Jane Hu is the head of Programming Strategy at YouTube’s Next Lab
Okay I have a confession to make. Somewhere on my laptop is a spreadsheet where, for the past decade, I’ve kept track of every concert I’ve attended. It’s the music geek’s equivalent to notches on the bedpost. And in true geeky form, it includes not just the name of the band and the date, but also the venue, city, genre, who attended with me, whether I’d seen the band before, and other mildly embarrassing, overly-detailed statistics.
When Joel asked me to write for Rexly’s Formative Musical Experiences, the first thing I did was drag my feet. The second thing I did was dig up this spreadsheet. And, after two hours spent pouring over it, I’ve finally given up and just confessed to having this obsessive cataloging behavior. Because nearly every line in this spreadsheet was formative in some way or another. Line 135 (Arcade Fire, Coachella, 2005) was the first time I danced as if there was no one watching. Line 168 (The Frames, LA, 2005) was the first time music got me high—so high that I felt like I was physically levitating above my body still standing enraptured in the crowd. By Line 541 (Mogwai, SF, 2009), music had become a religion and all of the audience—me included of course—its hypnotized devotees.
Line 73 (We Are Scientists, SXSW, 2005) and Line 269 (Pedestrian, LA, 2006) marked when I met two of my best lifelong friends. Line 158 landed me my job. ine 362 (The National, NY, 2007) was exactly the catharsis I needed to get over a breakup. Line 337 took me down a rabbit hole that has changed me irrevocably.
Line 487 (Spoon, SF, 2008) kicked off one of the biggest nights of my life. Or was it Line 467 (The All-For-Nots, LA, 2008)? Or Line 59 (Beck, LA, 2005)? Or Line 367 (Gogol Bordello, LA, 2007)? Or Line 627 (Crystal Method, Burning Man, 2010)?
These 700+ lines make up who/where/how I have been over the past decade, how I have come to see the world, where I derive my sense of self—not to mention just plain making me happy. I am so excited for the next 700.