This morning, I awoke to a flurry of multicolored screen grabs on twitter and instagram. Pink, yellow, teal, and black images from people I care about, but mostly people I could not give a shit about. Spotify’s year rewind is back, but this time it’s for the whole decade. Basic white girls confirming their basic-ness by posting repeated images of Ariana Grande’s latest album. All those EDM kids that wear nothing but swimsuits and bandanas to a venue in November showing off their favorite laptop musician. You get the picture. I applaud the marketing here. Even though the repeated image of the top musician or song makes it look like that’s all you listened to, it has a good aesthetic. Genuinely, I like the idea of being retrospective about how your taste in music has changed. But what this ended up doing for me was the opposite; it showed me that I was stuck in my ways, and I leaned on my workout playlist too heavily.
No one should be judged by their workout playlists. When I’m at home, I’m listening to Jazz, Surf Rock, R&B, and whatever you’d categorize Rex Orange County as. A pretty eclectic mix, but it’s nothing that I would recommend going on a run to. And when I’m looking for new artists, I’m gravitating towards more of that style of music. I haven’t added any songs to my workout jams since about 2016, when Anderson .Paak made it onto my stagnant running playlist. But the playlist I go to the most when I’m exercising is one I made in 2012 called “AngstyWhiteTeen”: a collection of pop-punk, metal, and emo songs that I genuinely like, but that I listen to with an acknowledgment that it’s ridiculous. The hits from My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Korn, and Green Day pepper the lineup. But one band reigns supreme: Slipknot. If you’re not familiar, Slipknot is a metal band that is very 2000s. They were a beautiful mess. Dueling drummers going back and forth, and someone with steel drums made for that “industrial” sound (read: chaotic). They wore scary masks and talked about how they were going to get revenge on the people that have wronged them. They had a DJ for cool ‘wicky-wickys’ just like every other band that made the jump to the new millennium. It’s a guilty pleasure that I run on a treadmill, but with a smirk on my face.
How am I supposed to grow my workout repertoire? I don’t do EDM, so that eliminates pretty much every generated workout playlist on spotify. If I use the “custom” ones they’ve curated for me, I get interrupted by a HAIM cover that slows me down completely. On top of that, I don’t believe that working out is a good time to test out new music. I feel like singing along in my head, or knowing when a chorus is coming up so I can time a set of bench reps to it correctly. I’m out of options, so I go back to AngstyWhiteTeen.
Vampire Weekend, Declan McKenna, the 1975, and Drake. Those are much more representative of the insufferable white kid I’ve become. With Slipknot in the top spot, we’ll never know who number 6 was. Maybe it was Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, or Mac Miller, or Chance the Rapper, or my actual favorite band of all time: Incubus. I don’t get to show off that I listen to Stan Getz and Frank Ocean, but also Fleetwood Mac and Paul Simon. And yes, this entire paragraph was just to drop a ton of names of artists that I think are cool enough to redeem me. Is it working?
I’m mad at Spotify. I’m trying to hide my Sipknot listening from the world because it’s not that serious. I’m not going to a Slipknot concert ever again, and now my family’s mix playlist is unusable because “Pulse of the Maggots” comes on right after a Simon and Garfunkel song. My poor grandma was just testing out her Google Home and couldn’t get it to stop playing Slipknot (I’m sorry, Jojo). We’ve since learned about the “Chill” feature, and that’s what’s playing in the house during family get-togethers. I can’t listen to my “Decade Wrapped” playlist for the same reason; it’s too disjointed. Private listening doesn’t work, because the playlist was already mine, and I can’t edit
It feels like I’m being punished for working out too much. The saddest part is, I don’t exactly have anything to show for it. But hey, it’s bulking season. Let’s put on my “Beefy Christmas” playlist (named after the dog, obviously), and drink some craft stouts and/or hot toddies and forget about all this.