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