Top 40 at 40: 2012-2021

I’m turning 40 this month! To help deal with celebrate that, I’ve built a playlist containing 40 of my favorite songs, each one representing a year in my life. I limited myself to one song per artist/band, for the sake of variety. And, I’m including YouTube videos so that, dear readers, you can listen to the songs for yourselves!

I’ve broken this up into four chunks of 10 years at a time, because I don’t want to overwhelm anybody with 40 songs at once. This is part 4, so go back and read the previous three parts!

2012: The No Pants Dance by TWRP

“I love the way that you dance when you dance like the way that you dance when you dance with your pants off.” Don’t read into that lyric any. I just think this song by TWRP/TupperWare Remix Party is ridiculously funny.

2013: Don’t Mess with Magnetman by The Megas

“I am magnetically drawing my death to me, so why can’t my body reverse polarity?”

The Megas make metal tunes based on the Mega Man video game series. I encountered their first album, Get Equipped, during the Comic Zone days. They then released their Mega Man 3 covers on a two-part album in 2013. “Don’t Mess with Magnet Man” is my favorite tune from those records.

2014: Hunger by the Cybertronic Spree

I was introduced to the Cybertronic Spree by my new friend in 2014, The Sassmaster, and immediately fell in love with them. A Transformers cosplay band, doing covers of songs from the soundtrack? Yes. Yes, that. Yes, that please.

2014 saw me unemployed for most of the year, keeping me HUNGRY, both figuratively and literally. I started my Redbubble store, and kept some cashflow that way. I kept working on New Hawk & Croc, doing most of my favorite chapter, The Mystery of the Dark Raptor. Collaborated with a friend to make a pro wrestling comic called Slade’s World in the fall, which debuted at the Comic Media Expo. In October, I got a part-time job as at Radio Shack just weeks before they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. D’oh!

2015: Love Beat by Video Video

In April, I changed jobs from Radio Shack to Samurai Comics which re-ignited my love for comics retail. I could now just focus on selling the comics and not having to worry about managing the store on top of that. It wasn’t perfect, but it was much better than 2014 had been.

Over the summer, I discovered Synthwave music as a genre, instead of just a couple of random songs, thanks to and Future 80’s Records. THAT was huge for me, as you’ll see in the next several tracks. It was like falling in love with music all over again.

I went to my cousin’s wedding in Los Angeles over the summer. That fall, my roommates adopted Aristotle. While I was hesitant about getting a dog at first, we definitely bonded super hard, very quickly, and we now spend most mornings going on big walks, just the two of us. AND my roommates took me along on their family trip for Thanksgiving. Some of my extended family was so happy to see me and my brother back over the summer at our cousin’s weddin that they paid for us to fly out to New England and spend Christmas with them.

LOTS of love in 2015.

2016: Beyond Memory by NINA

And then in 2016, my dad died.

2017: White Cars by Powernerd feat. Ankathie Koi & Johann Martinus Bass

I had been buying Synthwave bundles from Groupees for the past three years at this point. White Cars is a song that caught my ear on a rainy bus ride into work. It quickly shot up to one of my favorites, and it was from 2017. I’ve since bought nearly all of Powernerd’s albums via Bandcamp.

2018: Atomic Monsoon by the DeaFM Records All-Stars

Yeah, cuz I was gonna pick ANY other song for 2018.

I got a new graphic design job at VoiceAmerica near the start of the year. By the end of August, I started co-hosting my first podcast, Atomic Monsoon. I asked a friend who worked at DeaFM Records to write us a themesong, and he did!

I loved making that show for the 100 episodes we did it, so much so that my co-host Stephanie and I recently did an Atomic Monsoon Reunion Episode at Phoenix Fan Fusion.

2019: Losing the Connection by Dana Jean Phoenix

One of the executive producers at VoiceAmerica asked me, “If you could interview anybody for Atomic Monsoon, who would it be?” And the first person I could think of was synthwave aritst, Dana Jean Phoenix. I messaged her on social media, and she enthusiastically agreed! Coincidentally, we got to talk to her just days before my birthday.

It was my first time interviewing someone that wasn’t already one of my friends, and I’m grateful for my co-host Josh who picked things up everytime I started getting flustered at talking to one of my favorite musicians. Dana couldn’t have been nicer, and she let us use a sample of Losing the Connection on the show, which is why it got picked for my 2019 song.

2020: Caramel Cave by YATTE

This guy just came out of nowhere and was amazing. I had his first album, Shadow Work, was on repeat for a LOT of the year.

Lyrically, this song just fit my mood for a lot of 2020. Doing what I could to get through COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, watching people just being incredibly selfish about a variety of things throughout the year, and just waiting patiently for it all to subside.

“I never had to wait so long / for the end of a cycle.”

2021: I’m the Sun by Wurmfur

I wrote about this back when my friends in the band Wurmfur released their first EP, and you’ve gotta support your friends! Plus, the EP was legitimately one of my favorite albums to come out in 2021.

And there we go. 40 songs for 40 years of my life. I hope you’ve enjoyed this musical journey, and hopefully I introduced you to a song or a band that you either weren’t aware of, or hadn’t considered listening to before.

2022 year isn’t over yet, but given some things that I have coming up, if everything goes according to plan?

Well, I’ll let you interpret this one on your own:

2022: Reunion by Collective Soul

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