A few weeks ago, I started spamming the Gigantic Sequins masthead on Facebook with a question: what were your favorite songs when you were a teenager? I had the idea during last year’s Teen Sequins feature, to make a mixtape, maybe a playlist, of songs we love(d), that inspire(d) us. This year I asked, and the masthead delivered (link to Spotify playlist). I might have skipped class this morning to listen, but that can be our secret.
Here’s what the staff wrote about their picks (links to videos!)…
- “Nightswimming” by R.E.M. (Sophie Klahr, Teen Sequins co-editor): “I remember listening to this song on a tape, on repeat, probably around 8th grade.”
- “Circles” by Soul Coughing (Kimberly Ann Southwick, Editor in Chief): “released in 1998…these guys were KEY in my late teens; like, I LIVED off of Doughty lyrics all through my late high school & early college years. The link is to the official video for that song. I remember my best friend Kirsten and I walking around the halls at my high school after school was over singing this song.”
- “Awake” by Letters to Cleo (Kimberly Ann Southwick): “came out in 1995 but I got really into them like sophomore year of high school. (Regrettably I don’t think I ever saw them live? Living in South Jersey, I got to see a LOT of live music, most of my faves, because we’re so close to both Philly & NYC–& bands even played in Jersey on the way between the two cities or in big arena stadiums right outside of them. Anyway, sucks I never saw them.) I would write LTC lyrics all over everything (which I did with a lot of music) and use them as AIM away messages and such.”
- “#1 Crush” by Garbage (Meg Willing, Assistant Production Editor): “from the Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack (1996), 13. On tape, from my Walkman, track one, side one, staring up at bootlegged R+J posters (and postcards and cutouts), lovesick and cursing it.”
- “Barnacles” by Ugly Cassanova (Meg Willing): “from a mix CD from Travis, 17. Driving dirt roads in my maroon ’93 Subaru Loyale station wagon, aimless.”
- “Rocks Tonic Juice Magic” by Saves the Day (Zach Yontz, Fiction Editor): “from Through Being Cool (1999). I was 13 but probably really got into it around 15-16 (to this day!). You and I are like when fire and the ocean floor collide.”
- “A Red So Deep” by Cursive (Zach Yontz): “Was 14! Probably really got into it around 15-16 again. A concept album about divorce really fit my high school age mindset. I was also listening to a lot of Thursday at the time.”
- “Gold Lion” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (yours truly): “10 when this album came out…I preordered it from FYE next to Panera in the plaza where my mom grocery shopped. Must have talked her into giving me an advance on multiple allowances. It came with a poster.”
- “Nude as the News” by Cat Power (“”): “Wrote one long and awful draft of a YA book inspired by this song. Listened over and over while writing thousands of words, just anything. I refuse to open the document, but I still love this song.”
- “Rid of Me” by PJ Harvey (“”): “Bought this album at FYE, too. Brought it home and put my ear to a faux-vintage CD player from Target. A neighbor my mom babysat was there, too. We turned the stereo loud then louder. When the drums came in, the speakers nearly blew. I was exhilarated, my neighbor terrified. This song is what most of the poems I wrote my sophomore year of college wanted to be.”
- “El Niagara en Bicicleta” by Juan Luis Gerra (Meg Willing): “16. Living in Bogotá, sneaking around the city with my best girls, dancing, dancing, dancing.”
My brilliant Teen Sequins co-editor, Sophie Klahr, ended up making her own playlist. Thank you, Sophie. Nostalgia forever. Teen Sequins forever! “Untouchable Face” is one of my favorite Ani Difranco songs.
Friends, please help us spread the word about Teen Sequins 2017! And maybe turn up the music.
Until next time,
Robby (Teen Sequins co-editor)