Today’s 1000 Minutes post is one I’ve been debating for a little while. The eleven songs (Yes eleven, its a real bumper of a post) I’m including today are probably not what you’d call the ‘coolest’ of choices and who knows, I may even risk losing a few readers because of them. BUT as I kept reminding myself, this project is about me charting the songs that made an impact on my life, songs that I could never imagine not hearing again and songs that hold important memories. Now if I’m true to this idea, then I have to include all periods of my life and the period these songs apply to was one of the best I’ve had so far.
From the age of about 14 I was definitely one of the ‘alternative’ kids. I hung out at skateparks, I dated boys in bands, I spent my life at gigs and alternative clubs and the highlight of my year was always Reading Festival. This continued for many years and although at 27 I no longer mix in the same circles and attend the same events, those years will always be some of my happiest, the friends I had will always be some of the most important (no matter whether I still see them or even talk to them) and these songs will always give me the same pangs of emotion (generally happy ones) as they did then.
The choices below generally relate to leaving school and starting sixth form until the end of my first year at university. In this time period the majority of my growing up happened and alot of first times occured. I learnt to drive, I was legally allowed to drink and I think like most I started to understand the person I was and now am.
Because of this, no matter how embarrassing these choices may seem to some now, I disagree. Music shapes you afterall and putting these songs on a summers day, even now, will take me back to that time in my head and thats something I never want to lose.
123. Rise Against – Swing Life Away [3:20] [time remaining 532:34] (YSI Download)
It took me awhile to get into Rise Against, an ex-boyfriend (saying that word feels weird) of mine was obsessed with them and they were on constant rotation in his car. One day they just clicked with me and still to this day I appreciate them as one of the best punk bands of our time.
‘Swing Life Away’ was such a contrast to the rest of their tracks, so much so that it was a real shocker for me at the time, but a shocker of the best kind. A truly beautiful song, the lyrics of which never fail to give me a little pang. “Am I loud and clear, or am I breaking up? / Am I still your charm, or am I just bad luck? / Are we getting closer, or are we just getting more lost?”
124. The Used – The Taste Of Ink [3:29] [time remaining 529:05] (YSI Download)
The melody found in the verse of this song is possibly one of the catchiest in modern rock music in my opinion, after the first time I heard it, it was stuck in my head, constantly and it still has the same effect. I was always obsessed with The Used, mainly for Bert McCrackens vocal which can range from the most melodic and tuneful singing voice to the deepest, most aggressive scream in the space of seconds. Still one of my favourite driving songs, the only difference is now I don’t have to contend with my Mum turning it down in her car when the chorus kicks in.
125. Taking Back Sunday – Cute Without the ‘E’ [3:32] [time reamining 525:33] (YSI Download)
I bought ‘Tell All Your Friends’ on a whim when staying with my Dad in America. I’d heard ‘Theres no I in team’ on a Warped Tour compilation and had an instant need to hear more. The album became the soundtrack to my three week holiday and one of my favourite albums quite soon after. This song is arguably the anthem for all ’emo kids’ at the time and it still makes me smile now. Probably one of the most bitter songs ever written, but lyrically amazing all the same. “I will never ask if you don’t ever tell me / I know you well enough to know you never loved me“.
126. New Found Glory – Hit Or Miss [3:23] [time remaining 522:10] (YSI Download)
No matter how cheesy or commercial it seems to me now, this song will NEVER fail to make me smile. This became somewhat the anthem of my best girl friends at college and it relates to so many memories shared between us that I can’t even pinpoint them individually. The lyrics will always remind me of these friends, the summer, car drives to college and nothing but fun times.
“The needle on my record player has been wearing thin / This record has been playing since the day you’ve been with him”
127. Saves The Day – At Your Funeral [3:10] [time remaining 519:00] (YSI Download)
Stay What You Are was on constant rotation for me after its release in 2001. Despite the lyrics and subject of this song, it was always my first choice to listen to on a sunny day and like a soundtrack to a movie I’ve seen a million times whenever I hear it now I can still envisage my entire drive from work to home. Considering I haven’t lived anywhere near that location in about ten years and I have the worst memory of anyone I know, thats pretty unusual.
128. The Ataris – I.O.U One Galaxy [2:00] [time remaining 517:00] (YSI Download)
Probably the most sentimental (or cheesy if you prefer) pop punk band there ever was, which is probably why the majority of my friends who loved them were girls… The Atari’s were my number one band around the 16-18 years old mark, but then they went and ruined it by covering ‘The Boys of Summer’. I don’t think I’ve ever gone off a band as quickly as I did after hearing that absolute joke of a song. This one however, is a classic. Kris Roe was also one of my biggest boy in a band crushes, which is weird, because looking back now, he really wasn’t pretty…
129. Finch – Letters to you [3:20] [time remaining 513:40] (YSI Download)
I challenge you to find an alternative teenager that didn’t put this on a mixtape made for someone they were into at the time. Sadly, I will admit, it probably went on the majority of mine over a 2-3 year period. A true classic of this era and my generation without doubt.
130. Brand New – Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades [3:09] [time remaining 510:31] (YSI Download)
Brand New’s ‘Deja Entendu’ is definitely one of the most important and treasured records in my collection. I remember buying this from HMV in Guildford, getting back in my car, putting it in to my CD player and driving around for hours until I’d listened to it twice through. Unlike anything I’d heard at the time this record truly changed my outlook on music. Jesse Lacey became on of my favourite lyricists that day and I can honestly say that this has not changed. Unlike alot of artists in this post, Brand New are always a band to go back to and this album is definitely one of my most listened to of the last ten years. This track in particular stood out to me on that first listen and I’m yet to tire of it, even now.
131. Alkaline Trio – I’m Dying Tomorrow [2:19] [time remaining 508:12] (YSI Download)
One of my favourite bands ever aged 17 and one of my favourite bands now, ten years later. Picking an Alkaline Trio track for this project is near on impossible due to my love of their entire back catalogue, if I’m honest, more are likely to appear later down the line, but for now, this is the one. Like everything Matt Skiba has ever written, this is lyrically perfect.
“Did I remember to sleep in / Take lots of pills / Commit irreversible sins / Did I at least try to kiss the prettiest girl, at the right time / Did I remember to keep your beer as full as mine / Did I remember to say cheers / Did I at least try to make sure everybody had a good time / Had the best time”
132. Funeral For A Friend – Juneau [3:38] [time remaining 504:34] (YSI Download)
What emo music lover wouldn’t include this track in a list such as this? Seriously? With pained lyrics such as “But I’m nothing more than a line in your book” thats a kind of silly question right? I think I probably saw Funeral For A Friend 5 or 6 times back in the day, would I go again now? Now way, but at the same time, this song till gives me flashbacks so vivid that I can almost feel my Eastpak straps rubbing on my shoulders.
133. Coheed and Cambria – A Favor House Atlantic [3:55] [time remaining 500:39] (YSI Download)
There was a time when this was without doubt my favourite song in the world. It was an anthem in the alternative club we used to go to every Saturday in Southampton (Nexus, for those of you who may have known it before it was destroyed) and was a permanent feature of every mix cd my girlfriend and I made for my car. “Good eye, sniper / Here I’ll shoot, you run”
Then however I saw it live at Give It A Name festival at Alexandra Palace and after an unfortunate fainting in the crowd incident it was tainted through association with illness. This association has passed now, just incase anyone was worried…