As a writer/artist, music is a huge factor in how I see life and create things. Cliché I know but #truth.

I started the Downtown Travels mixtape series about a year and a half ago. Some coworkers of mine and I were recommending songs to each other and got into the sorta old school style of sharing music: giving playlists on CDs. Children if you don’t know what these are, they’re the little circular objects that have a rainbow streak when you put them in the light. They are lighter than your iPod and tangible compared to your Spotify accounts.

This mixtape is pretty special, being the first one and all. There are 11 playlists total and counting. This one is probably the most related to real life events. Oh nostalgia! How you torture the hearts and minds of your prey but give the best musical moments!

Enough backstory, here’s the playlist!

  1. Sedona – Houndmouth

The guitar in the beginning of the song brings that lovely feeling of early summer and tickles your heart as you drive through the hills of West Austin.

2. Rock the Casbah – The Clash

The first song I heard on a vinyl player, about three years ago On one of the side streets along the SoCo strip is a hidden record store. Just found the place by chance and their inventory was quite different from what you would typically find at Waterloo. I mean they had the latest-at-the-time Daft Punk album and current albums, but also had little known bands, rare finds and a great selection of classical orchestra music. This is my favorite Clash song with the original members. Also, sidenote: happy birthday Combat Rock for turning 35 years old this year.


3. Down in the Valley – The Head and The Heart

If you’ve read my previous post “The Head and The Heart“, then you know of my love for this song. It’s the perfect lazy spring/summer song. Enough said.


4. Supersoaker – Kings of Leon

We can agree the melody is catchy and soothes you into an almost trance-like state. I hear this song and I am 18 again, a college freshman at St. Ed’s, driving through SoCo as the sun sets on a March afternoon.

5. Just Like Heaven – The Cure

“Show me show me show me how you do that trick the one that makes me scream she said!” What to say of this song? One of the best love songs of the 1980s. Again, I am reminded of those lazy early summer days driving around with the windows rolled down, simply enjoying life. Or dancing around Graffiti Park to catch a glance of every piece of artwork that were sprayed on the walls while at the same time enjoying the ATX skyline. Pure joy.


6. Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub

A few years ago, there was this radio station called 105.3 The Fringe (which then turned into Classic 105.3, which then turned into 105.3 The Bat). The station was a private KUTX to an extent, playing local artists, upcoming artists, and things the corporate stations didn’t. I first heard this song on The Fringe and it was pretty much song of the summer for me. I still don’t know all the words, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to sing along in my car as I drive on Barton Springs Road.

7. Cocoon – Catfish and the Bottlemen

Another one of those songs first heard on the radio. It’s a pretty good song to sing out on the top of your lungs in your car with your friends (or alone). It’s also fun to try to count how many times the f-word is said.

8. With Your Two Hands – The Wind and the Wave

I had heard of The Wind and the Wave before they made it big with this song. I in love with them when I heard their live interview on the JB and Sandy Show on The Fringe in October 2014. I was sitting in the empty classroom where “Shakespearean Theatre” was held-ground floor of Moody Hall-working on my Merchant of Venice paper, happily listening to The Wind and the Wave play this song live on the radio waves. The rest is history. As I type this, I have various tabs open trying to find the podcast. Soundcloud I’m coming for you!


9. Fools – Wild Child

I saw Wild Child with some friends at our first Blues on the Green show back in June 2014. I believe it was Wild Child’s big debut. Like The Wind and the Wave, Wild Child is a local indie band that you casually hear about. It’s a cool band and every time I hear this song, I’m transported back to a very less crowded Zilker Park, sitting on a picnic blanket in a polka dot dress wondering about the opening act to Saints of Valory.

10. Friday I’m in Love – The Cure

Because you can’t have a better Friday song than this. This song to me is just all the happiness and carefree vibes streaming through all the streets of ATX. It’s the lightness of being. It’s the song you shout to your friend parked in the car next to you as you both wait for the light on Monroe and South Congress to turn green. It’s the song that tells you no matter how hard life gets, how complicated love gets, how confusing the future gets, everything will be okay. It’s the song that you cannot finish without a smile on your face.


Hope you enjoy this. Some might feel the same connections. Some might share the same memories. Some might just be outright confused and that’s okay. Like what you see? Have suggests? Comment below!

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