This weekend marked my 14th year as a Current360 employee. Fourteen years. I had to let that sink in for a bit. Bill Clinton was still president for a few more months, you could still take pocket knives on airplanes and Apple shares were trading in the 80s (FYI – today it opened at 633.00 a share).
Like most advertising agencies, things have changed in 14 years. Clients and coworkers have come and gone. Technology has evolved. (Remember zip discs?) Design trends have seemingly changed daily. But one thing that has remained constant at Current is music. Not necessarily in taste or trend, but in its presence.
Even dating back to the Story Avenue days, the designers at C360 have always worked in one big room. And music is always playing. So to celebrate 14 years, I thought I’d put together a playlist of 14 songs that remind me of the people at Current. Because in my day, that’s what you did for people you loved—you made them a mix tape.
Fair warning: this is going to be all over the place. But I think that’s sort of fitting for the cast of characters that has worked here over the years.
- Top Jimmy – Van Halen
My first interview at Current was with Lisa, Allison and Dennis in the conference room of our old offices on Story Avenue. The first question they asked me wasn’t about my resume or my portfolio. It was, “If we hire you, can we call you Jimmy D?” I had been “Jim” since middle school, but I really wanted the job, so I said, “If you hire me, you can call me Susan.” I’m glad they stuck with Jimmy D.
- Bit Part – The Lemonheads
One of the first things Dennis and I bonded over was our firm belief that “It’s a Shame About Ray” makes for excellent road trip music.
- Alison – Elvis Costello
This song was on heavy rotation in the old studio for a long time. And every time it played, our own Allison would say “What a GREAT song!” That still makes me laugh 14 years later.
- What You Wish For – Guster
Our former coworker/resident movie critic Marcia Hogg became obsessed by the idea that the drummer from Guster played with his hands instead of sticks. It was a constant source of fascination for her.
- Oceans – Pearl Jam
This one checks two boxes. Because our Interactive CD, Donovan Sears, is the biggest Pearl Jam fan I know and we used to have a designer named Ocean. Seriously. Ocean.
- Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
If you even get a chance, ask Chris Fosson about his high school-era fake Soundgarden cover band, Spiderella. (Not much to do in Flatwoods, I guess.)
- Lights of Louisville – The Muckrakers
These guys were signed to Label X, who used to be a tenant in our building, and they played one of our Cocktails in the Courtyard parties. Still one of my favorite bands and a great bunch of guys.
- Fish and Whistle – John Prine
This song reminds me of Nick Ising. Always has. Always will.
- What’s He Building in There – Tom Waits
Our radio in the studio is always on WFPK and every Halloween this song goes into heavy rotation. And it always make us laugh, because it drives Dennis nuts.
- Generator (First Floor) – Freelance Whales
This is one of the many bands our former VP Katy Miller turned me on to. She and her husband Scott have a great record collection and great taste in music (even if they insist that Echo and the Bunnymen are better than The Smiths).
- Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn and John
No song made us switch off the radio faster that when this was in heavy rotation on WFPK. Our distaste for this song was universal and intense. So much so, that it has become a part of our shared experience. Now, we can laugh about it, but in 2006…
- You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
There have been plenty of occasions where one of us has had to enlighten the Millennials about music that came out before 1995. (Explaining The White Album to a 20-something can be tougher than you would think.) But one place where we have come together is a love of the catchy pop tunes of Hall & Oates.
- Rosalinda’s Eyes – Billy Joel
Former copywriter Steve Morgan and I shared a similarly timed obsession with old vinyl, especially deep tracks from early Billy Joel records.
- Halo – Beyoncé
I don’t know anything about Beyoncé’s music. And I’m fine with that. But I know our newest hire, Maggie Ising (who was 7-years-old when I started this job), would never forgive me if there wasn’t a little Queen Bey on this list.