Mixtape XXXVIII: Blackbird 12/17/18

Written by BlackbirdGo December 17, 2018

This mixtape was curated for your smoking pleasure by Chris.

Hello everyone! I am Chris Crottogini.

The name of this mixtape is Blackbird 12/17/18 for practical reasons. I would not say there is an overarching theme besides the fact that all of these tracks are some of my favorite tracks for one reason or another. This is to say that it’s not holiday themed, although there is one piece that is 100% about the birth of jesus in the manger. This is the version that my high school choir sung at every Christmas Choral Concert (I attended Santa Rosa High School from 2000 to 2004). Fun fact: My choral director, Dan Earl, has a copy of the piece signed by the composer that was given to him when he retired. Earl’s conducting of this piece was considered flawless and somewhat legendary within the community, Dan Earl still conducts the Sing along Messiah for Santa Rosa. Its tomorrow night (the 18th) if you are interested.

Other tracks have similar nostalgia to me. The Velvet Teen and Fifteen are essentially local bands to me, although Fifteen had broken up before I discovered them via my older brother (thanks Joey). I did get to see Fifteen play a local show years ago. One night only at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. They did not disappoint. I played low brass in high school, which accounts for the opening and closing tracks. If there is a theme, it’s really just me saying telling you about my musical tastes, both in terms of music that I grew up with, but also the genres I listen to. I imagined someone starting this playlist at the beginning of their shift, given their shifts don’t start too early. It starts peaceful but builds momentum, then starts hitting hard. It smooths out a bit then hits hard again, albeit in a different genre. Then it changes gears a couple more times, moving into hip-hop and, last but not least, jazz. A jazz track that I think blends pretty well with first track of the playlist, so if you have the playlist set on repeat, it will smoothly transition back to the beginning of the playlist. In other words, in the relatively short time I spent creating this playlist, I attempted to include a few different genres, but in a way that still ‘logically’ leads from one track to the next. If I succeeded, then you might wonder how you ‘got’ to this point in the music, but not displeased that you are there. I can’t tell you if it worked.

I do consider myself creative. I don’t actively create things as a hobby. I played a lot of music in high school and enjoy creative endeavors, but lately I have consumed the creative work of others. There are too many podcasts and movies and movie articles and tv shows. Also, laziness. I stay creative by trying out new things. For music, this means perusing Pitchfork reviews and listening to anything that piques my interest on Apple music. Technology has really taken away the need to sift through physical aisles of media unless that is your thing, which it still is for me in terms of movies. I used to live in Berkeley within walking distance of Rasputin and Amoeba Records and I would spend long tracks of time there. But I digress.

I have several things that keep me going. A strong relationship with my girlfriend Lennon. A nice apartment with relatively low rent. Good health as far as I know and complete health care coverage (amazing). Occasionally dunking on people who can handle it. And last, but not least, and no bullshit, this company and the down to earth, hard working team I work with on a daily basis.

So here is a playlist I made. Listen if you want. Just know that we will be rocking in Santa Rosa either way. Much love.

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.