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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Commitment

A promise made is a promise kept. Oh, how I wish it were that easy. Commitment is hard, and it is as important as anything when it comes to creation. The personal determination is often the only force pushing your artistic endeavors forward once the excitement of the initial spark fades. It’s that perseverance that separates just a good idea from a truly great creation. It’s the old inspiration vs perspiration adage I suppose. We tend to imagine that creative geniuses have all the great ideas when maybe they are just the ones committed enough to make them a reality.

Internal commitments are sometimes the hardest to keep, right? I mean who is going to know if you throw in the towel this time? I could finish this painting, or go get pizza… However, being resolute and fulfilling your self-initiated promises is critical to successful habits, especially with creative projects, which can sometimes have intangible goals. Basically, don’t flake on yourself, you deserve better.

The playlist opens with the recently released studio recording of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”. A song of unwavering devotion to an ex-lover, probably a bit unhealthy, but we have all been there. The song was originally made famous by Sinéad O'Connor in the 90’s. Her chill-inducing rendition is nothing short of amazing, but hearing the originators version is a real treat, especially posthumously. Talk about an artist committed to the craft. Whoa.

A little further into the playlist is Anderson.Paaks latest release “Til It’s Over”. The song is a personal commitment to “riding it out”, not sure if he is talking about his youth, his career, or a relationship, but the song is awesome. And as much as I hate falling in love with an ad, the Apple Homepod commercial featuring this song is magnificent. The Spike Jones-directed short stars the always enchanting FKA Twigs dancing alone in her apartment as her walls transform into color streaks in a surreal kaleidoscope of color and ever-shifting shapes. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Filling out the song list, you will find a diverse collection of promise-keepers and oath-makers. We have Olivia Newton John’s characteristically saccharine “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from the Grease soundtrack, Al Green’s optimistic “Let’s Stay Together”, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreaker’s unhealthy “ode to heroin”, and The Rolling Stones declarative commitment to “Lady Jane”. Lots of great tracks in there.

I close out the playlist with one of my favorite Misfits songs, “She”. The song is a brief but visceral portrait of Patricia Hearst and the bizarre story of her abduction and indoctrination into the Symbionese Liberation Army in the mid-70s.

Patricia-Hearst-SLA-triptych-1

The 19-year-old heiress to the Hearst publishing empire was snatched from her Berkley apartment one evening by the rag-tag group of sudo revolutionaries. Kept blindfolded in a closet for months, the young hostage eventually turned and joined the group, participating in bank robberies and other crimes including murder. It’s a truly extraordinary story. Many question her actual commitment to the group, was she a willing participant or was she forced, was it brainwashing, or did she join because she was a true believer? We may never know. She was eventually captured and prosecuted, but her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter and in the 90’s she received a full pardon from President Bill Clinton. If you’re interested in learning more, Jeffery Toobin wrote a book recounting the saga of Patricia Hearst and the SLA called American Heiress.

Hopefully, this playlist, filled with songs of commitment, dedication, and devotion, will embolden your resolve and add grit to your struggles to get *it done. Keep your resolutions and stay stubborn in your pursuits. If you dig these playlists, follow me on *Spotify and give me a shout on Twitter, I would love to hear from you. See you next month, that’s a promise.

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