Houston Matters

Houston Matters Mix Tape Vol. 1: Some DJ Screw, Billy Joel, And Phish

Listeners reached out to share their favorite songs with the rest of Houston.


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In recent days, we have been constantly reminded to be socially distant — but not emotionally distant. We have also talked about how music spurs the soul.

So, with that in mind, our own Craig Cohen put out to call to meld those two thoughts into something we asked you and your neighbors to help develop: a Houston Matters Mix Tape made up of Houstonians’ favorite songs. And you responded.

We received many replies and for this edition have chosen nine songs to highlight, all of which you can find on Spotify. SHARE YOUR SONG

The Houston Matters Mix Tape Vol. 1:

  • DJ Screw & Lil Keke: South Side
  • Billy Joel: You’re Only Human (Second Wind)
  • Chris Whitley: Big Sky County
  • Fun.: Some Nights
  • Bomba Estereo: Mar (Lo Que Siento)
  • Jimkata: Ride the Wave
  • Robert Earl: Feelin’ Good Again
  • Phish: Light
  • Simple Minds: Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Our mix tape starts off with some nostalgia. Listener Lilya Keeton chose Southside by DJ Screw & Lil Keke, one of the first nationally recognized Houston rap songs that highlighted our urban culture. The iconic slow music production immediately brings Keeton the memories of “candy painted cars on a beautiful Sunday.”

Some songs on the mix tape are more dreamlike and Utopian. Houston Public Media reporter Elizabeth Trovall imagines herself in the Spanish lyrics of the song Mar (Lo Que Siento) by Bomba Estereo.

Vamos a vivi’ en una casita frente al mar

Cuando sea de noche miraremos la’ estrellas

Vamos a intentar hacer nuestro’ suenos realidad y vivir…

Y ser feliz

(English Translation)

We’re going to live in a little house facing the sea.

When night comes we’ll look to the stars.

We’re going to try to make our dreams reality, live,

And be happy

As some of us struggle with being physically isolated from each other at the moment, it’s no surprise that many of the songs we received were about perseverance and better days to come.

Bradley Gary shared his favorite song, Ride the Wave by Jimkata. Gary chose this song as a way to cope with the sense of danger. He shared this message with his children as a way to keep their heads up even if they are separated from each other. The sharp snare and marching tone of the song invokes a sense of marching on, pushing past these uncertain times towards a shared goal.

You can ride the wave

Past the things you cannot

You cannot ever change

Nothing stays the same

But it’s okay, yea, its okay

Share The Songs That Matter To You:

If you want to add your own song to a future community mix tape, download the free Houston Public Media News app on the Apple or Google Play app stores.

Once you’re in the app, select “open mic” in the menu, press record, and you’ll have 60 seconds to tell us what the song is and why you love it.

Then press “send” and e-mail your comments to us. We’ll take care of the rest. Happy listening!