Music of the Year

December 31st, 2011

I’m pretty sure it will be impossible for me to come up with just a few songs to make a soundtrack post – but I also don’t want this to turn into a book, so I’m going to try. This prompt is courtesy of Bethany and Katie:

What was the soundtrack of your year? Of your life? Which songs most strongly represent the various eras of your life? What songs were playing for the most crucial, formative moments of your life? Or, if the chronological approach doesn’t work for you, which songs best capture the different facets of your life? (Childhood, Love Life, Adulthood, Loss, Growth, Career, Happiness, Sadness, etc.) ┬áPlease elaborate.

Where to start? Okay, let’s start with today. Today’s song would be nice and moody – I’m grumpy and want to wallow in it. Perhaps some Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, or even Alanis – yeah, definitely Alanis. These also fit in nicely throughout my year – at times when I was frustrated with my job or just dealing with depression or whatever else. Angry girl rock has been an extremely important musical part of my life. It got me through college, through an angsty mis-guided romance toward the end of college, and through many stressful and irritating events since. Throw in some Tracy Bonham and Ani DiFranco, and we’re good to go.

Because I spent all night listening to a Pandora station tuned to Simon and Garfunkel (trying to tune out the extremely loud patient down the hall repeatedly yelling, “No! No! No!”), I would be remiss in leaving them out of my soundtrack. Also wonderful for traveling – when you’re in Paris and ready to come home, hearing “Homeward Bound” played by street musicians is about one of the sweetest sounds you’ll ever hear.

There would be a mild dose of classic/opera/jazz music thrown in there – representing my introduction to playing instruments and my relationship with my grandfather, short though it was.

Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. ‘Nuff said.

Pearl Jam – again with the angstiness – mostly high school and early college for this music. Along with the flannel shirts and Doc Martens. Yeah, I was all about Seattle grunge. In Kansas.

The Doors – duh. How could I possibly be the moody goth girl without quoting “The End” in my high school yearbook? Wait, you mean you didn’t do that, too?

Same goes for Guns n’ Roses, The Cure and Depeche Mode. Also, throw in a hefty dose of Indigo Girls, Dave Matthews and Blues Traveler, and you have most of my high school soundtrack now.

This year, I’d probably throw in a hefty dose of Green Day – “American Idiot”; Mumford and Sons – thanking Sean for that one, as we listened to it over and over and OVER; Ben Folds – still need to listen to his new stuff more; Cake, Cake and more Cake – that got me through many a work project, a drive into work, a drive home releasing the stresses of the day; Cowboy Junkies – especially “Sweet Jane,” which I sing frequently in my head to calm me down; Johnny Cash – for when I’m feeling particularly badass, especially his rendition of “Hurt;” U2 for generic “I just need something familiar that I like” days; Van Morrison for, well, Van Morrison; and The White Stripes when I feel like being particularly music snobby while rocking out.

I think that pretty much covers it. Oh, except for the show tunes. Although they make more infrequent appearances these days. Perhaps it’s harder to believe “Everything’s Alright” from Jesus Christ Superstar is going to carry me through. I find “Holiday” by Green Day to be more realistic.