The following article is by my friend and college roommate Brooks Parham. I’m posting it here because it deserves to be read and, unfortunately, there isn’t a blog for Brooks Parham editorials yet. Someday. But for now, enjoy.
2012, IN PLAYLIST FORM
2012 was a monumental year for this 22-year-old. I graduated from college, found full-time employment, and finally lost my virgi—uh, I mean, HAD INTERCOURSE A LOT OF TIMES FOR REALZIES IT WAS COOL AND DEFINITELY NOT MY FIRST TIME… But seriously folks, this was a milestone year. This year saw a lot of growth in my beliefs (not really), my maturity (negative growth), and most notably, my music collection (actually true). I don’t believe myself to be a great connoisseur of melodies, but I know what I like, and I heard a lot of good stuff this year (to go along with the overwhelming amount of terrible music I heard). In honor of the great tunes that were played across this calendar year, I have devised a playlist that coincides with the advancement of 2012. I find that my days are often defined by one song or a group of songs. These days stretch into weeks, months, and eventually form an outline of my entire year. This playlist is an attempt to define 2012 in song form. And so, without further ado…actually, I believe an inspirational quote is in order before we kick-start this thing. One of the great thinkers of our time once said, “Music make me lose control,” and I, for one, don’t believe it could be conveyed any better. Thank you, Missy Elliot, for saying what we have been trying to say for centuries.
And now, for the music:
January – sometime around Valentine’s Day
Calvin Harris and Rihanna- We Found Love
Jason Derulo- It Girl
Usher- U Remind Me
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby
This was a very interesting period of time for my itunes. I must have confused the shit out of it by downloading copious amounts of EDM (electronic dance music) coupled with timeless, pre-middle school jams that Usher and Mariah used to pump out like it was nobody’s business. Even with the difference in styles, the selection is sublime IMO. This was my first real exposure to EDM on a mainstream scale. I had heard of Avicii and Deadmau5 before, but I had never delved into the widening depths the genre has to offer. Calvin Harris was already an established star on the mainstream circuit, but “We Found Love” really drove him to stardom and got me into the swing of the movement. “It Girl” was just catchy as hell the first several dozen times I listened to it, and that’s all that needs to be said for Derulo. Oh, and the fact that his moves are FUCKING TASTY in that music video. As for Usher and Mariah, I mean, come on. We’ve all heard these hits at various 13th birthday parties back in the day, but that’s no reason for them to sit in the CD racks we all used to have beside our home computers and collect dust (pre-itunes reference). These songs should be celebrated for their ability to remain relevant even in 2012, and for their ability to make me dance like a complete jackass at any given opportunity. Congrats on making the list, guys. Also, congrats to Usher for being the best dancer in this segment. Sorry, Derulo, your time will come.
Mid-February – the end of college basketball season
R-Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
soulDecision – Faded
Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want
Barenaked Ladies – Pinch Me
Bow Wow – Fresh Azimiz
At first sight, this looks like a very eclectic group of songs and artists. Upon further inspection, well, it’s still a wack-ass group of songs and artists. I explain myself by saying this: I am a very superstitious guy. My Tar Heels were getting into the meat of the conference schedule and March Madness was in the air. I had to ensure victory AT ALL COSTS. I arbitrarily chose this selection of tasties to carry me through the basketball season and, hopefully, to a national title. If you watch college basketball, you know what happened. Some guy from Vertical Horizon managed to injure John Henson’s wrist before the ACC Tournament. Coincidentally, that same guy is cousins with that douche on Creighton’s front line that broke Kendall Marshall’s wrist in the Sweet Sixteen. IT’S ALL CONNECTED! FUCK YOU, VERTICAL HORIZON (kidding), FUCK YOU, CREIGHTON (seriously), and FUCK THAT GRANT GIBBS GUY, I HOPE YOU GET CONVICTED OF INDECENT EXPOSURE OR SOMETHING THAT WILL TARNISH YOUR PERMANENT RECORD FOREVER!!!!!
Heartbreak – Orgasmic Jubilation (April – Graduation)
Backstreet Boys – Everybody
Big Punisher – Still Not a Player
Nick Cannon – Gigolo
Eddie Money – Walk on Water
Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body
LFO – Summer Girls
At this point in the year, I didn’t give a fuck about anything, as evidenced by these selections. I had pretty much secured passing grades in all my classes, and graduation was in sight. These songs reflect my attitude during that period: “Fuck this, let’s go to my apartment and throw bottles into the street.” These songs were for the boys, and these times were for the boys. My time in Chapel Hill was dwindling, and I wasn’t going to waste it on bullshit music, or bullshit sobriety. If these songs don’t make you want to go get sloppy drunk before 3 in the afternoon, then you, my friend, have a problem. Oh I have a drinking problem? No, you just suck at everything, you big smelly willy!! Watch me as I jam out to these fly-ass beats and celebrate my exit in style. Also, props to R Kelly for making the list again as he throws in the hook for Nick Cannon’s “Gigolo,” which is super underrated, by the way. Nick Cannon collabo with R Kelly? Feels so right, it can’t be wrong.
June – Labor Day
Luke Bryan – If You Aint Here to Pary
Mark Chesnutt – Bubba Shot the Jukebox
Hank Williams Jr. – If Heaven Aint A Lot Like Dixie
Hank Williams Jr. – The Conversation (with Waylon Jennings)
Jason Aldean – Amarillo Sky
Brad Paisley – I’m Gonna Miss Her
Craig Morgan – Redneck Yacht Club
Eric Church – Sinners Like Me
Jason Aldean – Cowboy (Kid Rock) cover, Raleigh concert in July, holy shit
There’s a lot to absorb on this list so let’s take a step back. First of all, summer time is country music time. Plain and simple. The hot weather brings out the best in country music and anyone that tries to dispute that claim is a know-it-all doo-doo head and we probably don’t get along. Country concerts during the summer are unparalleled in my book (the title of my book: “Getting Obliterated Drunk and Having a Damn Good Time”). For that reason, I have included a set of all country songs that depict a fairly graphic image of my summer months. I will start at the top of this list of songs and give a word that describes each song along with my life during this time. Party. Guns. South. Bourbon. Farming. Fishing. Lake. Beer. That’s the way it should be. Concise, simple, easy to understand. However, I did leave out one song that contained too much goodness to put into one word. When Jason Aldean covered “Cowboy” at the Raleigh show near the end of July, I lost my freeeaaaking mind. I had flashbacks (most would call them “wet dreams”) of Toby Keith covering Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” the summer before, but this was on an entirely different level. I mean, what more could you ask for? JASON ALDEAN PAYS HOMAGE TO KID ROCK. That’s like saying, THE ROCK PAYS HOMAGE TO RIC FLAIR or STEVEN SEGAL PAYS HOMAGE TO CHUCK NORRIS. That’s the stuff legends are made of, and I saw it live. Pardon me while I go sob in pure rapture.
September – Halloween
Lloyd – Southside
Joe – I Wanna Know
Ja Rule and Ashanti – Mesmerize
P Diddy, Loon, Ginuwine, Mario Winans – I Need Girl, Parts 1 and 2
Pretty Ricky – Grind With me
Outkast – The Whole World
Jackson Browne – Somebody’s Baby
At this point in the year, I was winding down my summer job and looking for full-time employment. I wasn’t having very much luck, so naturally I turned to the slow jams. The first five songs on this list try to ease the tempo a bit and allow you to seduce your own feelings. I lessened my worries with these songs, and for some reason, lessened my work ethic. Counter-productivity isn’t the best thing when you’re looking for a job, but I didn’t seem to care. The songs were hot, the beats were silky smooth, and I kept a steady unemployment while dominating my fall softball league. (Quick sidenote: if you’ve never played slow-pitch softball, you’re missing out on one of God’s great creations. In what venue can you be stumbling drunk, start an argument with the opposing team’s pastor, and this whole series of events be deemed elementary? If that’s not heaven-sent, I don’t know what is. Sorry, back to the music.) The remaining two songs are just there for kicks. They’re awesome and they deserved to be on this list. Do I need to explain myself further? Probably, for the sake of this article. But you know what? I’m a unique rebel who doesn’t conform to these societal norms. I’m like that Laney chick from She’s All That. I paint, and read, and watch Indie movies that never make it to theaters. I explain myself to NOBODY.
November – Christmas
Tom Hangs and Shermanology – Blessed (Avicii Edit)
Madeon – The City
2 Chainz- I’m Different
Craig David – 7 Days
G-Unit – Smile
YG – Toot It and Boot It
The Christmas season brought out the best in me. I got back into EDM in the form of several songs listed above, along with a few others that barely missed the cut. Christmas shopping sucks fat donkey wang, but riding around to various malls and bumping sick beats isn’t a bad way to go about it. 2 Chainz delivered the hit of my holiday season with “I’m Different.” What more can you say about a guy who wears leopard-print onezies in his music videos? Nothing. There is nothing more to say. The remaining songs on this list are classics that I brought back to life. If you’ve never listened to Craig David before, go no further than the song “7 Days” that I included here. Seriously, go no further. The rest of his shit blows.
Nat King Cole – The Christmas Album
I despise Christmas music. Hate it. Can’t stand it. I think my mom is already starting to play it to get ready for Christmas 2013. I hear the shit all the time. That’s probably where the hatred stems from, but that’s neither here nor there. The only Christmas songs worth listening to are sung by Nat King Cole on his Christmas album. End of story. Fuck you, Santa Baby. Fuck you, Mariah Carey. I love you, but all I want for Christmas is for you to shut the hell up. I sincerely apologize to Justin Timberlake, however. If the rest of N*Sync didn’t suck, that Christmas album would be gold. Alas, even the gods amongst us can’t make up for Chris Kirkpatrick’s lack of talent.
New Years’ Geek Preparation
Zedd – Clarity
Van Halen – Dreams
The Tubes – She’s a Beauty
I don’t think this list needs much explanation. Zedd is a prodigy, and Foxes provides the vocals for this one. That is a lethal combination. The Tubes had only one hit to my knowledge, but damnit if they didn’t make it worth their while. This shit gets me so pumped up I don’t know what to do with myself (normally that results in me consuming copious amounts of alcohol). Van Halen’s “Dreams” accompanies the final scene of the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Movie, one of my all-time favorites. The Rangers, after acquiring new megazord power, defeating Ivan Ooze, and reviving Zordon from near death, sit victoriously at some Angel Grove hot spot. Tommy and Kimberly stare pensively out across the open water along the California shore as fireworks light up the sky around them. “Dreams” fades into the distance as the screen goes to black. I wipe my eyes and vow to make this world a better place. That’s what “Dreams” does for me. That’s what the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers still do for me. God bless the Power Rangers, and God Bless America.
As you can see, 2012 was a solid year. I consumed a lot of food, a lot of knowledge, and most importantly a lot of music. Here’s to hoping 2013 will bring just as much joy to these ears.
(Seriously, JT, I’m sorry for bashing the N*Sync Christmas album. You’re amazing and I really hope you get tired of banging Jessica Biel so you can get back in the studio and give daddy something to rock out to. I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE –xoxo Brooksy)