DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Context
Context is everything. Understanding the surrounding information rather than simply coming to a conclusion based on a snapshot in time can change the entire meaning of something. It is particularly imperative to dig deeper for full context in the era of sound bites, status updates and tweets. The more context provided, the less susceptible to manipulation information is.
The context around a song has a dramatic influence on how we experience music. A song feels differently depending on our perception of the artist, our age, the culture, or our mood at the time we are listening. Bubbly songs may seem tragic when we’re sad, melancholic songs suddenly seem more hopeful when we are in good spirits. We bring our own context to the listening experience and that’s probably what makes music so personal to us. We can attach our own personal interpretation and that connection can feel strong.
This months playlist is comprised of songs that provide a bit of explanation, context and meaning. These musical stories reveal the “whys” of the “whats”. From the Minneapolis master himself, Prince, with “When You Were Mine”, to his Twin Cities compatriots the Replacements, with “Waitress in the Sky”. These songs contextualize the situations. The Blackbyrds explain that romantic encounters in Rock Creek Park are just more exciting. Dolly tell us she won’t be held to a higher standard “Just Because I’m a Woman”. King Krule drones on about sinking lower in “Biscuit Town”, although it sounds like a pretty delicious place to me. I close out the playlist with a great new band, Des Demonas. “South Will Never Rise Again” is a swirling dirge reassuring us that, no matter the context, the confederacy will never rise again. Take that Lynyrd Skynyrd!