The Love Your Blog prompt this week is ‘ugly’ and as soon as I read the word this Juliana Hatfield song popped into my head. When I was a teenager (a long time ago. Back when you got AOL disks in the mail and everyone who was cool had a juno email address) I was obsessed with Juliana Hatfield and Björk and Courtney Love and Shirley Manson (and really, any and every woman who got on stage and raged. Or, had emotions. Or, was just awesome). Given that Live Through This turned 21 last week, I decided it was the perfect time to for a walk down music memory lane. (Besides, this is how I deal with ugliness. A little rage, a little avoidance, and a little tenacity) I started with Juliana Hatfield. Just a girl and her guitar. Hatfield’s voice made her seem young and her songs felt honest. Everything a teenager could want. This song fills me with nostalgia and I’m glad I’ve grown up a little.
Then, I graduated a girl and her band.
I know Courtney Love is oft maligned (and she’s definitely made some mistakes, who hasn’t?) but I loved listening to Live Through This when it came out and I’ve been able to go back to it in the years since then and still get something from it. I’ve been angry and full of DGAF. And, when I’ve felt that I’ve been able to scream along with love.
Shirley Manson just seemed so impossibly cool when I was a teenager. I mean, gave interviews where she talked about being depressed and getting bullied at school. Anyone who is willing to tell you about their experiences and not care what you think is cool. Knowing that your experiences are shared experiences can be really comforting. Plus, she rocked the red hair, the boots and dresses and she owned the microphone.
I then bounced back to a woman and her… creativity. Björk is a genius. She’s always been a genius. She will always be a genius. Sure, she might seem “out there” or “weird” or “strange” but she never fails to make music that gets your attention, that touches you, that moves you. Her album Homogenic is beautiful from start to finish but my introduction to her was her second album. “Army of Me” just clicked inside me when I first heard it. It’s full of great advice: Stand up. You’ve got to manage. Björk wants you to get in there and get it done.
Finally, I stopped playing around on youtube and did the only thing a sane person could do: I built a list on spotify. Who rocks your world? Which songs and artists from your teen years have stuck with you?by