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Renegade Jams: Installment I

A few weeks ago I introduced a new series called Renegade Jams….And then I went on vacation, so it took a backseat to lying on the beach and riding a bike around SoCal. But I digress…We’re finally kicking it off!  In case you’re new to this series, each week I’ll feature 5 songs I can’t stop jamming to, complete with the entire playlist below. I’ll be adding to this playlist weekly, in the event that you’d like to subscribe & rock out alongside me. (Do it!)

Let’s get started.

#1  “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

I hinted in the intro post that I had a special attachment to Springsteen. I grew up on The Boss. Just for fun, here’s a family favorite for your entertainment of Baby Carley dancing on her father’s feet to “Ramrod.” #Mindthemullet.

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Bruce is my all time favorite. No competition. I saw him in concert when I was in middle school, and had the opportunity to see him again this year for my 28th birthday. If you haven’t had the chance to see him live, it’s a three and a half hour long, borderline spiritual experience.

“Born to Run” gives me serious dive bar nostalgia. While living in New York, summertime usually consisted of sweltering evenings spent pumping juke box classics and playing darts at The Horsebox, a seedy dive on Ave A. This song reminds me of the push and pull of the city. Always falling in love with something and someone new. Some days it felt like New York was ripping me apart vertebrae by vertebrae (baby this town rips the bones from your back), but the adventure was always worth it.

And when Bruce shouts “1, 2, 3, 4” at the top of his lungs in a way that only Bruce can? Chills.

#2 “Marathon” by Heartless Bastards

You know when you hear a song in a random location and if you don’t find out who sings it, you’ll go insane? Suddenly you’re standing on the bench in your dressing room holding your phone trying to get a good read for Shazam. That was me at work when this song come on. I was wandering around the office, hoping the right combination of Googling lyrics and waving my phone in the air like I just didn’t care would lead me to the answer. (Sidenote: I can’t be the only one who does this…)

Heartless bastards have been around for a while, and Erika Wennerstrom’s voice reminds me of a delightfully moodier Brandi Carlile. “Marathon” feels deeply personal. I also just found out that it was featured in Suits, which I just started watching. Season 1, represent!

#3 “Dancing on my own” by Robyn

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t relate to this scene in GirlsFollowing a poignant heartbreak, we find Hannah in her room literally dancing on her own as Robyn’s anthem kicks in. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t choke up when Hannah hugged Marnie at the end of the episode. I’ve been listening to this on repeat for the last few weeks, dancing on my own in the shower, getting ready for dinner with girlfriends, in the car, and even at my desk. No shame. Life can really throw a curveball (or 5) at you, but you have to keep moving. Having the right people to help you along always helps.

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Worst case, get up and dance it off. You’ll feel better, I PROMISE.

#4 “Free” by Broods

Broods is a badass Kiwi duo and their music has a level of honesty I really respect. The words in “Free” are gritty and empowering. A nice reminder that nobody can hold you down if you don’t let them. I really dig the line, “When I didn’t care is when I did best.” Isn’t that the truth? Think back to the last time you really felt free. I know I’m my best me when I’m not worrying about what others think.

As an added bonus, “Free” has a killer beat.  I am NOT a great runner. I’d even say I don’t really LIKE running. I like the benefits of running. I love how I feel after a good, hard run. But WHILE I’m running I’m somewhere between praying my shoelace comes untied so I can STOP running and “If I took a nap in that ditch would it alarm anyone?”

When I run to this song I swear I become Prefontaine.

#5 “This is Gospel” by  Panic At the disco.

Every time Brandon Urie belts out, “If you love me let me go”,  I’m instantly 17 again. Suddenly, I’m cruising around the beach in my red 96 Silverado blasting a lethal combination of Panic, Armor for Sleep, and Mayday Parade. You guys. I had side bangs. DEEP ones. I wore the same black converse low top sneakers for four straight years. I was this weird jock-punk hybrid and all my dreams consisted of playing college volleyball and finding my perfect punk-pop prince. My dream man was Tom Delonge circa 2003 when “I Miss You” came out, and way before he turned kind of jerky in a very public way.

My taste in men has matured but my taste in music still backslides from time to time. This single from Panic! At the Disco’s 2013 “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” album does it for me every time. Mostly because Urie’s voice always sounding like butter is one of those things you know you can just count on. Like the sun rising. And Amazon Prime.


  1. i feel the same about running, and all exercise. thanks for sharing these. i like knowing what people are listening to that is not on the radio.

    • I like MOST exercise, I even like weights / the gym / and any cardio that isn’t…running. I get distracted. And I get bored. And I get all…”Are we done with this?”

      Thanks for reading!! Let me know if you have any suggestions! xox

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