My first cassette tape was Bryan Adams, “Cuts like a Knife”. I received it for Christmas one year, and from that moment on, I couldn’t (ahem–wouldn’t) fall asleep without it. Late at night, I’d even hear my dad tip toe into my room and turn the tape over. When my dad would pick me up from school, one of the first things he’d ask once I was in the car, even before “how was your day?”, was what I wanted to listen to. Sometimes he wouldn’t even have ask, because I’d already be begging him to put on one of the gazillion CDs that he kept in the center console. I’d slide the precious booklet out of its case and memorize the lyrics and pictures, and he’d reprimand me for creasing them far too often. Whether it was Fleetwood Mac, ACDC, Joe Cocker, Dire Straits, or The Eagles, those songs stayed with me long after the music stopped.
At the age of 28, I still need music to do just about everything. Distracted by both silence and background noise, music always seems to center me. At night, my mind often races when I get in bed. One minute I’m tucking myself in and the next minute it’s 2am and I can’t stop thinking about [insert random thing I’m thinking about.] Like the perfect comeback I should have said 5 days ago or whether or not I’m a successful member of the adult human race. You know. Light stuff. Before things get too out of hand, I usually put on some music to soothe my soul. At work, if I need to crank out some copy or nail down a presentation, I pop in my headphones and get down to business. I listen to it on the way to Yoga, on my morning commute, in the supermarket, in the shower, and everywhere in between. And you best believe I boogie down when I’m doing chores around the house, but that usually involves a few perfectly timed but poorly coordinated dance moves.
Concerts opened up a whole new world for me. The first concert I attended was Def Leppard and Joan Jett and the Black Hearts. After that, it was my first Springsteen concert (more on this later), where THE BOSS wailed on his guitar while standing on top of a white grand piano. Sophomore year of high school I saw Aerosmith with a boy who was predictably all wrong for me, but still swooned as Steven Tyler screeched the words to Cryin’ over his scarf covered microphone. Senior year of High School I snuck into the Ray LaMontagne concert in my hometown and had my first taste of beer. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my favorite musicians live, including Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons, Dashboard Confessional, Empire of the Sun, The Temper Trap, Lord Huron, Two Door Cinema Club, Foster The People, and more. (I’ll be seeing Beyonce in a few weeks and I’m sure I’ll have an entire post dedicated to Her Greatness.)
When Spotify launched, I became obsessed with curating playlists on the go. Living in New York, I found it incredibly frustrating being underground with nothing to help pass the time, and Spotify was a game changer. I would create playlists by season, by month, by mood, and by genre. For a friend’s bachelorette party last summer, my only responsibility was the playlist that would carry us through two days of shenanigans. (Spoiler — It was a strange and beautiful mix of Ja Rule, Spice Girls, Shania Twain, and Michael Jackson. I regret nothing.) I have playlists for dancing, for waking up, for running, for going to sleep, for date nights, for driving, and now…For this blog!
Next week, I’m going to share you cool cats on my blog playlist! I’ll introduce a few songs weekly that I lately can’t live without, complete with a link to the playlist so you can jam along with me, a link to the individual songs, and a little blurb about why I’m digging them. Some will be personal stories, some will be funny anecdotes, and some will be because I heard it in that show that one time and it got stuck in my head.
Which leads me to my final question. Are there any songs stuck in your head right now? Please, do share! I’m always looking to expand my music library! (And who knows, maybe it will appear on Renegade Jams one of these weeks!)