The Playlist of Eric Tinsay Valles

Here’s April’s playlist, courtesy of poet Eric Tinsay Valles. This month’s tunes are inspired by childhood dreams of being a rock star—sifted from the writer’s eclectic collection of music from all genres—and we can quite imagine him listening to these to dampen the occasional, overwhelming roar of everyday life.

I dreamt of being a rock star when I was a music-loving, tone-deaf teenager. Though academia snuffed out that dream, music still fills up a big part of my day. Music livens up my reading ofemail, keeps me from dozing off while marking student essays and, occasionally,inspires me to adopt a certain rhythm for new poetry. I try to weave musicalelements into my writing. Putting a cap on the number of tunes on a recommended playlist is tough. Being hemmed in by a massive wall of sound while puttering about the house or switching off from nine-to-five work is the best staycation ever.

I thrive on variety, so I have an eclectic music taste ranging from achy-breaky blues to alternative rock, golden oldies, progressive rock, and even remixed club music. I am drawn to a driving beat, an infectious chorus or clever lyrics. Listening to light rock music especially releases feel-good chemicals without untoward side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Here’s my chill-out weekend playlist of light rock classics:

1. I Would Die for U and the Purple Rain soundtrack, Prince 

2. Dreams and the entire Rumours album, Fleetwood Mac 

3. Norwegian Wood, The Beatles  

4. The Great Gig in the Sky, Pink Floyd 

5. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man and the rest of Sign ‘o’ the Times, Prince 

6. With or Without You, U2

7. Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder 

8. Human Nature, Michael Jackson

9. Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan 

10. In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel

11. Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell

12. Make You Feel My Love, Adele or Bob Dylan

Eric’s books, After the Fall: dirges among ruins and A World in Transit are available for purchase at all good bookstores, and via our website.