if you can get past the “back in my day” speech I’m dangerously appropriating, you’ll still find a few contemporary numbers and even some international bops. I only hope that you find a little comfort in this decade-confused playlist and take solace in knowing that whatever’s getting you down now is only a small moment in a big story.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.