As you guys know I am a student. I’m going into my Junior year of high school, and honestly, it is daunting. I feel a lot of pressure to do my best this year in order to pick up the slack from the previous three years (not that I’ve done horribly, but I don’t feel I have reached my potential yet).
To lighten my heart I find myself escaping through music more than anything. When, in June, I felt all of this end-of-the-year pressure from my teachers, and from exams, and definitely from myself, I would sulk alone to The Script.
Side Note: The Script are incredible and you’ve probably heard “Breakeven” as well as a bunch of other songs like “For the First Time”, but they’ve got four great albums and multiple singles to listen to for any or no reason, but particularly if you’re in a bad mood. I call them The De Facto Sad Band.
With that said I have a playlist for going back to school. Correction: an upbeat, non-depressing playlist for going back to school. It’s fairly chirpy so we can feel alive as our environment dies during the last stretch. So without further ado I present you with this year’s back to school playlist:
1. Wake Up by Hilary Duff — Wake Up is a positive, upbeat song by Hilary Duff released oh so many years ago. I had completely forgotten about it until I heard her new single, Chasing the Sun, which inspired me to go listen to songs I loved when I was younger. Back when I was about 10, I loved Wake Up; now I love it for the nostalgia rather than the actual music, but I will still listen to it.
2. R U Mine? by Arctic Monkeys — I have no idea why but I had never listened to the Arctic Monkeys until this year even though all of my friends loved and recommended them. When I first heard AM, R U Mine? was not a favourite; I liked it but I preferred Arabella and I Wanna Be Yours. But I don’t know, I just randomly started listening to it on repeat, but it’s not my favourite, just the song I listen to all the time.
3. Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel (from Wicked) — I was going through lyric videos on YouTube and came across this. Randomly I played it but then instead of moving on to another song to listen to I had this on repeat for a half hour. Now that I’m preparing to go back to school I want to listen to this instant Broadway classic everyday going in to school.
4. Someday We’ll Know by New Radicals — This song was included in last year’s playlist as well, but I just don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I listened to the whole of Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too and this one is the best, better than You Get What You Give. If there is one song j could not recommend more to you guys, it’s this.
5. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks — Landslide is a classic. It’s been covered by Glee, The Dixie Chicks, The Smashing Pumpkins, by all these people on YouTube, practically everybody has heard this song. It is very mellow and calming and, I believe, can be appreciated by everybody.
6. Raging Fire by Phillip Phillips — if you follow me on twitter, you would have seen that I attended a Phillip Phillips concert recently. About midway through his performance, after Gone, Gone, Gone, he played Raging Fire and it was pretty good, though I didn’t think much of it at the time. But when I was driving home after the concert what I was remembering most vividly was the chorus of Raging Fire. So when I got home, I turned it on full blast and I can totally sing it out (not really, I’m practically tone deaf).
7. Not Ready to Make Nice by The Dixie Chicks — “Forgive sounds good/Forget I’m not sure I could.” Yes, yes, boring high school drama in a nutshell (I think, I actually try to stay away from that). But seriously, this song is personal for The Dixie Chicks and when you listen to this powerful song, you really feel it and that is something I think all music needs.
8. Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks — In contrast to Not Ready to Make Nice, I don’t actually feel too connected to this song, but I really like it and have always ever since Jack Black and Joan Cusack sang along to it. Nothing more I can say.
9. To the Lost by The B-List — The B-List is a fairly small band from New York; I hadn’t heard of them until I found them on twitter, do I wandered over to their Bandcamp ( theb-list.bandcamp.com ) and listened to their February 2013 demo, and they remind me so much of Green Day and a little of Every Avenue, two of my favourite bands. They’ve got a rad pop punk sound and I’m pretty excited to see what they do in the future.
10. Boom Clap by Charlie XCX — Boom Clap is featured in The Fault in Our Stars (which I unfortunately still have not watched yet, but I have listened to this song multiple times). It’s got a nice catchy hook that you can bet your bottom dollar will wake you up on lazy autumn mornings.
11. You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray (2007) — I honestly hadn’t heard this song in years, but like with Defying Gravity I randomly played it and fell in love. It’s supremely danceable, so for me, that makes walks on slow, dreary mornings enjoyable.
12. All I Do is Win ft. Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross & T-Pain by DJ Khaled — This is a surprise for me because I don’t normally like rap, but this song is so catchy. Plus when I hear this song I visualize Emma Stone lip syncing it on Jimmy Fallon (psst… you can find it here)
13. Fancy ft. Charlie XCX by Iggy Azalea — again, I’m really surprised I like this song. When I first heard it I only heard the chorus. When I listened to the whole thing, initially I was thrown off but I then rolled with it. And so it became my summer jam. It’s so good! I don’t know, maybe I’m just a white girl inside.
So there you have it folks, my Back to School Playlist for 2014. If you like it, yeah I guess that’s pretty cool. If you’re interested in last year’s Back to School Playlist, you can find it here. Don’t be shy and leave me some rad music suggestions. Until next time, bye, chums!
Recently I attended a concert from the Bon Jovi Because We Can: The Tour. Let me start off by saying it was the very definition of epic! The band had amazing stage presence and sounded incredible.
But what I immediately noticed was how old the audience was. I saw very few people under the age of 25; in fact most of the people I saw were probably 25-50 years old. That’s really awful to think that very few younger people like/know Bon Jovi. If they don’t know a famous rock band like Bon Jovi, what rock do they know? Do most people even listen to older rock anymore? My older brother mentioned to a friend how I was going to this concert, and his friend replied with, “Who’s Bon Jovi?” That is really concerning how some people don’t even listen to great bands from the past.
I recently read an article on slate.com about the whole Kanye-Jimmy Kimmel feud, and the writer, Forrest Wickman, states,
“Rap is the new rock and roll — or rather, it’s considerably bigger and more influential now than rock is.”
Well part of me wants to deny it because I don’t like rap and had started listening to rock at a tender, single digit age, but I know rap is huge now. I know so many people who listen to rappers like Kanye West and Drake and Jay Z considerably more than bands like Aerosmith or AC/DC or Bon Jovi. I am not saying people are wrong in liking hip hop. You are completely entitled to liking it, but to think that in 10, 15, 25 years most of the older fans who’ve listened to Bon Jovi (or any older rock band for that matter) will probably not attend the concerts. And then what will happen? Do you think they can fill arena seats if everyone is busy listening to Yeezus? Maybe. I know there is a younger fan base, but nevertheless, the numbers will dwindle.
So I thought of a, for lack of a better word, solution to this current frustration of mine. We spread rock. Just like how earnest radio callers beg for rap and the latest teeny-bopper idol, we ask for rock. Not just to rock channels, either, but also to mainstream ones, too. When our friends tell us of how awesome P!nk or Demi Lovato is as a female artist, we suggest Joan Jett or Alanis Morissette right back to them. I know some of you must be embracing this rap movement, and quite probably have for a fair few years, but rock is the holy historic genre. This birthed the very foundation of our culture.
With just a short time until the start of the school year, I figured, “Hey, why not talk about going back to school?” And what better way to talk about the back-to-school season than to talk about music?
Music is like a little safe haven for so many people I know and I (and no, not like that movie with Julianne Hough, which I have not actually seen but have heard some exciting things about). From the moment I finish my shower to the time my first class begins, I am listening to music; so I thought that the perfect way to motivate oneself through the beginning of school would be a fun and inspiring little playlist. My friends and I pretty much just bus and/or walk to school, so I made my playlist approximately 50 minutes long to accommodate those who have longer journeys as well as those with shorter ones. Here’s my playlist:
- It’s Time by Imagine Dragons — This song is just so darn awesome! Especially at the beginning of the day. “It’s time to begin isn’t it?”
- Greased Lightning from Grease — I love how upbeat it is; it really wakes me up in the morning.
- Brick by Boring Brick by Paramore — Again, upbeat, really wakes you up.
- Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas — Ever since I’ve started watching Supernatural, this song just reminds me of some grand finale, because obviously they use it for all of the season finales, and the beginning of something just as glorious, because I usually always had the DVDs for the season after. I put it in this playlist because it is the perfect transitional song to signify the ending of the summertime and the newness of going back to school.
- When I Get You Alone by Robin Thicke — So if you’ve seen this song’s music video, you saw Robin Thicke biking around the streets of New York. Now when I listen to it, I juts kind of speed up what I’m doing because the image of Robin Thicke as a bike courier just really inspires me for some reason.
- Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves — I feel like this song is just perfect for all but the most solemn occasions. It’s really upbeat and positive and I just want to have some sort of dance montage when I hear it.
- Walk This Way by Aerosmith — Okay this is probably no surprise, but I mean Steven Tyler scream/singing “Walk this way” over and over just makes me want to get to my destination as fast as possible. I just instantly find my groove, and I feel cool, like how James Potter and Sirius Black must have felt during their time in school, so I feel like this is essential for back to school.
- Someday We’ll Know by New Radicals — So this is a new favourite song of mine, and I don’t know. Maybe if you study hard enough you could answer one of Gregg’s questions.
- Battle Born by The Killers — This song is just really inspiring and makes me want to continue to do as well as I can.
- Grow by Wake Owl — This song just makes me think of trees and how they never stop growing.
- Back in Black by AC/DC — Obvi, one of the greatest songs of the last century, it just rocks. That is the simplest way to describe it. It’s awesome and who doesn’t like AC/DC?!
So that is my back-to-school playlist. I put it in that order ’cause I think it would go well like that, but it would also be cool shuffled. Feel free to tell me what you think of my playlist and also offer any suggestions.