Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Stole This From NPR

Yesterday, I wrote about kids music, and today, I’m moving forward to adolescence. NPR has a blog and an excellent weekly podcast, both called All Songs Considered (links are below). A few weeks ago, they asked their blog readers, “What albums were essential to getting you through your adolescence?” The question was inspired by a listener who aimed to give his thirteen-year-old daughter a special gift – 25 albums that would get her through her teens. The question sparked much discussion, and some of the responses were turned into a podcast. Contributors talked about the painful awkwardness of being a teenager; about how music can be a companion and a consoler at an age when so many of us feel so isolated; how music can be a guide at a time when you’re searching for your identity and you don’t even know it. I like the idea of handing my thirteen year old son or daughter a pile of music on the threshold of their teens and saying, “Here. You don’t know what’s coming, but these might help.” Part of me says it’s a little presumptuous to assume that my taste in music will mean something to anyone besides me, but I still remember my older brother Mike handing me a cassette of Who’s Next by the Who when was I was 13 or 14. I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but I slid it into my little tape recorder, pressed play, and Baba O’Reily became the first song to give me chills. So, it will take me a while to come up with 25 albums to hand my future teenager, but I have some time to think about it. Years, in fact. For now, I have a few off the top of my head, a baker’s dozen of albums - some that helped me lurch through my teens and some that I wish had been around in my teens. Give me your two cents – what other albums should I throw on the pile?

U2 - The Joshua Tree
Van Morrison - Moondance
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Pearl Jam - Ten
R.E.M. - Document
Def Leppard – Hysteria
Wilco - Summerteeth
Led Zeppelin IV
The Lowest of the Low - Shakespeare My Butt
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
10,000 Maniacs – In My Tribe

NPR All Songs Podcast:
NPR All Songs Blog:

23 days until baby.


  1. Nirvana - Nevermind
    G&R - Appetite

  2. The Very Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions