Home » Active Playlists » Music to Play in Your Vintage Mustang » I Ain’t Hiding – The Black Crowes
I’ve spent this past week frantically scouring Spotify, YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, every corner of the Internet, my memory, and my personal collection for that perfect song to drive my Music to Play in your Vintage Mustang back to the late 60s. I can’t begin to tell you how much music I’ve listened to in the last day, let alone this last week, but I keep returning to The Black Crowes’ “I Ain’t Hiding,” from their 2009 album Before the Frost... Until the Freeze.
This song wasn’t a favorite of Rolling Stone’s critic Mark Kemp. He generally liked the album and gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five, but wasn’t too kind to this track, describing it as “a disco-rock song that sounds like a reject from the Stones’ Black and Blue...” Nevertheless; to me, it’s perfect.
Listening to it over and over again, I finally realized why I keep coming back to it and what makes it such an ideal fit for my playlist: it is me. This song is a reverse journey through my experience as a Gen Xer, from a band I loved from my university days of the 90s, seamlessly combining a very 00s sound with a range of influences that stretch back through the punk and dance pop of the 80s, disco, and the hard-hitting rock and roll of the early 70s.
When my mother wasn’t walking around the house belting out early 60s’ girl-band lyrics, she was collecting compilation albums, specifically from K-Tel. She may not have had the most refined taste, but she enjoyed variety, or at least that’s what I recall. I poured over them all, preferring some sounds to others. And when I found the perfect song, I’d play it over and over until ready to perform my latest theatrical dance incarnation.
With my family all gathered on floral grey sofas in our basement apartment, I’d set the vinyl on the turntable of a brown fibreboard stereo and not-so-carefully lower the needle. It would pop, screech, and crackle before any music spilled from the weaved-wheat speakers. My toes would press, lift, and sweep through the blue-green shag carpet, my arms would flail, and the music would bass and treble through my soul.
I’m no longer that 6-year-old doing private-audience interpretive dance routines, but my passion remains just as intense. I have no special superpowers as a curator — just my love of sounds and lyrics that transport, transform, move, and make your body groove.
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