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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Reality

Reality can be rough. A lot of the things around us serve to help us escape the harshness of reality rather than face it. TV, films, video games, music and now VR all help us escape through fantasy. I am reminded of a T.S. Elliot quote from Four Quartets:

“…human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.”
—T.S. Elliot

I think this is true, we seem to have a physiological inability to accept total reality, and if we could, we would be overwhelmed and paralyzed by it. Great creativity comes from irrational ambition and unrealistic aspirations. We all need relief, and through art we escape reality. Music does this for me.

For some, music is an escape from reality, for others it’s a window into another reality. I remember hearing N.W.A. “Straight Outta Compton” for the first time as a 12-year-old suburban midwestern kid. My friends and I snuck down to the basement where we secretly gathered around the boombox, we popped the tape in, and wow, it blew me away, actually it kind of scared me. I had no frame of reference for what they were talking about in those songs, it was a completely different reality from mine. I would like to think that exposure broadened my view of the world. Or maybe it just corrupted my young impressionable mind. Either way, it transported me into someone else’s reality. That is powerful.

The music selections this month focus on reality, facing reality or at the other extreme, escaping reality through fantasy. I hope you dig the selections. There are some great songs on this playlist. From Cheryl Lynn’s late disco classic “Got To Be Real”, to Kurt Vile’s narrative of losing slowly touch with reality, “Pretty Pimpin”, to one of my all-time favorite songs, Traffic’s “Mr. Fantasy”.

Here is a harsh reality. We have lost a lot of great musical artists lately, but Prince was a particularly devastating loss. He was one of the most universally loved musicians. A friend of mine said it best, “I don’t want to know a person who doesn’t like Prince, ‘What!? You don’t like Prince’”. Prince was a genius. His music is not on Spotify, so I couldn’t include his songs on the playlist, but here are few reality related songs that should be included:

Let’s Go Crazy
Sign ‘O’ the Times
Let’s Pretend We’re Married

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”
— Prince

Thanks for listening. Please share the playlists if you enjoy them and give me a holler on twitter @jiquin. I’ll be back next month with another selection of songs.

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