Wednesday, February 6, 2013

If You Ever Wondered What My 17 Year Old Self Was Like


 Recently I was reunited with my ancient mix tape stash that spans probably from my senior year in high school into a couple years of college. It's full of homemade mixes, sampler tapes you used to be able to pick up from record shops and little demo tapes from friends' bands. It's ridiculously wonderful.

One tape caught my eye:

I should start by saying I am horrible about naming mixes/playlists. If you could see my playlists on my computer right now they all have names like Tom, Larry or Clementine. These aren't named after people, sometimes a bunch of songs all together just feels like a Larry. I usually remember to change the name to something boring like the date, before I give someone else a copy, but if you ever get a CD from me that comes  up as a random name, now you know why.  So when I saw a tape simply labeled "Inspirational Music," I was intrigued but not really surprised by the lack of detail in the title. There were no bands or songs listed and I honestly didn't remember making the tape so I had no idea what was on it.  But when I plugged it into my tape player, I instantly knew it.  The tape itself is in pretty bad shape, probably due to overplay, and that's a shame because it is pretty much the most awesome punk rock mix ever. Ever. There I said it. It's full of songs from bands with names like Stiff Little Fingers, H2O, Screeching Weasel, Rancid and Bad Religion. And the title of "Inspirational Music" aint no lie. These were songs that I would listen to on bad days, sad days, hard days, days I needed a little help to stand up on  my own two feet. I don't care what kind of stigma that punk rock music has gotten through the years. It was exactly the right kind of music that I needed in my life at the time (and still today!), and I accredit it for saving a little bit of my soul. There was just an overwhelming positivity and comfort and community that I found in the  music that I really wasn't finding in any other aspect of my life.

And so now maybe this punk rock girl has grown up a little and listens to an obscene amount of folky music and swoons over banjo players,  but I will forever be front row and center at a punk rock show. 'Cause that is where I belong.

And I would like to leave you with some lovely words from a Mister Ben Weasel found on the "Inspirational Music" tape:
I know you're alone like everyone else in world
Don't tell me that things don't get better
'Cause sometimes they do
And they will for you. 
(I Wrote Holden Caulfield/Screeching Weasel)

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