MY LIFE IN TEN SONGS

Fun request, @nathanveshecco - thanks!
  1. BILLY PRESTON, "WILL IT GO ROUND IN CIRCLES"
  2. This is what my childhood sounded like. (Also Dr. John's "Gumbo" LP, which my Dad has told me I would crawl over to his record collection as a baby and pick out by the spine on sight.)
  3. DEVO, "GATES OF STEEL"
  4. Devo was the first music I discovered on my own, not from my parents. Music, art, comedy, science-fiction, everything I was obsessed with in one package! I was 11 years old and a weirdo and feeling inferior, and here were grown-ups saying, "Weirdos are superior. Let's take over the world." I still find this song inspirational!
  5. RUN-DMC, "PETER PIPER"
  6. In retrospect, this song was probably so impactful on my teenage years because it took the electronic/ metronome-like beat of those Devo songs and sliced up Billy Preston-style funk on top of it. Whatever, I wasn't thinking about that, I was just hip-hop obsessed for the next decade or two.
  7. FRANTIX, "MY DAD'S A FUCKIN' ALCOHOLIC"
  8. Punk rock/ hardcore appealed to me so much because, like all fucked-up teens, I was angry and self-destructive and enraged by our sick world and hated myself (yay, teen years and twenties!). But what I really loved was punk's honesty and backhanded vulnerability. I laughed out loud in recognition the first time I heard this song.
  9. THE BEACH BOYS, "I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES"
  10. Those late teens/ 20s were also about looking for comfort from all that inner turmoil; feeling lonely; wanting love and connection so bad and having zero template for how to experience it (which often led to the conclusion that it must not exist). This song is a perfect distillation of those times for me - and was a great source of comfort.
  11. CAFE TACUBA, "AVIENTAME"
  12. I moved to LA and dated a woman who was heavily involved in the Roc en Espanol music scene. She introduced me to Cafe Tacuba. This is simply a beautiful song that takes me right back to that time, in beautiful, perfect Los Angeles, the city I love!
  13. MORRISSEY, "TROUBLE LOVES ME"
  14. I've never heard a song better summarize why addiction is your best and worst friend. "Still running 'round/ On the flesh rampage/ At your age" - there's my 30s for you!
  15. FATS WALLER, "LITTLE CURLY HAIR IN A HIGH CHAIR"
  16. This is what having kids and feeling everything lighten up and being bombarded by love everyday first thing in the morning feels and sounds like.
  17. DAVID BOWIE, "BRING ME THE DISCO KING"
  18. Amazing song about aging, looking at your past, contemplating the end. I was told there's no more powerful tool for compassion than meditating on yourself or others at the moment of death; that even with your greatest enemy, it will help you experience them as human and worthy of love. Bowie!
  19. PEGGY LEE, "IS THAT ALL THERE IS?"
  20. While the world melts down in fear and rage and it's all very exciting and dramatic, Peggy Lee reminds us that it all adds up to... nothing! A big, disappointing nothing. So if it's all meaningless, we can choose how we wish to spend our time before "that final disappointment." Peggy's choice: "Keep dancing!"