I have my first reader request! I am so excited. And flummoxed. This is a hard one. Beautiful, amazing, funny, talented, kind (I could go on about her for a long time) Natalie asked for the 10 songs that changed my life and why. Constructing this list was brutal. There’s just so much music that means so much to me… my master iTunes library has 57,023 songs in it; my playlists are sorted by year and what albums made the biggest impact on me that year…you would think that amount of organization would make this easier. It did not. Some songs were obvious and jumped out at me. Some were harder to put a read on; I ended up listing the albums that mean the most to me, and cherry picking songs from there. I would also like to note that my top three favorite songs of all time “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las, “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional, and “Clark Gable” by the Postal Service didn’t even make the list. I love them, but they don’t mean as much. If that makes sense. Anyway, in no particular order…
- Thieves in the Temple by Prince
- This is the first song that I was ever crazy about. I was about 2 years old and my family was very concerned that I didn’t know how to talk. The truth was, I was very selective about when I chose to use my words. My mom caught me slipping one day, she was driving and I was in the back seat, and I sang the whole sang word for word. It was used as the climax song in my director senior project (a dance show about bisexual vampires). This song has just always had a place in my life.
(Prince has his whole thing against the internets, so idk how you can find this song if you're unfamiliar).
- Don’t Speak by No Doubt
- I have always loved music. I always wanted to be involved in music. Rock music. I didn’t want to be a pop singer or an R&B singer, even though I liked them and admire them. I wanted to rock. At first I thought I could just be the girl on top of a car in a hair metal video. Then I realized Jennifer Batten and Wendy & Lisa were in the band, and I realized I could be in the band. It wasn’t until Don’t Speak by No Doubt, when I realized I could be the leader of the rock band. Gwen Stefani was and continues to be everything.
- Resurrect the Sun by Black Veil Brides
- Shitty break up of 2012. Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones is the only album I can listen to without crying hysterically. The lyrics are all about strength and being resilient in the face of a big evil. My favorite song on the album (although I Am Bulletproof is a close second).
- Drain the Blood by The Distillers
- Brody Dalle is to my teen-age years what Gwen Stefani is to my even younger years. A bad ass female who didn’t need no man and wrote awesome rock music. I kept a picture of Brody Dalle in my locker. (There was a picture of Homer Simpson too, but that’s neither here nor there). “All my friends are murder” meant the most to an outcast who felt like she didn’t have any friends. Brody also utilized a lot of power chords in her writing, which made it easy for an aspiring front woman to learn her songs and feel like the heir to the throne.
- God Called in Sick Today by AFI
- AFI is hands down my favorite band of all time, I’ve seen them live over 20 times, am a member of the fan club, the whole she-bang. Following AFI around California for tour dates are some of my favorite memories and every show ended with God Called In Sick Today, and Davey HavoK god walking over the crowd, while we all sweated and sang and swayed in time.
- Astronaut by Amanda Palmer
- I love Amanda Palmer. She’s so unapologetically herself. Astronaut is such a strong album opener. This album came out when I was in a really low period, I went to see her the night the album was released, and a few days later ended up in the hospital. This album though…it spoke to me. It helped me see things through. This is a really good song about loss.
- Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
- This song reminds me of Saturday mornings with my mom. When I went through my Stevie Nicks phase, my mom opened up her closet and gave me all of her old maxi skirts and some awesome wraps and vintage bags. My mom is basically my favorite person and this song makes me think about hanging out with her.
- The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows by Brand New
- The beginning of my emo “phase”? I don’t know. I just know this is, in my opinion, one of the greatest songs ever written, off of one of the greatest albums ever written.
- Sugar We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy
- One of my high school crushes became my crush because I heard him singing this song under his breath during a quiz, and I was sure our kindred musical tastes meant we were meant to be. I first saw the music video for Grand Theft Autumn on some weird Canadian music channel my uncle got with his satellite and I was done, Fall Out Boy fan for life. Their name was an allusion to The Simpsons, Patrick’s voice was smoother than butter, and Pete’s lyrics spoke to my confused adolescent brain that had too many feelings and not enough outlets.
- If You Can’t Hang by Sleeping with Sirens
- The construction on this song is amazing. Sleeping with Sirens and Black Veil Brides helped me regain my passion for the scene and tap into a part of myself that had been dormant; the weird, DIY, fearless emo trash teen ager.
Yay! There it is.
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