I make a soundtrack for myself for almost everything I do. I particularly like the challenge of a themed mix. While writing this book, I put together a mix of songs for each chapter that either fit the theme of the chapter, the time period covered in the chapter, had the right words in the title or in some way made sense to me. After years of resisting Spotify because I like holding a cassette/CD in my hand, I realized it was the only way to share these mixes with any reader of my book that might want to listen to them. The chapter by chapter playlists are hyper-linked below. And you can find them under WeAreStaying_ on Spotify.
CHAPTER 1: Blackout. Songs in this playlistare about it being a hot summer day or about it being dark or about the bad luck that a twist of fate can bring to someone's life. Plus songs that were written specifically about the 1977 Blackout.
CHAPTER 2: From Russia With Love. Songs in this playlist include songs about Russian Jews, the immigrant experience in general, and how amazing it must have been for 20th century immigrants seeing New York City for the first time.
CHAPTER 3: A Dream, Some Chutzpah, and the First Month’s Rent. Songs in this playlistreflect life going well, new beginnings and confidence.
CHAPTER 4: The Golden Age of Radio. First and foremost - songs in this playlist are about radios. Also that it was a good time to be a New York City small business owner in the 1940's. And some New York City songs that fit my general mood when writing this chapter.
CHAPTER 5: The Post World War II Bust. This chapter covered some heavy U.S. history. For this playlist, I listened to alot of Puerto Rican music and Leadbelly songs while I researched and wrote about migration and displacement on the Upper West Side of NY. Plus I needed a song about television.
CHAPTER 6: The Hornets Nest. Several different themes in this chapter. For this playlist,I listened to songs about remembering people after they are gone, a new generation taking over, family relationships, taking on a big challenge. And some good songs about New York City that fit this chapter.
CHAPTER 7: The Looting. Songs in this playlist had me thinking about the chaos created by the blackout, the controversy about the causes of the looting, and the opportunities created by the blackout.
CHAPTER 8: Better Than a Kick in The Head. Songs in this playlist were about being under pressure, having a long haul to recover from the looting, and having an outsized belief in making it through a bad situation.
CHAPTER 9 & 10: An Occassion Worth Remembering & Aftershocks. For this playlist,I mostly listened to songs about being past the worst of a tough situation and feeling like you are back on track.
CHAPTER 11: Follow The Lease. New York City becomes a harder place for a small business to survive. My dad realizes the only approach is to organize with others to change city policy. Songs on this playlistfit my mood while writing this chapter.
CHAPTER 13: The Time Bomb. This was a tough time for Radio Clinic and for my dad. Commerical rents in NYC were out of control. The twenty year lease was up. The songs on this playlist all resonated for me in terms of working hard, struggling, excessive optimism, and NYC letting its people down.
CHAPTER 14: That's All Folks. Songs on this playlistare about endings, realizing you can't always hard work your way out of a problem, and making peace with an imperfect ending.
CHAPTER 15: The Retirement. Songs on this playlist reflect the idea of embracing a new chapter in life and finding new things to care about.