Memorex Memories is a segment where Impact staffers rediscover their own mix CDs and playlists from childhood, pre-teen, and teen years.
This gem of a playlist dates back to the year 2005. As an angsty teen living in rural Michigan, I lashed out in the only way I knew how, by listening to obscure music from the 70s and 80s and wearing band t-shirts. Although this behavior was relatively harmless, my parents frequent inquiry of ‘Are you going goth?’ only made me lash out in a “MARILYN MANSON IS NOT GOTH” kind of way. Although the hormones don’t rage quite like they used to and the need for musical elitism has long since passed, I now realize that if I had stuck with it I would have found myself ultra-hip in the neo-goth/witch-haus/darkwave/i’m-sad-and-i-don’t-know-why scene of today.
1. Generation X – Kiss Me Deadly
Ahh yes, Billy Idol. Maybe it’s the platinum blonde hair, maybe it’s the the permanent smirk. Whatever it was something about Billy Idol in his pre-Wedding Singer days really made 14-year-old Devin swoon.
2. The Smiths – Girlfriend in a Coma
My introduction to The Smiths came not from casual perusal of an internet search engine, but from a book. Yes, a book. The novel How Soon Is Never? introduced me to The Smiths back when I thought they were people who were actually named Smith. To this day I both idolize them and am terrified of Morrissey.
4. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Spellbound
Noticing a trend? I may have had a slight obsession with 80’s music as a high school student, and although at the time I was plagued by the notion that everyone around me listened to that terrible “modern music,” today I realize that no…I was just a really strange.
5. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Because what moody 14 year old doesn’t love the story of manic depressive Ian Curtis who committed suicide only to have his bandmates reform as the new-wave and comparatively peppy New Order? Oh, no one? Well, then…
6. Bauhaus – She’s in Parties
One cool thing about my mom is that she somehow stumbled across goth music back in the day, despite being the most nonthreatening person I know. In fact, she took me to see Bauhaus perform their last ever North American tour in 2006. Street cred established.
7. The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
Last summer I was in Chicago during Lollapalooza to visit friends from out of town. Although I didn’t go for the festival, on the final day I went to a Panera Bread just a few blocks from Grant Park. As I was in line next to a table full of cops, a policewoman approached me and told me that someone gave her to single day passes to Lollapalooza and asked if I wanted them. I was with three other friends, meaning two of us couldn’t go. In a paper/rock/scissor battle to the death (or best out of three) I won and got to see The Cure perform at Lollapalooza fulfilling my girlhood dream.
9. Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
One cannot deny the Violent Femmes ability to make a song about hand jobs catchy. That is a skill that many will try to replicate but few will truly master.
10. Fear – I Love Livin’ in the City
I found this song from watching SLC Punk too many times, if I had known that the song would be a mirror image of living in a co-op, I probably would have lived at home.
11. Crass – Punk is Dead
Because sometimes when you’re 14, you try really hard to be legit and not an anti-conformist-conformist, which you later realize is impossible to do when your biggest struggles are not finding obscure enough band t-shirts.
12. Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love with Someone (with Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)
The Buzzcocks helped me realize that punk rock didn’t have to sound as dirty as Fear or as cynical as Crass, but could have a catchy melody while still embracing teen angst.
Luckily I outgrew my desire to live in 1979 and returned to the 21st century so I can continue to be a rabble-rouser so I can piss off adults and squares.
Written by Devin Culham