Memories Through Music: Megan's Ultimate Album

Now I don’t know about you, but I tend to associate different songs with different memories. So, when I was challenged to create an album full of my favorite songs, I chose many that have a deep personal meaning and connection to me. The songs on my list elicit many different feelings and I listen to them all at different times. Some make me happy when I am sad, others just remind me of a happy time, and many are just fun songs that enjoy listening to. This list is in no specific order, just in a random order of random songs that I find to be some of my favorites.

100 Years - Five For Fighting, The Battle for Everything, 2003

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My aunt and uncle gave me their old desktop computer when I was 9 or so and with it came their iTunes library, over 2000 songs. This was one of the songs in their library that stuck with me, including songs like Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers and Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow. This song just has such a reminiscent feeling about it to me.
 

 

 

I Miss You - blink-182, blink-182, 2003

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This is the song that first introduced me to the pop punk kind of music. I discovered a cover of it by Five Seconds of Summer on YouTube that was recorded in BBC One’s Live Lounge. I was so enthralled by the oddity of the lyrics of the song that I found the original and instantly fell in love with the original and blink-182. I love the weird lyrics and all of the metaphors contained in them as well as the complexity wrapped up in the simplicity of the chorus as well as the completely acoustic and authentic sound. Blink-182 are master songwriters and the geniosity of the song is just… beautiful. This is one of my all time favorite songs. Definitely in my top five.

Good Directions - Billy Currington, Doin’ Something Right, 2005

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I grew up listening country in the car, in the house, and just about everywhere else - and to this day it is still one of the genres I listen to the most. Good Directions is one my dad’s all time favorite country songs and every time I hear it, the song reminds me of him. Whenever I am home and the song comes on, my dad and I will drop everything and sing along for the whole duration of the song. For me, Good Directions just elicits happy feelings and memories of home.

 

Don’t Know Why - Norah Jones, Come Away with Me, 2002

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I first found this song when I was about eight. One of the few CDs my grandma owned back in 2007 was Come Away With Me, released by Norah Jones in 2002. Don’t Know Why is the first track on the album, so it would always come on first and it was the song I listened to the most at my grandma’s house. Today, it reminds me of my mom and it is my go-to song when I am feeling down because it is comforting and calming.

 

 

Dog Days Are Over - Florence + the Machine, Lungs, 2009

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Despite the fact that this song was released in 2009, I only just recently discovered it about eight months ago. Every single time I hear this song, something takes over me and just fills my soul with joyousness. I also personally hate summer and hot, sultry days, so I’m always glad when fall comes and I can leave the dog days in the past.

 

 

Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran, Rio, 1982

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Both of my parents were in high school in the mid-to-late 80s, so I have grown up on 80s music. Duran Duran was one of my mom’s favorite bands in high school and this is one of the most iconic songs recorded by Duran Duran. I just like this song and have included it on this ultimate list of songs because I can.
 

 

 

 

Big Yellow Taxi - Counting Crows, Hard Candy, 2002

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For some reason, I have a memory about this song, but cannot figure out what memory it was. You know the feeling? It is something vague that I can feel in my gut but just can’t quite determine where it was that I first heard this. I stumbled upon this song my freshman year of high school, and I just felt like I knew this song before… It may be that my mom played it around me or it came on in the car on the radio when I was little and I just have a vague memory about it playing. It doesn’t matter why I like it, I just do and it is a song I absolutely love.

 

Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists, Men Amongst Mountains, 2015

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I love this song for many reasons - the way the lyrics are sung, the beat of the music, the chorus, the ambiguity of the song... everything. In fact, the singer frontman of The Revivalists stated that he would rather keep the meaning of the song open to every interpretation and not limit listeners’ understanding of the song with his meaning.
 

 

 

Counting Stars - OneRepublic, Native, 2013

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While it’s not one of my favorite songs, I enjoy listening to Counting Stars. This song became popular just about a month after I graduated 8th grade and its popularity carried it through over a year on Billboard’s Hot 100. I remember every time it came on in the car, no matter who I was with, we would sing to it at the top of our lungs. Yes, it became very boring after a while, but now whenever I listen to it, I remember my freshman year of high school and the glory that came with being a high schooler. Ah, those days when I thought I was so mature.
 

Move Along - The All-American Rejects, Move Along, 2005

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I just had to satisfy the punk pop side of my music taste with something other than blink-182. Don’t get me wrong, blink is great, but I needed something else. This song reminds me of when I went through a stage in high school of listening to every punk pop song I could find. This is a classic song and is one of my absolute favorite punk pop songs ever!

 

 

 

New Man - Ed Sheeran, Divide, 2017

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Ed Sheeran is one artist that just cannot be missing from my list. He is one of my favorite singers and he has so many great songs, but I think one of his underrated ones is New Man. The saltiness of the lyrics combined with the upbeat poppiness of it makes it a hilarious song to listen to. Of course, I also love Happier and Galway Girl and Lego House as you cannot just choose one good Ed Sheeran song!

 

 

Way Down We Go - Kaleo, A/B, 2016

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This is another song that I don’t really have a great reason for liking, I just enjoy listening to it. I found it near the end of my senior year of high school, which was not too long ago, and I just fell in love with every part of the song. The lyrics, musical composition, and the overall sound just makes for a great song.
 

 

 

The House That Built Me - Miranda Lambert, Revolution, 2009

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This was one of the first CD’s I ever had and I remember listening to it everyday I could on my giant CD player. You know, those things that you probably have not use for anymore? I honestly miss getting a new CD, unwrapping the notoriously difficult-to-remove plastic and then taking the barcode sticker off the top of the case. I played this disc over and over again and to this day it is in my… the thing in my crappy old car…. oh, the stereo. I would listen to this CD day and night, alongside The Incredible Machine by Sugarland. This song just reminds me of home. It is one of my favorite Miranda Lambert songs, with Mama’s Broken Heart coming in at a close second.

Extra songs that I love but have no explanation for:

Cough Syrup - Young the Giant, Young the Giant, 2010

Mamma Mia! - Meryl Streep (Originally made famous by ABBA), Mamma Mia!, 2005

Eye of the Tiger - Survivor, Eye of the Tiger, 1982


Of course, this song list is not exhaustive of all of my favorite songs -- I have so many that I just love, so here is a link to a Spotify playlist of my top 100 songs.

-Megan, Host of Rock 'n' Talk

Sid's Technology Review: Word vs. Docs

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When writing, there is a significant reason as to why you should use Word Docs instead of Google Docs. In word, you can press CTRL and S together to save your document. In google docs, it autosaves everything you write. Google Docs uses Wi-Fi so you can access your document in any place that has Wi-Fi, and on any computer. Word Docs pertain only to the computer it is being accessed in, but you don’t need internet to access to work on it. They both have their pros and cons, but there is one significant difference Word has that sets it apart from Google.

When writing in word, you can save your papers and it gives you a feeling of copyright which makes you more attached to it. By consistently saving your papers, it makes you feel adoration towards what you write. It makes you feel like you are writing a masterpiece. Have you ever pressed CTRL and S five times in a row? Just to make sure your paper is saved, and just to make sure the writing you have written is beautifully preserved? The more you save it, the more you love what you’ve written.

The ironic thing is that I’m writing this on Google Docs. I guess that says a thing or two about how I feel about this post. They both have their pros and cons. Word Docs and Google Docs are for two different kinds of people. If you are an aspiring writer, then you should use Word Docs. Consistently saving your writing makes you write beautiful and precious things. They are precious because you feel the need to save everything you write in order to make sure it stays preserved. It’s one of life’s secrets. The only thing better than typing papers on Word Docs is writing on regular paper. There is only one, hard copy in writing so you have to be even more careful to preserve it.

If we write more beautifully when there is more of a risk to preserving it, then one can only imagine how beautiful thoughts are. You can’t capture your own thoughts, so your mind thinks of amazing and wonderful things. Sometimes you try to write down what your thoughts are, but it doesn’t seem amazing once it’s on paper. It seems even less amazing on a Word Doc, and even less amazing on Google Docs. That is why we have created our own docs. Thought Docs. The user-friendly platform helps you turn your thoughts into a reality. It makes your thoughts just as beautiful as they seemed in your head. Thought Docs.

Thought Docs, also known as TD. The Thought Docs provides a dynamic design space to create your own impression of your thoughts. Thought Docs is coming soon to DVD. This Summer.

Songs for the Traveler: June's Ultimate Playlist

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I don’t know how to start this so I’ll just jump right in. This is my ‘greatest hits’ sort of album! I tried to select songs that have similar themes to each other, but overall it just mattered that I liked them. I have moved a lot in my life, so a lot of the songs on this list reflect that, so expect songs about going home, or leaving home, or regrets. For me, each of these songs fits a plane ride to a new life somewhere else.

1. Outrage! by Capital Lights

I heard this song a long time ago, sometime in the night. Being a tired kid, the synthesizers made me think of aliens. While that is certainly something I still associate this song with to this day, that is not the reason I still listen to it. This song has some fantastic wordplay in it, with a catchy hook and energy to support it.  

Favorite Lyrics:

And what a pretty night, what a pretty night

You finally fit into my shoes, I'm never dressed for the occasional

Invasion of surprises, I don't get surprised

You think your secret's safe with you

I'll catch it swinging through the grapevine

2. Jesus of Suburbia by Green Day 

So for background, I’m trying to restrict myself to one song per band to make sure I have some variation on this list. I knew that I had to put a Green Day song on here, as they are my favorite band. It was difficult to pin down which one to do, so I chose this one. Clocking in at over 9 minutes, JoS goes through a key change, tempo changes, and many themes. While it is the second song on the American Idiot album, it is the one that sets the story for the rock opera. It is majestic, well crafted and is a true testament to what Green Day can do.

Favorite lyrics:

Home is where the heart is

But what a shame

Cause everyone’s heart

Doesn’t beat the same

3. Fly By Night by Rush 

An absolute classic from the (in my opinion) best prog-rock band in the world. Fly by night is the song that captures the spirit of this list; leaving everything behind and starting again. The chemistry between Geddy Lee (vocals and bass), Alex Lifeson (guitar) and Neil Peart (drums) is unmatched, and on great display in this song. The way this song is put together with fantastic melodies, a great guitar solo, and an iconic sound make it a perfect fit for this list.

Favorite Lyrics:

Leaving my homeland

Flying alone and

My life begins today

4. All This and More by Against Me! 

The last song off of their latest album Shapeshift with Me, this song carries a fantastic cadence. To be quite honest, I stole ideas from this song for one of my own songs. That is how much I enjoy it. The lyrical themes, the simple but effective guitar style, and the percussion bring this song together very nicely as a casual ride through sentimentality.

Favorite Lyrics:

160 miles to Cincinnati

Plastic Christ my hearts breaking in my chest

160 miles to regret

5. Hurt by Johnny Cash 

Did you know this song is actually a cover? I didn’t. That is how much soul the late Johnny Cash put into this song. The lyrics are brutal and truthful, and the instrumentation is beautiful. While it is not my favorite song in the world, the amount of talent and heart on display in this song make it fantastic.

Favorite Lyrics:

What have I become

My dearest friend

Everyone I know goes away

In the end

6. Fake My Own Death by Sum 41 

Consider this a tonal reset for this list. I started with some softer songs, and now its time to turn up the distortion. This song was Sum 41’s return to the stage after a few years away. It has everything needed to turn an album around, a beginning that slowly builds into a fast paced riff. In terms of melody, the verses don’t have a lot of it. But the chorus and bridge are great, and the lyrical content has vivid imagery.

Favorite Lyrics:

You walk beside the dead where

The angels never tread well

At least I've still got a soul to sell

7. Four Chords by Classic Crime

This is a song that brings me back to laying awake at night next to the radio when I was 8. I had my radio set to this one station, FM 88.7.  On Friday nights they had listeners vote on the songs that they had played through the week, and from 9 to midnight they counted down to the song with the most votes. This song won a few times. It combines many elements that I love. Regret, hope, positivity, and looking towards the future. The instrumentation is a bit simple, sure, but the melodies and lyrics make up for it.  

Favorite Lyrics:

I was once a boy in love with strangers

As I watched them smoke their cigarettes I waved

I was much too young to think of danger

I was curious and innocent and brave

8. Failure by Breaking Benjamin 

Like the Sum 41 song, this song is Breaking Benjamin’s comeback song after years of court cases and illness for the members of the band. Breaking Benjamin is a very consistent band. The songs are very formulaic, with muted verses and triumphant choruses. This song is no different. The theme of the song is, well, failure. While the guitar solo is fairly weak, the chorus and ending are fantastic. They bring back the memories of long bus rides home from school, excited to go home and listen to the new singles from the album.

Favorite Lyrics:

The dark before the dawn,

The war will carry on.

Look for the light that leads me home.

9. Whereabouts Unknown by Rise Against

This song starts off perfectly, with the ambiance of crickets and light guitar. The song then blasts off with incoming distortion and vocals. I really love this song, the lyrics are amazing, the melodies and guitars blend perfectly, and the drums are varied and interesting. Now, the song does have a ‘shouty bit’ which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for me its well earned and fits with what the song has been building up to.

Favorite Lyrics:

As the hungry sails unfurl

We are thrusted from the shore

And its you that we search for

10. Move Along by All American Rejects

The All American Rejects are a really strange band for me. I can’t ever get into their music, but every few years I find them again and fall in love with them for a week. It’s probably mostly nostalgia, but hey, what’s wrong with that? Of course, you probably already know this song, so I don’t really need to describe it, do i?

Favorite Lyrics:

Another day, and you've had your fill of sinking

With the life held in your

Hands are shaking cold

These hands are meant to hold

11. By Your Side by House of Heroes 

Beginning the transition to the end of this list is an energetic acoustic track. This song contains the story of two brothers who enlisted in the army to fight in world war 2 and then died on a beach. This is a song that reminds me of my brother. We used to do everything together, but now go to college on the opposite sides of the country.

Favorite Lyrics:

Just to see your face for one moment

I’d cross the ocean again

The end is not the end

12. The Time We Had by The Mother Hips 

Simply put, this is a song that reminds me of my brother, following up on the theme from the song before it. When I was younger, my brother and I played the video game Rock Band, which had this song on it. At the time this song wasn’t one that I cared much for, but finding it years later took me on a massive nostalgia trip. This song isn’t perfect, and there are plenty that I like more than it, but I feel it deserves a spot here.

Favorite Lyrics:

It's a long way

Back to the place where we used to sit

When you and I were just little kids

13. White Wine in the Sun by Tim Minchin

This is the best Christmas song in my opinion, as it is not about religion but about family. Tim Minchin is a comedian who usually fills his songs with wit and jest. While some of that exists in this song, it takes a back seat to the sentimentality that surrounds the holiday season.

Favorite Lyrics:

And if my baby girl, when you’re 21 or 31

And Christmas comes around

And you find yourself 9000 miles from home

You’ll know whatever comes that

Your brothers and sisters and me and your mom

Will be waiting for you in the sun

14. Cigarette Daydream by Cage the Elephant

This song is my favorite song to close out a setlist with. It was the song that my group of friends listened to constantly during my Sophomore year of high school, and it will always hold a place in my heart for that. There were countless times where I would strum out the first chord on my acoustic guitar and have all of my friends singing with me. The soft acoustic guitar, light piano, and general feel give it a lullaby, goodnight feel that I love.

 Favorite Lyrics:

Did you stand there all alone?

Oh I cannot explain what's going down

I can see you standing next to me

In and out somewhere else right now

Bonus Tracks!

What good album is complete without bonus tracks? Well, many I’m sure but I just have a few honorable mentions to add to this list.

Ghost by House of Heroes

This is one of my new favorite sad songs, but it couldn’t beat the other house of heroes song I had already picked.

My Own Music

Plugging myself in here, I write my own music. There are a few songs of mine that I would put on this list, but I feel that I am incredibly biased and I want to maintain some professionalism for this non-professional post. This is totally not me begging for people to listen. Totally not.

Every Green Day song

Because they are great, really.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a good day, and have success wherever life takes you.

-June, Host of June's Tunes 

On The Road With Taylor: The Soundtrack to My Life

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Wow. When faced with the task of writing up an ultimate album/ soundtrack to my life, I wasn’t sure where to start. To me, asking to pick a favorite song is what I imagine being asked to pick a favorite child is like. I started perusing my music and reminiscing on my favorite concert memories. Coincidence or not, most of the songs that made it on my list, I have seen performed live. Ever since I was young, I was raised on music and concerts. I’ve been to somewhere around 50 concerts (I’ve lost count to be completely honest). When asked what I would save in a fire I confidently answer that I would take my book of concert ticket stubs because those are some of my most precious memories. 

Without further ado… here’s what you would be listening to if I have the aux cord:

“Iris” Dizzy Up the Girl (1998)—The Goo Goo Dolls 

My all time favorite song. No rhyme or reason, just a very powerful song. It strikes a chord in me. The Goo Goo Dolls is one of the bands that I will never get tired of listening to. My freshman year here at the U of R, I had to write a paper on my seven favorite songs and why I liked them and I never really came up with a reason for this one. Lead singer/ guitarist John Rzeznik hits a killer riff toward the end of this song that I never fail to put my all into an air guitar solo for. 

“Bloodstream” X (2014)— Ed Sheeran 

Now for my top artist of all time—I get so excited whenever I talk about Ed Sheeran and how talented he is. I’ve seen him live five times and each time is a new and unique experience where I am blown away by his amazing talent. I chose to go with my underrated favorites because I know everyone has heard “Thinking Out Loud” and “The A Team.” Bloodstream is one of the songs that really captures his use of the loop pedal. If you haven’t had the privilege of seeing this guy live, it’s literally just him on stage. He uses the loop pedal to record loops of him singing or guitar chords to play while he performs which adds depth and uniqueness to his music. 

“Human” Human (2010)—Darren Criss

One of the lesser-known artists on my lists, but one of the top ones. Made famous by his role on the hit TV show, Glee, Darren Criss also writes and plays music of his own. With only two EPs to his name as well as an EP with the band he created with his brother, “Computer Games,” he’s definitely not a Top 40 artist like most of the others on my list. Human is the title track off of his first EP. I remember first hearing this song my sophomore year of high school and thinking, “Wow if I ever ran a coffee shop, this would be the type of music I played.” 

“This is Gospel” Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013)—Panic! At the Disco

Panic! At the Disco. Big fan. The pop punk angst inside of me loves to head bang to them on long road trips. Also amazing live (I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here). One of my favorite things about music is the memories that can be attached to certain songs. This song in particular reminds me of a weekend three summers ago at my friend’s beach house. That is where I first heard the song and that weekend will always be associated with this song from now on. Aside from that, just a really chill song—not one of their head bangers as I mentioned before—but still a winner in my book.

“Mr. Brightside” Hot Fuss (2004)—The Killers 

Who doesn’t love this song?

“Aftertaste” Handwritten (2015)—Shawn Mendes 

Shawn Mendes is tied with Mr. Sheeran as my favorite artist and ask anyone who knows me and they would report back the same information. With both artists, I have many favorite songs, but I chose one of his earlier less widely known songs for my album. This was my favorite of his when I first discovered his music because of the passion in the lyrics as well as the melody. Back in the day when he didn’t play huge stadium tours like he does now, he would sing the chorus of this off mic and the whole venue would be able to hear it—such a powerful moment that would just send chills down the spines of every audience member.

“Same Love” The Heist (2012)—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert 

Macklemore may not fit in with the genre of most of the other artists on my lists, but hey, who said this album had to be coherent? This song in particular has such a great message and Macklemore truly used his power and platform to spread such an important message in a really respectful and beautiful way. I saw him live in San Francisco, the perfect place for this song might I add, and wow did I feel this song. The whole room was just full of love and support. A feeling I wish this whole country could share.

“Mr. Jones” August and Everything After (1993)—Counting Crows 

Such a fun happy song! This one reminds me of my mom and my childhood—all happy and pure things. A lot of the lyrics in this song seem like nonsense to me, which is why I think the song is so fun! Just a good tune to sing along to in the car or in the backyard on a nice summer day. In general a good vibe song.

“Blackbird” The Beatles (1968)—The Beatles 

How could I not include a song by The Beatles? Another classic icebreaker question, “If you could travel back to any decade where would you go?” For me, the 60s, no hesitation. Those years weren’t perfect, but man do I wish I was a hippie circa the 1960s. One of my dreams would be to see The Beatles live (via that time travel). I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Sir Paul McCartney live and that’s the closest I’ll ever get to the Fab Four themselves. Blackbird is a beautiful song and never fails to put me in a good mood. I love the use of the bird chirping and the guitar, it just feels so peaceful. The song also has a good take away message.

There you have it folks. My ultimate album—what you’d hear on the road with me!

~Taylor, Social Media Director

 

Songs I Cry To: Kat's Ultimate Playlist!

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The Crybaby Playlist

Ben Galgano, 1/2 of Seriously Satirical here at KDAWG, said, “Hey, Kat. Do this thing for me. For the blog.” Alright, Ben, sure, sure. “Make a perfect album,” he told me. But Ben, that’s so easy! I’ve never wanted so badly to do this, nor have I ever been so prepared! Or so I thought.

“But it can only be, like, 12 songs,” Ben said, dumbfounding me, yet again. WHAT A CHALLENGE, WHAT A WORLD, what a bully! 12 songs!? I know anthologies and collections of albums with upwards of 50 songs! Come on, Ben, why you gotta do me like this? It took me a couple months, but I did it. There was blood, there was sweat, and there were many, many tears, but I did eventually do it.

I’m a crybaby, so my favorite songs always hit me where it hurts. I’ve made a playlist that I will listen to forever. A playlist that I would want to be my last. In the end, I fudged the numbers, but I came out with a playlist I love. Come cry with me!~

1. “Dancing Queen,” Arrival (1976), ABBA

Okay, I had to put this one first, just because of the killer piano intro that everyone knows and loves. But this song, and ABBA’s greatest hits, really does something to my soul. This song is the soundtrack to every young and sweet seventeen-year-old. As a 20-and-three-quarters year old, I can dance, and, actually I don’t know how to jive… But this song makes me feel like I can. 

2. “Phantom Limb,” Wincing the Night Away (2007), THE SHINS

My favorite song. My favorite band. No contest. I saw The Shins for my birthday last year, and we called out to James Mercer, “PLAY ‘PHANTOM LIMB.’” To my ultimate disbelief, the song began: “Foals in winter coats…” Life made forever.

3. Cigarette Daydreams - Unpeeled,” Unpeeled (2017), CAGE THE ELEPHANT

The song that reminds me of my oldest friend. This is one of her favorite songs. The unpeeled version is so ghostly and beautiful. And of course, Cage The Elephant is UNBELIEVABLE live. They’re contemporary rock ’n roll, and they know how to keep it classic. (Surprised I didn’t pick “Crybaby,” but that’s a rad song, too.)

4. Love My Way,” All Of This And Nothing (1980), THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS

If you’ve seen “Call Me By Your Name,” you know what I mean. The era of the 1980’s has a stronghold on my heart, and the schmaltzy music strikes a chord in my old soul. What seems just like an 80’s club song, but with lyrics like, “There's emptiness behind their eyes/There’s dust in all their hearts,” gives it an emotional kick. This song, in tandem with the memory of the movie, made me cry in the computer lab once. (Or twice.)

5. The Less I Know The Better,” Currents (2015), TAME IMPALA

The song that reminds me of my older brother. Tame Impala sings about a girl, who plays games and leads him on. I can’t believe she was holding hands with Trevor!! Definitely not the greatest feeling ever. Tame Impala just, gets it. Rockin’ band, love them.

6. Rapper’s Delight (7” Single Version),” The Sugarhill Gang (1980), THE SUGARHILL GANG

The first rap I ever memorized. “Have you ever went over a friend’s house to eat and the food just ain’t no good?” YES, Wonder Mike, I HAVE. This is just one of the many versions of the tune, but the 7” single version is the one I know, down to the hips, and the hops, and hippies and the hippies, to the the hip hip hops and ya don’t stops!

7. Sherry,” Sherry and 11 Other Hits (1962), FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS

I am obsessed with Frankie Valli. I am convinced that if I was a man born to thrive in the 1960’s, I would actually be Frankie. No song has ever made me want to put my red dress on and dance the night away. Frankie Valli, will you be mi-ie-ie-ine?

8. In Your Atmosphere,” Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles (2008), JOHN MAYER

I used to pass John Mayer’s music aside. But then I happened upon this song— a live version of a helpless break up song. Been there, done that. But there’s something in the timbre of John’s voice that forces me to understand him. “I'm going to steer clear/Or burn up in your atmosphere/I’m going to steer clear/Because I'd die if I saw you/I’d die if I didn't see you there.” Dang, John. Los Angeles really isn’t that great. But I feel you, dude. 10/10 would cry.

9. Don’t Dream It’s Over,” Crowded House (1986), CROWDED HOUSE

The song that reminds me of my mother. It calms me; I once listened to this song 20 times before take off on a flight because I have such bad plane anxiety. When I landed safely in San Francisco, I had this song stuck in my head, and I got off the plane and saw my mom. I was so full of love and hope, and this song is what did it. This one’s a cryer for me.

10. Love Potion No. 9,” 41 Original Hits from the Soundtrack of American Graffiti (1973), THE CLOVERS (1959)

The album of my childhood. Visiting 34th and Vine in Hollywood was NOTHING like the song, but they were selling little bottles, just not of any love potion. I would play this CD in my garage when I was little, and whenever this song came on, I would have to listen to it over and over. Before I even knew what love was, I knew this song. And today, as I arguably STILL don’t know what love is, this one is a home run.

11. “Our Town,” Infamous Angel (1993), IRIS DEMENT

The song that reminds me of my father. He would listen to the song ad nauseam; I grew to love it. I cry to this one, too. I don’t listen to country often, or really ever. But this song is different. This song lights up the memory of my dad and me, playing music and being sappy. “And you know, the sun’s setting fast/And just like they say, nothing good ever lasts.” I know Daylight Saving’s leaves us with shorter days, but now I’m thinking about the fleeting goodness of life. Oh, man, here come the waterworks.

12. Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Blue Hawaii (1961), ELVIS PRESLEY

My lullaby. (Teary eyed mic drop.)

Now, for my final song, I knew I had to pick something that encapsulates me as a person. Whether I’m reminiscing memories of my family, or I’m looking towards a brighter future, two things are always certain: my outfits will be ridiculous, and I will be in the club lookin’ so conspicuous.

13. “Yeah!” Confessions (2004), USHER (FEAT. LIL JON, LUDACRIS)

If I’m crying to this song, it’d have to be a battle cry. The expertly placed triangle really livens this ditty up, and if not for some interesting slang, I would’ve assumed it was written by the Bard himself. Now it might not make me ugly sob like Elvis or Mister Jonathon Mayer, but if we wanted the whole Kat picture, just take that, and rewind it back.

-Kat, KDAWG Creative Director 

KDAWG Advisor Tells All: Michelle's Ultimate Album!

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The task seemed simple. Create an album that includes your favorite songs. Easy, right?  Turns out, not so much. We all have our go-to songs. The ones that pick us up when we are feeling down; the ones that move us in ways we can’t describe; the ones we turn on after a bad break up and play on repeat; and the ones we crank up while driving too fast with the windows down.

From as early as I can remember, I have loved music. I cannot imagine a world without it. A good song has the power to make you think, to change your outlook, to alter your mood, to force you to reflect, to make you just . . . feel. From guilty pleasures to songbook standards, the more genres the better.

In compiling this list, I thought of the songs that have the most vivid memories for me. The ones I turn to when I am blissful, blue, frustrated, excited, mischievous, angry, anxious, or nervous. The ones I just love to sing along to no matter that I can’t actually carry a tune to save my life!  So, instead of an album, I give you my box set. I know, I should have been able to pick just 8 to 12 songs, but I couldn’t. In no particular order, here are the 22 songs that comprise the soundtrack to my life.

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994; Grace; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4)

Written and originally performed by the late, great Leonard Cohen in 1984, this is the one song I have in every playlist I make. It’s interesting that it was never made popular by Cohen, in fact, his label didn’t even want to include it on his Variations Positions album because they didn’t think people would understand it. The song that took Cohen 5 years to write has been recorded by over 300 artists, from Bon Jovi to Willie Nelson. In 2015, Newsweek ranked 60 performances of the song by various artists. The full list can be found at:  http://www.newsweek.com/60-versions-leonard-cohens-hallelujah-ranked-303580.

REM – Losing My Religion (1991; Out of Time; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwtdhWltSIg)

I bought Murmur in the early 1980s and was hooked at first listen. It was at a time I was exploring what has been termed “alternative” music. Other than college radio stations and late night MTV shows, their songs didn’t get commercial radio play until they became popular with the release of Document in 1988. I chose this song despite its mainstream recognition because I love the haunting beauty of it and find the lyrics can apply to many situations in life.

Insane Jane – Why Am I Living This Way (1991; A Green Little Pill; https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-green-little-pill/206025267)

When I had my college radio show on the FM dial at WNYO 88.9 while a Communications and English major at SUNY Oswego (https://www.wnyo889.org/), I always played this song as part of my Saturday morning show. It brings back some great memories whenever I hear it now.

Beyoncé – If I were a Boy (2008; I am . . . Sasha Fierce; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWpsOqh8q0M)

Amazing singer and a great song.

Twenty One Pilots – House of Gold (2013; Vessel; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDyxykpYeu8)

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are definitely a dynamic duo. It was way too hard to pick just one song because no two songs are alike. I chose House of Gold because I love the melody and their live performances of it are so much fun to watch.

New Model Army – I Love the World (1989; Thunder & Consolation; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnZD61tynS4)

This album was—and still is—the one I play when I am angry or in a bad mood. Rather than take my frustration out on others, I retreat to a solitary place and listen to it. Loudly. It always makes me feel better.

Nina Simone – I Want A Little Sugar in my Bowl (1962; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCTP5zjQTWE)

Nina was a diva. This song is sultry. She wasn’t afraid to put it all out there. She owned her sexuality and wasn’t ashamed about it.

Cruzados – Summer’s Come, Summer’s Gone (1987; After Dark; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfMmekFHtY)

I bought the After Dark cassette in my junior year of high school for $1.99 while rummaging through the bargain bin at the local Record Town. I had never heard of the band, but the cover and description of the “Chicano rock band” intrigued me. I chose this song because it reminds me of one of my favorite places—Sodus Bay/Lake Ontario in upstate NY. I spent my summers there at my grandparent’s cottage and the end of summer was always bitter-sweet. When I moved across country five years ago, I begrudgingly departed with my 300+ cassette collection but kept just this one! And, I still listen to it on an old cassette player.

Concrete Blonde – Tomorrow, Wendy (1990; Bloodletting; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCwIHwSt8RU)

This song wasn’t written by lead singer Johnette Napolitano (it was penned by the lead singer of Wall of Voodoo in the mid-'80s), but it is one of my favorites from this album. It tells the story of Wendy, a real person, who commits suicide after being diagnosed with AIDS. The subject matter is difficult, but the song is hauntingly beautiful and offers a glimpse into Wendy’s real struggle and her choice to die on her own terms.

Bob Dylan – Shelter From the Storm (1975; Blood on the Tracks; http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x23447t)

Dylan has claimed to have written this about a failed marriage, but the metaphor of the storm can mean so many different things. One never knows with him. I like the mystery and the way he handles the verses.

Brandi Carlile – The Stranger at My Door (2015; Firewatcher’s Daughter; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcI7s4WeqX4)

It’s a shame that such a prolific singer/songwriter is so underrated by the commercial radio stations. Brandi and the Hanseroth twins are captivating in their live performances and have an energizing stage presence that can’t be captured in a studio recording. This song is from her fifth album and I chose it because of the intensity in which she tells the story and the swell of the music draws you in from the first note.

Soundgarden – Outshined (1991; Badmotorfinger; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNh-iw7gsuI)

Chris Cornell. What more is there to say? He could sing the phone book and it would be incredible. Despite this being one of their mainstream hits, I am still captivated by it. Cornell’s passing was a great loss to the music world.

They Eat Their Own - Like a Drug (1991; They Eat Their Own; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9kNjw22ieo)

Written by lead singer Laura B., I chose this song because it was on heavy rotation my freshman year of college.  It inspires nostalgia, and every time I listen to it now I can picture my dorm room, my purple hair, my tie skirt, and my favorite Doc Martens.

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (1975; A Night at The Opera; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ)

Freddie Mercury was a musical genius. The lyrics, melody, interchanges, instrumentation . . . it is perfect. The meaning is opaque and that is why I find it so intriguing.

Guns & Roses – Paradise City (1987; Appetite for Destruction; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm6GXllBiw)

This is a guilty pleasure. I remember when it was released in 1988. I was a junior in high school. This was the song . . . and still is . . . that I crank with the windows down while driving!

Foreigner - Juke Box Hero (1981; 4; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic02W1bWeFU)

Written by Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones and lead singer Lou Gramm, this song was the soundtrack of middle and junior high school because Lou Gramm is from my hometown of Rochester, NY and his niece was one of my classmates. His real last name is Grammatico and he often came back to Rochester to visit family.

Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana (1988; Bad; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUi_S6YWjZw)

Written by Michael and produced by the legendary Quincy Jones, this song is unlike anything else on the Bad album. It was a departure for Michael. I love the grit and fierceness of this song.

Ed Sheeran - Nancy Mulligan (2017; Divide; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFlZXlfda6Y)

I admit it. I am a fangirl. I even have great seats to see him live at the Rose Bowl for in August 2018. This song always makes me smile. Great story. Excellent musicality. Nothing like his top 40 hits!

Violent Femmes – Add it Up (1983; Violent Femmes; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHapDS2fcFE)

Like REM, the Violent Femmes were one of the first alternative bands I discovered and I heard this song while hanging out with some new friends. I was immediately drawn to it because of the beat and when I actually began to listen to the words, I started laughing. There’s no mistaking what this song is about and I love the boldness of it despite its crudeness. The Femmes are funny and you can’t take them too seriously.                                                                                        

Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance (2000; I Hope You Dance; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-Z1YwaOiw)

This song was released when my daughter Alivia was just turning 3. It conveys everything I hoped for her then and now.

ABBA – The Winner Takes it All (1980; Super Trouper; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92cwKCU8Z5c)

The ultimate break-up song. The end of a romance. The lyrics are smart and the drama starts with a slow simmer and builds to an explosion . . . you can feel the tension. “The winner takes it all - The loser's standing small - Beside the victory - That's her destiny.” – Wow. And, yes, I love ABBA and I am not afraid to admit.

Luciano Pavarotti - Ave Maria (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXFhqG8G5uI)

Composed by Franz Schubert in 1825, and based on Walter Scott’s poem Lady in the Lake, the lyrics to the original have been altered over the years. My favorite version is by Pavarotti. I remember when I first heard it as a young child. It followed “O Sole Mio” on one of only two cassette tapes my father owned and played in the car on a continuous loop. I was struck by the power of his voice and the beauty of the melody even though I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I remember closing my eyes while riding in the back seat of the car and just listening . . . feeling every note.

-Michelle Rogers, KDAWG Advisor

Taiga Talk!

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I perceive the world as a big bowl of ramen, a mix of luscious flavors from miso and vegetables, to the creamy broth of juicy fat and hours of excruciatingly succulent passion to perfect the taste. This analogy is what my life is, from my luscious mix of skills I have acquired through the years, such as taekwondo, bikram hot yoga, water skiing, international experience, and playing the saxophone all the way to a mix of negotiating, teaching, and marketing skills. I am an Environmental Business major with a minor in Spatial studies and want to change the world to make it more sustainable.

KDAWG is an outlet for me to talk about issues and topics that I believe are important in the kind world we live in today. I co-host a show called Seriously Satirical and discuss these issues and topics in a fun yet powerful way. Within Seriously Satirical I have my own segment called Taiga talk where I talk about topics that can blow the audiences mind.

Say Hello to Siddharth Konkimalla, our newest member!

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Hi my name Siddharth Konkimalla. I love to play sports and I’m a creative writing major! I really like to write. Just like dancing and playing sports, writing is one of the few ways I express myself. I’ve published a book on Amazon called “Nature’s Eyes,” and I have a lyrical music album on YouTube called “Mocking Birds.” I’m currently working on some songs and raps at the moment, and fictional novel. I’ve always had these ideas for TV shows and radio channels, so hopefully I can really bring that to light at KDAWG!
 

Host of The Z-Zone: Zachary Chodos!

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Hey everybody! My name is Zachary Chodos, the host of the sports talk show, The Z-ZONE, here on KDAWG Radio! I am a freshman at the University of Redlands, planning on studying sports business and broadcasting.

My entire life has revolved around sports, constantly playing and watching them. I believe that sports bring people together. They allow us to take our minds off our problems and allow us to be passionate about something we all love. That’s where I come in. I might be one of the most passionate sports fans you’ll ever meet, and I hope to share my passion for sports with you.

Going from high school to college I have learned that I need to pursue what I am passionate about, and I am passionate about sports. This is why I decided to create The Z-ZONE, a show where I discuss all the hot button topics in sports, along with diving into the statistical aspect of teams, all while having a great time.

So tune into The Z-ZONE on Fridays at 7pm! I guarantee you will enjoy the show and will fall in love with sports, if you’re not in love with them already!