Pop Punk Radio Show - Episode 4: "Stay Strong" Playlist
Episode 4 is our "Stay Strong" playlist. In a year that has seen overdose deaths in San Francisco climb 3 times higher than COVID deaths, I wanted to share a handful of songs that may help those who are going through a difficult time. The holidays are a rough time to feel lost or alone.
Bands featured in this playlist include:
The Vandals, Billy Talent, We Came As Romans, Beartooth, Only Crime, Social Distortion, Badflower, Memphis May Fire, Four Year Strong, Days N Daze, MxPx, MaximisE, Millencolin, Coheed & Cambria, Pennywise
One video that I want to highlight in this playlist is a short documentary featuring a man named Kevin Hines who survived a suicide attempt by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Kevin is incredibly fortunate. The world is also fortunate that Kevin survived because he has been able to communicate with others and explain what thoughts raced through his head before, after, and during his 220 foot plummet into the water below. I think that this is an important video for anyone who has ever had dark thoughts to watch and consider. I can say it has personally changed my own perspective on the subject in a small but meaningful way.
No skateboarding videos in this playlist, as I have elected to go with more serious subject matter that fits the theme of the playlist. However, I wanted to include a flight suit video which may seem like an odd choice but in my mind is very fitting. While listening to Kevin's tale about jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge and instantly regretting his decision, I had an image in my mind. What if Kevin had a parachute that day?
Kevin did not have a parachute. Kevin suffered horrific injuries and was lucky to be alive. But after surviving the experience, he was born again as a new person. A person with a message that may prevent others from suffering a similar or worse fate.
What if Kevin had a parachute that day? What if others who have taken their own lives by jumping from heights had a parachute? How many of them would have chosen to open the parachute? I personally believe that many of them would have pulled the cord to reverse their momentary decision. Sorrow can often feel debilitating and as if it will last forever, but nothing lasts forever. Feelings are temporary. Sometimes it may feel like the battle is never ending, but there will be moments of calm, peace, and triumph if one can ride out the storm.
It makes me wonder if there have ever been any extreme athletes who got involved in their sport as an escape from the darkness in their lives. While I can't think of any specific examples at the moment, my heart tells me that there absolutely must be some of those individuals out there. Imagine someone out there who is on the edge and thinking things can't possibly get better, then deciding "you know what? If I'm going to go out, let's go big."
Maybe instead of jumping from a bridge, this person decides to go skydiving in a wing-suit. Not only does this give the person more time to think things through, but it gives a person something else to focus on for the immediate time frame. If a person's life perspective is that bad that something drastic like jumping from a bridge is considered a solution, maybe we can take a step-back and approach the situation from a different angle. An angle that allows us to change our perspectives without eliminating ourselves. Perhaps a near-death experience in a more controlled scenario such as sky-diving can allow the person to experience a life-changing event that allows them to survive and move forward with a changed perspective?
I like to think that somewhere out there is a skydiver or wing-suit enthusiast who once jumped, only to discover that it was what they were born to do.
If you are going through a difficult time. Hang in there. You're not alone.
One band I want to highlight this episode is MaximisE from Orange County, California. I had the pleasure of playing bass for a few gigs with the two musical brothers nearly 10 years ago. I do want to point out that I am not the bass player in the video, but I did get to perform the song with the band during my stint with them. While their music wasn't as edgy and aggressive as one of the metal bands I played in around the same time, I always enjoyed the uplifting message in their lyrics. I think this is an important message in the year 2020.
As usual, the playlist also closes off with a little electronic ambient music. It's been a stressful year for many of us, with anxiety coming seemingly from all directions at times. I recently started making ambient music with 5K visuals in order to help relax during these stressful times. I realize this music may not be a good fit for all of our listeners, but perhaps some may find some enjoyment and relaxation.
Watch the playlist below or use the following: link