Music can be a powerful thing. We associate where we are, what we are doing, who we are with, how happy we are, all in relation to the music pumping out of our speakers…
We invited a few friends over to the Volunteer House for New Year’s and had the dance party to rival all dance parties, glow sticks and all. I took DJ shift for the first half of our evening before letting DJ Josh do his thing. We danced until our legs were sore, took a break to check out the fireworks on East Beach at midnight (Happy New Year!), and came back to dance some more. How did the music selection influence our night? Glad you asked.
Let me present you with some of our New Year’s Dance Party playlist:
Gogol Bordello: Start Wearing Purple. First, I used to jump around to this song alone, in my room. Now? I dance to it with friends. It was my first Crew Pick at KNOM, and the first of many What-On-Earth-??? moments I provided western Alaska with these past few months.
Taylor Swift: I Knew You Were Trouble. There was a time I couldn’t stand the continuously heart-broken blonde beauty, but what can I say? Swift has grown on me this year. She may be pop, but she does her genre well. And she’s diversifying. Listen for her dubstep influences as she sings Oh-Oh-Trouble-Trouble-Trouble in the chorus.
From the MULAN soundtrack: I’ll Make a Man Out of You. Back when I used to do community theatre, we played this song in the women’s changing room whenever any of us had to portray a male character on stage. Also, Mulan is one of our favorite movies at the KNOM House. Girl power. Rawr.
PAMYUA: Bubblegum. Ever hear Inuit drum songs? Modern interpretations of drumsongs? Well, here ya go. Yay, culture!
Arcade Fire: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). The first time I heard this I was living in a suburb and working bookstore retail in a mall. Needless to say, the song made sense to me. Josh and I jokingly quarrel about Arcade Fire and their threat to the population with their hipsterism (what is a hipster anyway?), but I like them regardless. So there. Sprawl II is a compromise in our ideals: AF may be hipsters, but this song is danceable, and, well, good.
Ellie Goulding: Anything Could Happen. After weeks of gray, rainy skies, Lucus, the final volunteer, arrived in Nome the first week of September with sunshine and blue skies. This song played on KNOM as we drove home from the airport with Lucus. Just like that, it became the volunteer crews’ unofficial song for our 2012-2013 service year.
DJ Earworm: United States of Pop 2012. A mashup of some of the biggest hits of 2012. Gotye. Fun. Foster the People. Philip Phillips. Even Gangnam Style sneaks in there. I may not like some of the songs in the mix, but I have a memory attached to every single one of them.
Our playlist told a story.
As 2012 wraps up and the New Year begins, ask yourself: what kind of story does your music tell? Why? How does it make you feel? What memories do you associate with what songs? Or, best of all, how have you changed since you first heard this music?
We’re a radio station. KNOM is a non-profit, public, radio station, and we play a little bit of everything in the hopes of having something for everyone. What we play and what you listen to matters. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be here.
Happy New Year, and thank you for listening.