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