Fluff: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Jezebel ran a post called How Tragic Kingdom Saved My Life and while that particular album didn’t evoke a similar response in me, I adore the idea of dishing the music that’s been instrumental in one’s life.

I suspect that most of us have an ultimate soundtrack filled with songs for different occasions and from different eras of our lives. Growing up in the 80s I was exposed to a variety of musical styles and artists – and much of it was mad cheesy. Despite having interests reflective of many genres – including the oft derided country and hip hop – I still find myself going back to the same few artists: David Bowie, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lyle Lovett, The Legendary Pink Dots (I was a teenage goth) and for some inexplicable reason Eric Clapton – don’t ask, it’s a long story.

I wish I could say I had uber amazing in taste in music, but I don’t. I like all kinds of foolishness without shame or a clear understanding of the concept: guilty pleasure. I don’t like listening to radio unless it involves blathering about cooking, gardening or alien abductions . I tend to like the structure of a set schedule of programming, given that I have ADHD and all.

What kind of music are you enjoying of late? Recommend something. Enjoy. Let’s be fluffy, respectful and all that jazz – yes, I love me some showtunes.

Currently, I can’t get enough of McCartney particularly the instrumental “Momma Miss America”:

97 thoughts on “Fluff: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

  1. Well, the other day I was kinda pissed off at you, Snarky, because I had ‘Tell Me Something Good’ running nonstop through my head. That went on for a few hours.

    My cursed ipod has spoiled me in two ways. It only fosters my short attention span where I just keep forwarding to a song I want to listen to. It also makes it more difficult to fall in love with a full album. I don’t think I would love Guns and Roses Appetite for Destruction as much as I do if I hadn’t first listened to it on cassette where it was too big of a pain in the ass to fast forward through songs.

    Right now, I’m super tired of the Beatles. I never thought I would say that. I mean, I’ve vowed to never talk to a certain colleague who said he disliked the Beatles. I think that’s evidence of a character flaw. Its up there with men who don’t like cats. Unforgivable. Still I just feel meh about my Liverpudlian heroes right now.

    But speaking of albums I’ll give my crucial list: Sisters of Mercy- Floodland; Jane’s Addiction- Nothing’s Shocking; Nine Inch Nails- Pretty Hate Machine; Run DMC- Raising Hell; Beastie Boys- Paul’s Boutique; The Cure- Disintegration/Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me; Rolling Stones- Sticky Fingers; Cracker-Gentleman’s Blues; PJ Harvey- Dry; Liz Phair- Exile on Guy Street. This list is not all inclusive. Tragic Kingdom would be on other lists. And notice there’s no XTC so take this with a grain of salt.

    Speaking of my ipod I’ve left instructions with my partner to destroy my Ipod if Ole Scratch comes to get me before my time. Nobody needs to see Miley Cyrus fraternizing with George Strait, Public Enemy, and KMFDM.

  2. Ali Farka Toure “Ai Du”….this song just stirs something in me and touches my soul. I can’t help but surrender to it’s hypnotic rhythm. Even though he sings in his native language and I don’t know what the words mean, the music makes it universal. It literally grinds into my being every time I play it.

    I grew up in the 70s and 80s, so much of the music of my youth included Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Ozzy (whom I saw in concert at 15—yes, he had just bitten the head off a bat), The Who, Wings*, Supertramp, U2, The Cars, John Cougar Mellencamp, and of course Madonna. All these and some of the 70s megastars like Joan Armatrading, The Carpenters, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor are on my Ipod. But, I have found that as I reached my 40s my mellow centers around singer/songwrites like Adele, Amos Lee, David Gray, Brett Dennen, and Van Morrison, with the Gorillaz, Green Day and P!nk thrown in to switch it up a bit.

    I like songs that move me in some way, either through a fantastic guitar riff, or poetic lyrics, or a gorgeous and piercing high melody sung from the heart of the artist. It gets in.

    *Back to the Egg will forever live in my Ipod…..so many teenage memories…..

  3. High school soundtracks: Anything by the Eurythmics, and the Hounds of Love album by Kate Bush. And of course, lots of cheesy 80’s music that I pretended not to like at the time but really kind of liked.
    College: “The Lion and the Cobra” and “I do not want what I haven’t got” by Sinead O’Connor and “The Celts” by Enya. Also anything and everything by the Cocteau Twins.
    Grad School: All of the above, plus “Little Earthquakes” by Tori Amos, lots of Melissa Etheridge, major amounts of goth, lots of Led Zeppelin and Grateful Dead and some cheesy 90’s dance music thrown in for good measure.

    As I get older, I still buy a lot of music, but not as much makes an impression on me the way it used to. Currently, I’m in one of my pop phases so the Lady Gaga CD is really helping me get over some stress.

  4. Valerie, I feel the same way about the Beatles lately. It’s a bit disappointing. I think I’m just burned out, but I hope it passes soon.

    My most meaningful music has got to be Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Spoon, No Doubt, and the Beatles of course. Specific albums don’t really mean much to me since I’m just a kid who started downloading music before I hit puberty. The first song I ever heard that changed my life was Let It Be by the Beatles. I didn’t know who sang it, but it was just the most perfect, comforting song for me during a rough year in my early teens.

  5. @Valerie:

    Nobody needs to see Miley Cyrus fraternizing with George Strait, Public Enemy, and KMFDM.

    Can I get a what what? Please tell me it’s “Ocean Front Property” by Strait. That’s like my jammy jam. Also, have danced too many nights to “Godlike” by KMFDM.

    I once owned sheet music for Sisters of Mercy and it would not be completely bonks to hear me saying something like, “Okay mom you do the high parts and sis you do the other parts. We are singing Hymn 22: This Corrosion.”

  6. The rest of y’all I’ll hit you up after I finishing writing “Ode to La Mommie: A Film by Tony Scott”.

    But quickly: YES YES YES and thank you for everything written.

    Big ups on Fischerspooner, Spoon and The Ravonettes (WORE OUT their first CD.)

  7. I love Lady Gaga and opera especially Madama Butterfly and Tosca. My anthem is the Commodores’ Brick House which I have sworn a holy oath to always dance to whenever and wherever I hear it (some interesting stories there). Tommy Castro’s Love Don’t Care was last summer’s morning wake-up song: I’d put it on really loud in the car on the way to work and holler “Good morning (name of hometown)! It’s time for the all-(real name) show!”. The folks at my semi-volunteer second job know I will mop the floor faster at closing time if they play Bootsy but they’ll also have to listen to me sing I’d Rather Be with You-a toss-up

  8. Knew the demise of a college relationship was nigh when I was all aflutter to share a song with my beau and he responded with “Uh…it’s only *music*.” Shiver.

    For years afterwards my bff and I exchanged mix tapes–then cds, now playlists–titled “Uh…it’s only music,” filled to the last possible second with whatever just HAD to be shared omgrightnow.

    Tonight’s list would include: Dolly Parton’s “Stairway to Heaven”, Lyle Lovett’s “Step Inside This House”, Trombone Shorty’s “In the 6th” (because we’re finally gonna watch Treme tomorrow!), Jeff Buckley’s “Grace” (because, just, ouch), Lucinda Williams’ “Three Days”, Patty Griffin’s “Rain” (because I listened to it all through a breakup and like to get all weepy with relief that I don’t feel that way anymore), Grupo Fantasmo’s “Oye Mi Cumbia” (because when Prince tells you should listen to something, you really should), and this, because if you can sit still while you listen, you need to have your vitals checked, and holy crap that’s only TWO GUITARS?!

  9. I love Korean chart music and some Chinese artists too. I grew up int he 80’s and liked Eurythmics, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys. I listeend to clasiscal and opera until is was 13 or so. I like Heather Nova and Sarah McLachlan, some aerosmith and NWA, Amanda Palmer
    anything catches my ear and soemtimes i will just like random songs.

    I’ll post some videos when i work out how to embed things >_<

  10. Counting Crows were one of my solaces throughout high school and , i find each their albums still resonate with me, minus a little of the angst.Same goes for The Wallflowers. I still really love Breach,Bringing Down The Horse, and Red Letter Days.
    I love love love Guster, Lost and Gone Forever and Keep it Together are favorites, tho i really enjoy their entire catalog.
    The Weakerthans are a bit of a newer love but they have such lyrical gems and i love the way they construct a melody. I love “Sun In An Empty Room”, “The Reasons” “Reconstruction Site” “Psalm for the Elks Lodge” and the albums from which they come: Reunion Tour and Reconstruction Site, respectively
    I am also digging Jakob Dylan’s new album. And Phoenix, i got Wolfgang Amedeus after being inundated with “1901” and its good catchy stuff.

  11. I’m not familiar with the rest of their music, but YACHT’s “Psychic City (Voodoo City)” is weirdly compelling listening. I’ve caught it on my local public radio station several times (KCRW represent!) and always stop whatever I’m doing to listen… sort of a Talking Heads spoken-word vibe with a catchy chorus.

  12. I love “Fireflies” by Owl City, the “Life in Cartoon Motion” by Mika (especially “Big Girl, you are beautiful”), most anything by Cascada, Jill Sobule (especially “San Francisco”), Daughtry, Darren Hayes, 3 Doors down, Nickelback, Lady Gaga, an assortment of country, anonymous techno and big band music.

    The big band/Sinatra type music always reminds me of my dad, since he’s the one who turned me to it, and I proceeded to rip all his CD’s onto my computer before leaving for overseas. He’s always been old for his age when it came to music, seeing as he missed a lot of that music by twenty to forty years.

  13. I had a bit of a hard time in high school. Nothing spectacularly bad, thankfully, although it didn’t always feel like it at the time. The two albums which I clung to and listened to on repeat on my Walkman were “In Utero” by Nirvana and “Weezer” by Weezer (i.e. The Blue Album). I don’t care if that makes me a cliché – they’re both classic albums and helped me get through times when I felt friendless and isolated.

    Recently, Moonsorrow’s latest album “V: Hävitetty” has been my go-to album in times of trouble (or any other time, for that matter). An hour of perfect, epic, sweeping, intense heathen black metal, I love it so much I can’t even express it. The two songs on the album are each half an hour long, which sounds too long until you listen and realise how wonderfully put together they are. I never get bored with Hävitetty. Love it to death. <3

  14. Well… I tend to get entranced by music, especially when the poetry and the rhythms go together well for the emotion they need to invoke. So this is gonna have quite a few lyric snippets.

    The “To Wong Foo” soundtrack got me through a rough patch and into self acceptance. Especially “Body Beautiful” by Salt-N-Pepa and “Nobody’s Body” by Monifah.

    “Body Beautiful”:
    I celebrate the body / And enjoy good health
    And I gets down with my bad self
    It’s all good from the front to the back
    Two snaps and a clap for a body like that
    It’s a good damn thing I don’t care what you say
    Somebody beautiful, hey that’s me

    “Nobody’s Body”:
    And I get tired of somebody else’s man holding me
    I need a man who’s single and free, yeah
    Someone to call my own / To be there when I get home
    To understand me and love me for me

    Another soundtrack that has saved my sanity is the Bryan Adams soundtrack to “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” The movie was forgettable, the soundtrack… defiant and amazing.

    “You can’t take me”:
    Don’t judge a thing until you know what’s inside it
    Don’t push me – I’ll fight it
    Never gonna give in – never gonna give it up no

    “Get Off my Back”:
    Well you think that you can take me on / You must be crazy
    There ain’t a single thing you’ve done / That’s gonna phase me

    As far as single songs, Meredith Brooks “Bitch:
    I can understand how you’d be so confused / I don’t envy you
    I’m a little bit of everything / All rolled into one

    I’m a bitch, I’m a lover / I’m a child, I’m a mother
    I’m a sinner, I’m a saint / I do not feel ashamed
    I’m your hell, I’m your dream / I’m nothing in between
    You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

    When I feel like life is grinding me down, and need to remind myself who I am, and how fabulous that person is, These are the big guns I pull out.

    Now when it’s the ADD grinding me down, I play bouncy pop music in languages I can’t understand. The rhythms keep me moving, the sound masks everything going on around me so it can’t distract me, and the fact that I don’t know what the hell they’re saying keeps me from getting sucked into the poetry of the lyrics.

  15. I’m re-enjoying all my old Prince stuff currently. I’m in a Purple Rain fog at the moment….just love that song – particularly the second half. My minds gone completely blank on everything else. I’m afraid I’m musically very random, and not remotely cool.

    I’m also very prone to being more affected by music when it’s used in a film soundtrack…for some reason it comes alive to me more when I can see something too. I know that makes me a musical Captain Caveman, but I can’t help it.

  16. Kid Beyond is fun for running to for me, as of late.

    Also some trance music for running and oddly, working/writing to, as it blocks out everything else quite well (Gabriel & Dresden, woo.)

    JJ & Mofro have a awesome Florida-Southern vibe that reminds me of growing up in Birmingham (not that I want to be reminded of that all the time, but when I do).

    There is also a lot of awesome Arab-American rap (The Narcicyst), that is pretty good, I have a lot of Moroccan rap as well.

  17. Ah, also:

    One of the few classical tracks you can make me listen to not-live:

    Appalachia Waltz, off the album of the same name (yo yo ma, edgar meyer)

  18. Right now I’m all about a pretty obscure guy called Voltaire. The genre is somewhere around goth-gypsy-folk-rock type thing, or as he puts it; ‘Music for a parallel universe where electricity was never invented and Morrissey is the queen of England’.

    Goth, but in a really fun, Tim Burton-esque, ooky spooky kind of way.

    He also does some more serious numbers, some of which are seriously beautiful – mostly about religion (he’s some kind of deist or agnostic, not a fan of organised religion) and relationships.

  19. This thread is magnificent. Currently typing from Mom’s computer, so can’t go download all the goodies and the recommendations. You can bet I will the instant I get home.
    Seconding: Counting Crows- mostly the first two albums. (Includes only song I’ve ever heard with an Elizabeth in it!)
    Other songs:
    Made of Tears- Joe Satriani
    Croftwork- The Peatbog Faeries (a crazy good Scottish fusion band)

    Best album ever: Sticky Fingers, by the Rolling Stones, with August and Everything After, by the Counting Crows a close second.
    Current song obsession: Busting up a Starbucks, by Mike Doughty

  20. Girlyman. Girlyman, girlyman, Girlyman. I could listen to them all day, every day. My faves are “Young James Dean” and “Montpelier.”

  21. Wow, Snarky’s – I haven’t thought about the Legendary Pink Dots in years! They ruled my life for almost the entire ’90s. And also, The Tear Garden side project, as well! I must now go and find my Crushed Velvet Apocalypse.

    In recent news, I have actually been all over The Carpenters since I borrowed a Best of from my mum.

  22. Well, today I’m listening to this:

    Otherwise I’ve been on a nineties Jamiroquai kick lately. But now I have lots of Shapeling favorites to become acquainted with, so yay!

  23. Jezebel reader/sometime commenter delurking because while I love hearing how other people’s lives were shaped by music. I was a little too old (and jaded) for No Doubt when Tragic Kingdom hit. I was a teenager in the late 80s, early 90s, and there really wasn’t a strong, female presence on the pop charts. I think the most subversive thing I listened to as kid was the B-52s? Plus I didn’t listen to a lot of rock until I was in my mid-twenties, when I discovered bands like The Replacements or REM. (A decade too late.) As a kid, the only standard I had for good music was, “Can I sing along to this?” I didn’t really have life-changing musical experience until I was older.

    And I don’t get the concept of “guilty pleasures,” either. If you find pleasure in something, why feel guilty?

    What’s moving me now? Lots of Nina Simone, Imogen Heap, Rufus Wainwright… I still like singers.

  24. I’ve been on a bit of The Clash kick lately along with Big Audio Dynamite. Other stuff: Johnny Cash, Laura Nyro, ABBA, Free Energy and early 80’s New Wave/Alternative.

    The song that always puts me in a good mood & makes me chair dance: Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up, Part 1.)

  25. The song that always puts me in a good mood & makes me chair dance: Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up, Part 1.)

    Paula, you ain’t never lied! It does the same thing for me too. Apparently, it looks like it’s all systems a go for the Gaye biopic starring Jesse L. Martin (Rent, Law & Order) as Gaye. He does look like him and I’m so curious to see if he’ll sing the songs.

  26. Right now, I’m all over Gogol Bordello. I saw them on Friday in London and they just keep getting better and better.

    And I so would Eugene Hutz.

  27. Couple more.

    Broadcast

    Stereolab

    Marissa Nadler


    (a fan-made video; absolutely gorgeous)

  28. A few years ago I realized that I’m drawn to music that is peppy and upbeat musically, but lyrically is very serious or depressing. My one particular favorite example of this is The Shins “So Says I” which is a very peppy number about Communism (or the fall or failure of Communism). The Shins are one of my very favorite groups these days. I’ll never be over U2, no matter how self-righteous Bono gets, and I’ll always love the Beatles, though I don’t listen to them too often because a lot of their stuff makes me overly emotional for various reasons.

    No Doubt was delightfully empowering at the time they hit it big, though I can’t really stand Gwen Stefani now. For lighter stuff The Submarines are a favorite and Ingrid Michaelson is great for singing along. When I need to feel sassy I throw on Franz Ferdinand.

  29. The first album I’d actually say changed my life was Tori Amos’ “Little Earthquakes”, because so much of the album was about standing up and finding your voice while other people tried to run roughshod over you. “Silent all these years” helped me learn to speak up when people tried to ignore me. I know that album so well that I breathe when she breathes.

    After that in college, I’d say Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, the soundtrack to the movie “Singles”, and Līve’s “Throwing Copper”. Most of that isn’t angry white guy music, though I’ll grant “Ten” a huge whack of misogyny. These albums saved me from thinking that the 1980’s Geffen music machine actually produced all the music I needed to know.

    In the late 90’s I got exposed to what was happening in country and learned that I would not, in fact, die if I listened to someone with twang in their voice. My tastes ran pretty commercial at the time, and I admit to having a pretty serious Garth Brooks habit. However it’s Patty Loveless’ “When Fallen Angels Fly” that I remember most fondly. “Here I Am” really sums up a self destructive time where I was carrying a torch for someone I shoulda let go. Hearing Patty sing the same things I was going through helped me from doing real harm to myself.

    That country was a gateway drug, and now I don’t go long without listening to Dolly Parton or Johnny Cash.

    Lemme ask a question. I’m not crazy, my mother had this Streisand & Gibb album, they did “Islands in the Stream” on that didn’t they? I can hear the two of them in my head, and I thought it was on “Guilty” but I can’t find it.

  30. Oh, that Tragic Kingdom reference takes me back! No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill rocked my middle school/high school face off. Their music made me fee strong and empowered in the midst of the craziness of my teen years.I played those CDs until they wore out; I really want to buy new copies. Passion Worship Band’s release One Day Live set me on the path towards becoming a church musician/music pastor.

    I’ve kind of surprised myself by really getting into Lady Gaga lately. After the boy band era ended (shout out to the Backstreet Boys!), my interest in pop music waned, and I started listening to stricly rock/ska/punk/alternative music. Also, the lovely A Sarah recently introduced me to the The Weepies. The song “World Spins Madly On” and the video that accompanies it are amazing.

  31. I’m posting for the first time after lurking devotedly for about 2 years!

    Is it too cheesy, and will I be soundly trounced, for admitting to being a die-hard Queen fan? Going to the Budapest concert in 1986 with my father was my last memory of being happy in my family, so that may have something to do with it. But even now, listening to ‘Who Wants to Live Forever?’, ‘All Dead, All Dead’ (which Brian wrote about the death of his childhood pet cat), ‘These are the Days of Our Lives’ and ‘The Show Must Go On’ can have me in genuine tears.

    Other things constantly on my iPod: Joan Baez, Camera Obscura, David Bowie, Talking Heads (‘Road to Nowhere’ is my anthem to athieism), The Beatles, Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega, Anthony and the Johnsons, Bob Dylan, The Band, Belle and Sebastien and Leonard Cohen for those depressive days.

    Thanks, Shakers! I feel happy that I finally posted something, even though it’s not profound cultural analysis or kyriarchy-dismantling discourse. Maybe next time…

  32. Recently been going back to the rave pop rock of the late 80s/early 90s. The Utah Saints. Believe In Me, and the brilliant original 1992 Something Good (not the disappointing 08 version)

    The KLF 3am Eternal and Last Train To Trancentral – bloody HELL the KLF were good. This is taking me back to physics class at school and my mate Olly being the first kid to get the new Reebok Pump trainers.

    We loved our metal back in them days. You had to be versed in the great works of the Big Four of thrash metal, for example this Metallica classic which I’ve been revisiting when I feel the need for a little pep-up. Seriously, Kill Em All is a fantastic debut album.

    And on a completely different tip, here’s the best soccer related song ever – Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma) by Jorge Ben. Also one of the finest rhythm guitar intros you could wish to hear.

  33. Ooh, I want to play! How about what’s in my car CD player right now: Janet Jackson Number Ones (and can we talk for a minute and what a fantastic artist Janet is?), Mass Appeal: The Best of Gang Starr (their MC, Guru, died recently, causing me to pull out their old albums for a half-assed tribute), and Trina’s new album Amazin’ (I know this one isn’t too PC but I LOVE her…). Last week I was listening to Trina’s older albums to sort of get ready for the new one.

    @Valerie: I agree that iPods have made it more work to appreciate full albums. So many of the albums of my childhood would’ve been reduced to a few good tracks if the same technology had been available at that time. I tend to grab CD’s to listen to in my car so that I still have a chance to hear entire albums rather than endlessly skipping through tracks in iTunes DJ to find songs I feel like hearing (which is what I do at home).

  34. As far as “changed my life” music goes, Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Toward Ecstacy, Tori Amos’s Little Earthquakes, and Ani DiFranco’s Imperfectly were EVERYTHING to me in high school. There aren’t even words for it, but obviously many of you know what I’m talking about. I still like them a lot, but I also like revisiting Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, as well as Ben Lee’s Awake is the New Sleep and Ripe… plus Girlyman, Lady Gaga, and a whole ton of other stuff.

    Still, nothing beats Sarah McLachlan’s “Elsewhere” for capturing my teen angst.

  35. past: Led Zeppelin (I WILL HANG MY HEAD IN SHAME NO MORE)

    present: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (if you haven’t heard them, go find them and listen, now!)

  36. After rereading my last comment, I realized that it is very classist to encourage people to listen to albums while driving, so I wanted to clarify that I am fully aware that most people do not own their own vehicles and that my suggestion would therefore be totally inappropriate. :)

  37. @Killerchick: Is it too cheesy, and will I be soundly trounced, for admitting to being a die-hard Queen fan?

    Not unless they take me first! :-) Queen is awesome. And Freddy Mercury and Bowie together — even more awesomeness.

  38. I am all about the Indelicates at the moment — very silly, very cute and devastatingly smart London indie band. I actually really wish they’d been around when I was younger — I think teenage!Scarlett (who spent more time listening to thrashy-bouncy Australian pop-punk than was entirely healthy) would have really enjoyed them. Their ‘Recession Song’ provides excellent catharsis for anyone who’s currently dealing with the job market:

    No career, no hope, no fun, no fashion…
    Thank f*** for the f****** recession!

  39. I was just listening to Depeche Mode’s Violator in the car today and remembering my thirteen year old girl self so starved for difference and significance. Every song seemed like a promise of what was out past the edges of my no-stoplight-town.

    The music is still good enough to car dance to even though some of the lyrics make me cringe at my teenage self-seriousness.

    Right now, I’m enjoying the New Pornographers, , Rhianna (esp. the video for “Rude Boy”), The Fiery Furnaces. Always: Steve Earle, PJ Harvey, Bob Dylan, Neko Case, Willie Nelson and Stevie Wonder – singer /song writers much?

    I love reading about everyone’s music and can’t wait to make a list to take to the library.

  40. Back to my roots in two ways these days – The Ramones (again) – their seminal album. Yes, Johnny, I think I will go sniff some glue, thanks very much, excellent idea isn’t it. I remember some interview in which Johnny says something on the lines of that he had so many negative songs on the album (“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You,” “I Don’t Wanna Go Down To the Basement”) that he wanted to write something POSITIVE! My old man raised me on the Ramones. He was a punk.

    Also: Soca-Chutney mix-ups. Because Trinidad is too far away and it was in the 40’s today in Manhattan. In MAY. Oh, Trini, I misseth thee. Sometimes I a little more soca (and I wine), sometimes I a little more chutney (and I continue to wine). Shurwayne Winchester, Rikki Jai, you know, the really bad Trini business. ::Glowing cheeks of shame::

    @ Regina T – Ali Farka Toure “Ai Du” is one of my favorites as well. That voice just MURDERS me.

    @ Jo – I think that Nirvana sustained a lot of us during our difficult days in the 1990s. In Utero and the Unplugged albums resonated with me so deeply as a young teen, and still do.

    @ Killerchick – Welcome and bless you for saying kyriarchy. Warming my heart that is. And what a beautiful Freddy Mercury memory, nobody should ever criticize you for that!

  41. First of all, mad props for Legendary Pink Dots!! Teenage Goths Unite! (I would give you the fistbump, but goths are too cool for those. Instead, we both tilt our heads and ‘meh’ at each other.)

    I have to say, my latest musical obsession is Placebo. It has mad rotation on my iPod. Yes, I am also still in love with the 90s.

  42. Also,

    @Bridgie: Were we separated at birth?

    I was just listening to Depeche Mode’s Violator in the car today and remembering my thirteen year old girl self so starved for difference and significance. Every song seemed like a promise of what was out past the edges of my no-stoplight-town.

    THIS.

    The music is still good enough to car dance to even though some of the lyrics make me cringe at my teenage self-seriousness.

    And this describes 99% of my music.

  43. PJ Harvey’s To Bring You My Love rocked my world in 1995, my first year living away from home and starting university. Angsty, unapologetic, female and with some of the hardest sounds I own on record. Pain and anger and unrequited love – just what the doctor ordered.

    Jeff Buckley’s Grace was also a seminal album for me from the same period – I actually saw him live in 1996 about a year before he died and am so thankful!

    I lurved U2 in the ’90s and owned everything they put out and knew all the lyrics and just was utterly obsessed really. Achtung Baby – I think I listened to that CD every day in 1991/92 and I had a room wallpapered with posters and pictures and articles about them. But as an adult, I don’t think I’ve intentionally listened to anything by them for years now, haven’t bought their last couple of CDs and in fact have occasionally changed radio stations when something of theirs comes on. Don’t know if I just got over Bono and his world-statesman stuff or my tastes just changed.

    Hearing songs from other acts from that era though, that I wasn’t so into at the time, take me back to a really happy place. Songs like Tori Amos’s Cornflake Girl, Nick Cave’s Do You Love Me, Faith No More’s Midlife Crisis and Ricochet, Spearhead’s Red Beans and Rice, Spiderbait’s Buy Me a Pony, The Breeders’ Cannonball, Blur’s Tender and For Tomorrow, Elastica’s Connection, Garbage’s Vow – they all remind me how awesome music was in the 90s and speak to me in a way that newer music either doesn’t or can’t. Does everyone think the music from their teenagerhood is just the absolute best? Or is it just me?

    I guess it’s partly because other things (like work, damn it) has taken over my life and I spent lots of years in a town where if acts came to play live, they always played in the middle of the week, and I couldn’t back up and go to work at 8am the next day and be any use.

  44. Valerie – Are you me? Though I’d add Ministry, Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Hanoi Rocks, Skunk Anansie, Placebo, Pulp, Kasabian, Public Enemy, Balzac, Depeche Mode, Buck Tick, and David Bowie. I’m kind of sad that what was my favorite band for nearly 10 years is no longer on that list as a result of having worked with them (I’m a music journalist) – there’s nothing like realising that the you’d kind of like to punch the creative force behind a band you love in the face to really put you off them.

    It also makes me sad that there aren’t more women on my list. I have a really hard time finding female artists that are working within the genres I prefer. I mean, Patricia was great and all, but she can’t hold up the entire goth/punk/industrial edifice all by herself. People keep recommending Amanda Palmer to me but I find her absolutely unbearable. I love PJ Harvey, but when was the last time she released anything?

  45. Oh, and I forgot Hypernova! They’re kind of new, only one album so far, but they’re great. And you won’t want to punch them in the face. They’re kind of Interpol-ish, but less clinical sounding.

  46. @CassandraSays. PJ Harvey released ‘A Woman A Man Walked By’ (a collaboration with John Parrish) in March 2009. Not that long ago. Lots of guitars. Not that she ever got much airplay, but she doesn’t even get college/alt radio play so much anymore.

    Didn’t adore it – but I didn’t like ‘Dance Hall at Louse Point’ – her other collaboration with John Parrish – much either.

    I’m intrigued as to the identity of the band you worked with… but understand if you can’t divulge!!

  47. @alocin – Ooh, thanks, will check that out. Not surprised I never heard about it though – she never has been big here for some reason, and alt radio seems to get more boring and less different from mainstream radio every year.

    About the band I worked with – definately not appropriate to divulge in public, no. If their bass player wasn’t such a sweetheart they’d be off my playlist for good, though. And this is why it’s often not a good idea to meet people you admire in real life.

    Though to end on a more positive note, the guys in The Damned are all really nice! I wasn’t expecting them to be, honestly. They’re one of those bands that goes on and off my playlist periodically depending on mood. Concrete Blonde is another.

  48. So much great music listed!

    Godless Heathen, Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes came out the summer before my first year at college and it definitely helped define both who I was & how I wanted to be perceived when I left home. That cd & my Frieda Kahlo posters pretty much sum up that part of my life.

    I adore Meshell Ndegeocello and after 17 years of ardent fandom hope to see her live some day.

  49. I have been obsessively playing Jump Little Children (and Jay Clifford’s solo album) and Band of Horses for over a month. I’m in the middle of a huge move across country, alone, and listening to all of that is like sitting in a musical hug.

  50. My motto (with credit to Vonnegut) is “Live by the showtunes that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.” My emotional buttons are big and easy to hit, and always have been, so I hack my mood every morning by listening to upbeat and cheery and asskicking-inspiring music. This makes such a difference to how my day goes that I put a reminder in my phone to do it. It’s not all showtunes, though songs like “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and “Die, Vampire, Die” from [title of show] are great when there are things I’ve got to get done. Other songs that regularly make my morning list are “Firebird’s Child” by SJ Tucker, Ani Difranco’s “32 Flavors”, and “I Believe” by Cowboy Mouth.

    Less lyrically, a lot of songs by Brule are in my “feel good about yourself and life” playlists. I am lucky enough to live in the heart of their frequent touring grounds, so I often get to see them in concert several times a year. They’ve got a regular show in Branson this year, though.

    I love Tori Amos, but I have to be careful listening to her music because of the aforementioned emotional buttons… leaving her on shuffle for too long gives me a horrendous case of the galloping emos.

  51. @Stormfire, Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” is awesome for me too. In college, a bunch of sorority sisters and I would play that song on the jukebox in the snack bar and sing along. Shortly thereafter, they removed the jukebox, and I think we might have been why…Good times.

    @Killerchick, I certainly wouldn’t trounce you for that–Queen is awesome. Who Wants to Live Forever makes me tear up too. Bohemian Raphsody and It’s a Kind of Magic are really fun songs. Oh, also, I **despise** Ice Ice Baby solely for the reason that it makes me think I’m about to hear Under Pressure, but it’s not Under Pressure, which is a much better song. So, you’re not at all alone in your love of Queen.

  52. I’d go to the ends of the earth for anything by Tori Amos or Pearl Jam. Love, love, love them—I listen to both around 98% of the time. Otherwise, you can find me listening to Haley Bonar, Emilie Autumn, Poe, Nirvana, Hole, The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer, Ben Folds, Jesca Hoop, and whatever pops up on my Pandora station.

  53. I’m just now catching up on stuff that I should have spent puberty listening to, so I’m spending my late 20s being 13. I grew up on MTV in the 80s, but my local cable company screwed us over in 1991(give or take a year) by replacing it with A&E. Fortunately, my dad had the old-school C-band satellite at his house, so I could watch The Box on weekends to cure my withdrawal. Thanks to The Box, I discovered Green Day, Lisa Loeb, Counting Crows, and my imaginary husband Henry Rollins….among others. Then The Box became MTV2, and it just got worse from there. We finally got VH1 and MTV back in 1996, after our cable company got bought out by Cox Communications.

    All of my music listening these days comes from Last.FM, one of those free internet radio deals like Pandora, Spotify, or Slacker. I could honestly sit here and just name off artists I like and love, but it would be easier if I just gave you this link instead: http://www.last.fm/user/EbonieRose

  54. Emilie Autumn’s “Opheliac” got me through my first year of grad school. I still love “Tragic Kingdom.” And if it weren’t for Tori Amos I probably would not have survived college at all.

    Right now, though, I am severely loving the Miniature Tigers (lo-fi indie pop, definite Nice Guy lyrics but excellent hooks) and April Smith and the Great Picture Show. Y’all, I cannot recommend April enough. She is an adorable and sweet human being, and I looooooove her music. It’s kind of honky-tonk music hall with an edge? And accordions! And her voice is amazing. And her band is great. And she wears tutus. Go listen! I am pretty sure she is the best thing going right now.

  55. @ChloeMireille, posting station links is a very neat idea. Also, if the profile pic of an eye is yours, your eye makeup skills rock and I’m both jealous and impressed.

  56. As another child of the 80’s, I also have a taste for the cheesy as well as the profound. Kate Bush is a goddess, one of my favorite Steve Miller songs is “Abracadabra,” I wish radio stations would play Eurythmics other than “Sweet Dreams,” (“Thorn in My Side,” “Love is a Stranger,” “Missionary Man,” “It’s Alright [Baby’s Coming Back]”, etc), Joan Armatrading should be WAAAAY more famous, and SO much more!
    I also love me a good show tune, some hip-hop, and some country.
    When I was in college I saw Husker Du, Fishbone, The Ramones, Meatloaf, Indigo Girls, and Sting all within weeks of each other. Ah, good times! (later I saw Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians, U2 [my obsession at the time], Peter Gabriel, Ziggy Marley, INXS, New Order, Bowie, McCartney, Tony Bennett, Midge Ure, and more).
    I haven’t been to a concert in a while. (The last one was Keith Urban at the Universal Amphitheatre in ’05.) But I have some great memories and T-shirts!

  57. I love music. I mean, basically everything. I love Garth Brooks, George Strait, Clint Black, Billy Ray Cyrus. I love Run DMC, Eminem, Ludacris, Usher, Lil’ Jon (and I know the problems with those, but damn if I don’t jam like hell when they’re on). I like old rock (Kansas!, Black Sabbath), I like new rock, I like rap and oldies (The Coasters FTW), I like pop (Britney Spears, Mylie Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, BSB, *Nsync, Hanson), music like Ace of Base and Sinead O’Connor, the Eurythmics, Melissa Ethridge…Rammstein, KMFDM, The Darkness.
    I rock out to Aerosmith and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, and I’m a TOTAL Queen fan, and David Bowie is wonderful. I like Elton John and Lenny Cravitz, and anything disco or funk. I even like some Christian music (Jars of Clay, Carmen, and “In the Garden” are all favorites).

    Almost every song I’ve listened to has some sort of significance to me, and more than once, a song has saved me. They’ve brought me through the deaths of family, helped me through my husband’s deployment and my mania and depression all through my life.

    My dad was a DJ, so my dad and I have a lot together through music, and so do my siblings and I (especially my brother). My mom taught me about disco and everything from “Muskrat Love” to “Billy, Don’t be a Hero” (still makes me cry!!).

    It’s awesome to see so many people who care about music as much!

  58. My absolute favorite, like obsessive beyond the bounds of reason favorite, is a-ha. Yes, the “Take On Me” guys are still around (though retiring this year). I spent three days this week in NYC seeing them perform, and I’m going to L.A. next week too. I have a goddamn a-ha tattoo! I can’t explain it, but something about the combination of those three Norwegians’ talents just stops me in my tracks. I listen to a lot of other stuff, but few things touch me like that.

  59. PurpleGirl – I got into “The Living Daylights” for a similar reason. I can’t stop listening to that song and feeling all amazed by a-ha’s power to affect me.

  60. Oh, and a song/CD I’ve taken to listening to again lately: Red Negligee by Katie Webster. Contains both the lines, “And do you know how hard it is to get all of this, all of me, in a little red negligee?” and my favorite euphemism of all time (as part of an explanation of where she’s been applying perfume): “that other place that’s much too sophisticated to mention.”

  61. @godless heathen: I feel like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers did that song, though perhaps you know that and are searching for a different version?

    I am a music fiend, sometimes an overconsumer, so I’m having trouble plucking any one thing to mention! One of the things that’s been sticking in my craw recently is Hurray for the Riff Raff’s second album “Youngblood Blues.” HFTRR is a New Orleans band, but it’s mostly a banjo-playing, singing, songwriting woman named Alynda. Most of the songs are relatively sparse folk, often with accordian involved. I hesitate to link to a YouTube clip or anything because what makes it so wonderful for me, and quintessentially folk, is that the album truly takes you into her world for a bit. So it’s best heard as a whole album. Nonetheless, here’s the MySpace thing…

    http://www.myspace.com/hurrayfortheriffraff

    I’m pretty restless, and have been returning to this album for months.

  62. I’m likin’ the Grateful Dead these days. I also love the Police (put on “Synchronicity II” and dance bad days away, or drive like an idiot down one of the open roads while singing along in my best opera voice); Loreena McKennitt can do no wrong; the Beatles; Enya; and Joanne Shenendoah. I also like a local group called Small Potatoes, and please, don’t make fun of me, but if I’m really depressed, I put on John Denver. “Sweet Surrender” has been one of my get thru it songs since junior high. More recently, Sting’s “After the Rain Has Fallen” has been my musical answer to Prozac more recently.

  63. For years afterwards my bff and I exchanged mix tapes–then cds, now playlists–titled “Uh…it’s only music,” filled to the last possible second with whatever just HAD to be shared omgrightnow.

    Aliciamaud, I love this so hard.

    “Die, Vampire, Die” from [title of show]

    ALEXANDRA ERINNNNNN OH MY FUCK [TITLE OF SHOOOOOWWWWWWW]!!!

    Also, your life hack is an awesome idea and I am stealing it, if that’s okay.

    Two songs I am loving just now:


    (I know, you’re wondering if I’m ever going to stop linking this on SP music open threads. And I never am! Hattip to the wonderful Shapeling who brought it into to my life. I’m so ashamed I’ve forgotten who it was.)


    Uh. We all need a little bit of Ani sometimes, and this may be my favourite live version of anything she’s done.

  64. @KellyK– I wish I was that good! That’s the magic of Photoshop right there.

    So, I heard a few weeks ago that they’re bringing back Lilith Fair this summer with a European and US tour. The artist list is up on the website, but I’m assuming that only those in the pink section are confirmed. Even with that list, I’m pretty damned excited, if I’m employed/financially stable by then(mid-August for me).

  65. I got really into the Beatles when I was in late middle school/early high school. I was introduced to their relatively early stuff, and I just ate up the catchy melodies and amazing harmonies. So I decided to finally buy a Beatles CD and, when I went to the only U.S. store with music in my area (my family was stationed overseas at the time), they only had one Beatles album. It looked kinda weird, but I bought it anyways.

    It was “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and it blew my little teenage mind. I sat on my bed and listened to the whole thing all the way through on my headphones, sat for about a minute in total silence after the final chord of “A Day in the Life” completely faded out, then hit “play” and listened to the whole thing all the way through again.

    Before that, I’m not sure it had ever occured to me that pop music could also be Art.

    Speaking of showtunes! Currently, I’ve been listening to the “Legally Blonde the Musical” soundtrack (http://tour.legallyblondethemusical.com/pop_sights_and_sounds_player.php) on repeat. It’s got some problematic stuff, such as tired gay stereotypes and slut-shaming, but overall it’s catchy and fun with some entertaining, witty lyrics.

    (Also, I think “McCartney” really was an underrated album. “Maybe I’m Amazed” is GORGEOUS and worth the price of admission alone.)

  66. @PurpleGirl: “The Sun Always Shines on TV” makes me melt and/or cry. How cool that you’re able to see them before they retire!

    @Charlotte: OK, the fact that you listened to Lauryn Hill in MIDDLE SCHOOL is making me feel ancient, lol!!!!! I was listening to her in my mid-to-late-20’s!

  67. SnarkysMachine, it makes my day when someone knows a song other than “Take On Me”! :) Have you heard any of their albums since 2000? Really amazing stuff.

  68. there’s been a lot of musical DRAMA in my life, but i think i can honestly credit 2 albums with getting me through 2003: A Fucked Up Odyssey. seriously, everyone i know knows that 2003 was The Worst Year Ever ™. but that was the same year (or just after) that Dave Matthews released “Stuff” and Counting Crows released “Hard Candy”. i had those 2 albums on constant repeat. i even wrote a whole deep long post, a few years later, on a now defunct blog, about the song “Grey Street” from Stuff. if ever there was a song that encapsulated my feeling of being 100% trapped in a life that could not be further from what i wanted/needed, that was it.

    Black and Blue from Hard Candy was pretty poignant then, too, as i hadn’t yet accepted that i needed (and couldn’t afford anyways) psyciatric help.
    (embed code isn’t working on this one)

  69. @CassandraSays

    so, i’ve been doing the music for a local ladies only bdsm/sexy party (holla back any SHE peeps! LOL) which has really brought some great female vocals to the fore. right now my groove is stuck on ego likeness and android lust. the first is an electronic inspired goth band wish catchy dance beats but less tweedly-beep than the ebm i’m usually listening to. android lust is this mega tasty lady from bangladesh with albums that are so fucking ritchly detailed. less dancy, sort of, but so many different textures and sounds and feelings! also her song “the body” is just about the most awesome thing (it is explicitly about autonomy and telling the dudebros where to shove it).

    i’m also all about girlschool (uk based grrrrl rock), angelspit (highly danceable electronica, heavy beats, hot femm vocals), jack off jill (gods damn that girl can scream), emily autumn, zoe keating (omfg chello love), rasputina (more chello love), cadaveria, and i’m on again/off again with nightwish and amberian dawn and epica. there’s really only so much operatic vocals over metal guital i can listen to before it all runs together.

    kmfdm “angst” was pretty much my angry music in HS. along with little earthquakes and pretty much all the human drama (much love to JI) i could get my hands on for sad and angsty me. i still have much love for human drama and was really sad to see them go. though the send off concert was SO GOOD!!!!

  70. jack off jill (gods damn that girl can scream)
    There’s actually a videogame, American McGee’s Alice, that features the vocalist from jack off jill wailing and shrieking in the background. I recognized the voice when I was playing through..

  71. @Godless Heathen – Your teenage soundtrack was basically my teenage soundtrack.

    My formative years in high school and college were defined by Hole, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco and the Indigo Girls. Two of my favorite albums will always be “Boys For Pele” and “Star” by Belly.

    I just bought “Believe” by Orianthi and it is currently my album of choice for rocking out in the car. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Gogol Bordello, SJ Tucker, Neko Case, and Lady Gaga. My Ipod runs the gamut from Django Reinhardt to Lacuna Coil to Britney Spears. My music is diverse, it contains multitudes.

  72. @Puffalo: apparently i need to bug the huby to ummm….. “locate” that game. i’m just now understanding the joy that is computer games (so far behind the times), and that one has seemed interesting to me.

  73. @fairylogic – Whoooooooooooo for Belly! Even though “Feed The Tree” got all kinds of radio play when I was in high school, I have a hard time finding anyone who even remembers that one song, much less has any familiarity with the band.

  74. Closet Puritan: AMEN to Saffire, and another one for “Too Much Butt”! I saw them on their last concert tour, and they totally rocked. The first time Gaye asked for requests, I got in there with “Bitch With a Bad Attitude,” which I love.

  75. I’ve been listening to a lot of Fugazi, Flaming Lips, Bruce, Tom Waits and Los Campesinos lately. The Dancing in the Dark video is so ridiculously and amazing. The opening shot of Bruce and the Big Man dancing is just so priceless.

    I found this when searching Bruce and Tom Waits on a whim.
    Who wins?!

  76. You know what gets me a lot of flack? I’m a HUGE Dave Matthews Band fan. Not Dave solo; I prefer the “big” sound of the full band with the sax & the violin & the trumpet & all 3 guitars & so on. It’s been a LOT of my life’s soundtrack since 1996 when I discovered “Crash” and then in 1998 when I heard “Before These Crowded Streets” I was absolutely in love. I actually have a tattoo of the coffee rings from the cover of BTCS.

    That said, hearing guest artists play with DMB has helped me find a lot of music I might otherwise never have heard. I highly recommend Béla Fleck & the Flecktones. And OMG JEFF COFFIN. He’s a saxophonist (well, sometimes it seems he plays a bit of EVERYTHING)…and I can’t really tell you what genre he’s in because he rejects that idea himself. Experimental jazz, maybe? Anyway, I own ALL his albums and his music is what it sounds like to live inside my head. Since 2008, he’s played with Dave Matthews Band, which completes the circle of awesome for me. :)

  77. @AlexandraErin. I remember ‘Feed the Tree’! And am just about to go see if it is acquirable from iTunes. ‘Take your hat off, when you’re talking to me..’ . Tanya Donnelly was the main singer/songwriter in Belly, no? And was also in the Throwing Muses with Kristen Hersh?

  78. @Alyssa, “Sun Always Shines” is a classic! The shows were great, going to another one in LA this weekend. Hoping against hope I’ll be able to make it to Oslo for their final concert on my birthday ….

  79. I am currently in love with Mika and I wish he was as popular in America as he is in Europe.

    I also love Dave Matthews Band. The Cranberries and Counting Crows was my teenage soundtrack.

  80. I’m really surprised this one hasn’t been mentioned yet…Type O Negative anyone? The lyrics were always depressing (and Peter Steele was a crazy, sexist, violent asshole), but damn, that music is just pure catharsis for me. My most “influential” albums of yesteryear? Tori Amos (From the Choir Girl Hotel and Little Earthquakes), Type O’s Life is Killing Me, Wolfsheim’s Spectators and Casting Shadows…

  81. Teenage soundtrack… ooh, memories. Natalie Merchant, The Cranberries, Ace of Base, The Corrs, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morrisette, No Doubt, Sheryl Crow, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, among others. Also 80s music, even though I was born in 1982. Duran Duran, The B-52s, Madonna, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar. Special shoutout to The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’ and Natalie Merchant’s ‘Wonder’.

    Lots of different stuff now. Lady GaGa (don’t look at me like that), Venus Hum, Bat For Lashes, Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Thievery Corporation. My “scream with it when I’m angry” music is Dream Evil. Ahh, fantasy RPG-inspired power metal. Oh, and funny music! Jonathan Coulton, Weird Al, Tom Lehrer. And Celtic rock, especially Gaelic Storm and Great Big Sea.

    Yeah, I have eclectic taste.

  82. Wow, there is a bunch of awesome stuff on this page.

    I didn’t listen to much music in high school/college, and I still don’t listen to a lot, but when I program, I find it helpful to have something in the background.
    Classiquai Project is providing my current background.
    I really like Attachment

    and Lover Boy, this mix in particular

    And for brooding and drinking, Lasse Lindh comes through every time. His voice really does it for me. (And “The Stuff” is the greatest Nice Guy soundtrack ever produced. )

  83. For _badhedgehog_: where the sample ‘borrowed’ by Utah Saints for “Something Good” originally came from…

    That’s Donald Sutherland playing the father in the video, and Kate Bush as his son.

  84. Been listening to this electro group called Air alot lately, if you’re into that sort of music they’re a must-listen.

    Jay-Z’s empire state of mind has been on alot on my ipod lately too. As well as tears for fears, vanilla ice, bananarama, men at work and all those awesome 80’s songs.

  85. I am so heartened to see so many references to Tori Amos here, as I find that very few people in my peer group know who she is. She has helped me so much with all of her albums- they speak so much to me! In 5-7th grade I was deeply into the whole Disney pop thing- Hilary Duff, Raven Symone, soundtracks to the Cheetah Girls (don’t judge me, I was 11!) In eighth grade, I discovered Anna Nalick and Charlotte Martin, and from there branched out to all the, as I describe them, “angsty and talented girls with pianos and guitars.” Alanis Morissette is another one who captures the experience of being a teenage girl so perfectly- her “So Unsexy” and “Incomplete” totally capture, like, all of my teen years. I love Sarah Mclachlan, and I’ve recently found that Joni Mitchell is great too. Regina Spektor is also wonderful, and her songs are amazing. And, mock all you like, but I am passionate about Broadway musicals, everything from Showboat to Hairspray. A lot of the songs give me strength-Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray and This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde make me feel AWESOME. Charlotte Martin’s Steel, I would sing to myself every day from eighth to tenth grade to get me through the bullying students and the asshole teachers. I’d just sing it in my head, over and over again, until I felt better. Here are the lyrics:
    The lost and insincere
    They think I need to hear what’s in their empty eyes
    We’re few and far between
    We’ve hardly been serene
    But we stand up to their lies
    We are steel
    We don’t feel anything at all

    He took me in his arms
    But then he squeezed too hard
    He wouldn’t let me breathe

    It’s been too many years
    I’ve hurt too many times
    To give up everything

    I am steel
    I don’t feel anything at all

    The way I’ve been confused
    The way that I’ve been used
    And spit out on your dime
    And still you lead me on
    And still you take me down
    And say it’s in my mind

    Well I’ve seen hell and back
    I’ve hidden in the dark with
    No one there at all

    I’ve scraped us back to life
    I’ve laced up both my boots
    So try and twist the knife

    I am steel
    I don’t feel anything at all
    We are steel
    We don’t feel anything at all
    We don’t feel anything at all
    Anything at all
    Can you see why it helped a lonely little girl get through all the crap of middle and early high school?

  86. When I was in high school, my sister and I used to clean house to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and to this day, South of the Border will make me happy and get my cleaning mojo running. We found all sorts of good stuff in my parents’ album collection. The Earth, Wind & Fire was my addition, but it goes quite nicely with Herb Alpert, so that extended our work/dance sessions.

    Bonnie Raitt got me through some teen transitions, as did Jefferson Airplane (early stuff only) and Fleetwood Mac. Lord, I feel a bit old. My go to album to make me happy is the Indigo Girls Rites of Passage because there’s a song on that album for just about every one of my good friends.

    Current new obsession is Matt the Electrician. Saw him open for Bob Schneider in Austin last week and felt compelled to go to his next show, then purchase his entire catalog. I love when songs tell a story, and all of his do that, with stellar musicians backing him up. Also, dude rocks the banjo, and that’s hard to pull off.

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