Alta Centers, Executive Director Garrett Braukman curated a mixtape as a DJ for the recovery community. Below is a track list of all the songs used and why they were used. At Alta Centers, we thrive on difference and engaging our community in music.

Full Track List

  1. “Express Yourself” – NWA
  2. “Float On”- Modest Mouse
  3. ” You Can’t Always Get What You Want”- The Rolling Stones
  4. “Hey Mama” – Kanye West
  5. “Get By” – Talib Kweli
  6. “California” – Phantom Planet
  7. “Heroes” – David Bowie
  8. “Yellow” (Rad Stereo Remix) – Coldplay
  9. “Minnesota, WI” (Oliver Nelson Remix) – Bon Iver
  10. “Love and Happiness” (Mixfits Quick Edit) – Al Green
  11. “Drug Dealer” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Ariana Deboo
  12. “Cigarettes & Saints” – The Wonder Years

Track Explanations:

“Express Yourself” – NWA I chose this track because it represents a lot about who I came to be in recovery, I always felt the lyrics of this song represented a lot about my recovery and who I am today, expressing myself and sharing who I am with no filter even if it’s uncomfortable and strange.

“Float On” – Modest Mouse “Float On” discusses how we deal with situations that may be uncomfortable for us but we’ll “float on anyway” I think a lot of my early recovery can be summed up by a track like this because even in the worst of circumstances in early recovery, I learned to deal with them.

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – The Rolling Stones This song describes to me a lot about myself, I’ve always been really good at seeing the “dream” aspect of situations and not the reality, even today, I’m always the person in business development meetings being told “well yes, but how do we get there now” I have a huge sense of imagination and it’s been a long road, I remember seeing the guys with 20 years sober in the rooms and wanting to be those guys when I had a year, especially the line “but if you try sometimes you might just get what you need” I think everything in my recovery, through trying has been put forth as what I needed.

“Hey Mama” – Kanye West This song is special to me because my mom was my first person to introduce me to a life of recovery, we’ve dealt with a lot together and she was a single mom trying hard when I was growing up. My mom’s hard work ethic and response to difficult situations is the reason I’m alive today, she’s put forth so much effort to help me not only get better but to develop the person I am today.

“Get By” – Talib Kweli Talib’s lyrics in this track are about getting by no matter what, “I find the strength in myself” is a specific line that I really like, he talks about throughout this song that we don’t need drugs and we can get high by the love of others and support of others. In my DJ career, Talib was one of the first “celebrity” DJ’s I ever opened for in Cincinnati, which taught me a lot about skill level and working towards something bigger.

“California” – Phantom Planet This song represents how much California and my recovery here means to me. I grew up going to Orange County where my mom grew up every summer, and developed a relationship with this wonderful state that’s so much of why I am sober. To me, I needed to be in California and in Los Angeles to really get into my recovery and see the young people in action like we have here.

“Heroes” – David Bowie David Bowie is an idol to me, in the way he talked about his recovery and the lyrics he speaks about life throughout his lyrics. This song to me, is about throughout everything we can be heroes for our recovery. We make a decision to be better people, and we might not always win but it’s our thoughts and our actions together that can make us heroes for others.

“Yellow” – Coldplay Coldplay’s song Yellow is a reminder of my father, who died from this disease. This song reminds me when it’s on to look at the stars, and to remember the alternative of recovery. I remember growing up listening to this song with my dad. Coldplay seems to always have albums that are largely representing parts of my life which I truly enjoy and wanted to represent in this mix.

“Minnesota, WI” – Bon Iver The chorus of this song says “never gonna break, never gonna break” I believe these lyrics represent my recovery, because I’m not going to break away from this life, no matter how hard it gets I will always remain living this sober lifestyle and representing myself and others in recovery.

“Love and Happiness” – Al Green This song is a feel good song, I think in my recovery I’ve felt so much love and happiness. I’ve been able to not only love myself but love someone else and falling in love with someone in recovery is scary, it tests you, it’s difficult but it’s worth it, I have a life today full of love and happiness and recovery.

“Drug Dealer” – Macklemore This song came out as I was looking for songs that could represent my recovery. It mentions a lot about the stories of recovery I’ve seen and the story that represents me. He mentions a few things I really like about this song, one of which is talking about DJ AM, and his recovery and addiction, and AM was someone I truly respected and showed me that recovery is about having fun. He also says the serenity prayer at the end of the song and every time I’ve been in a situation of drugs or a situation of intercepting a client who’s using, I slowly whisper those words to myself to remind myself about the disease.

“Cigarettes and Saints” – The Wonder YearsThis song obviously is a bit different than other songs on this mix and really doesn’t have a DJ vibe, but this band has released a number of albums and every one of them represent a piece of my life and growing up in recovery. This song is presumably about a friend who passed away and was released about a month before one of my good friends died from a drug overdose, I closed this mix with this song because it’s a band that when talking about my recovery I always think about. At the end how it says “we’re no saviors if we can’t save our brothers” I wrestle a lot with the mistakes I’ve made in my recovery and truly want to be the person to save those around me. This song also represents the large ties I have to my blood brothers who have helped me through some of my biggest struggles and I’ve helped them as well staying up late and talking about recovery, relationships and life. As it rings out with the echo of you can’t have my friends, you can’t have my brothers, I always think of that being me talking about the disease we struggle with, that it won’t take me, it won’t take my friends and it won’t take my brothers both biological and friends of mine who are brothers to me. We have to fight to stay sober, so we can continue this life of recovery.

 

Various Quotes and Snippets Explanation and Listing:

 

Robin Williams on his recovery to Larry King on CNN

I chose this because I feel like Robin Williams was a person that through humor was also one of the biggest champions of the recovery movement even as he passed away he was one of the few people who came out of the shadows to talk about addiction and talk about rehab and recovery.

David Bowie on being Sober

One of my favorite quotes on sobriety, I had to include. David Bowie was an idol in his recovery and his music. With a stern emotion he shares about his recovery, and how his life is so different and how difficult it is to have relationships with people in recovery

Chapter 5 – How it Works- Alcoholics Anonymous

I am a member of the secret sober community, and it helped me get clean. I believe in my personal recovery the steps really helped me learn more about myself and not blame others for my issues but deal with them head on.

Senator Shelton on Addiction and Recovery

Obviously, it’s been a very political season this last year, and I picked this quote because it embodies how important the recovery community is to speak out, we don’t need to hide in the shadows of our recovery.

Live Speech from The Wonder Years

The Wonder years as I said is a band I respect and love, and I love the power in the vocalist’s words, how much it means to be in a generation that I can say has the power to be the greatest generation, I don’t want to die fulfilled, I want to take every bit of fire in my heart, and give it to those around me and those I love, share my energy with others and give to others everything I’ve gotten.

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