Post your own favorites below in the comments!
In "Bleed Like Me" Garbage explores the pain of gender confusion, in a lyric that I think all gender rebels (be they transgender, queer, questioning, crossdressers or non-conforming). "Chrissy's all dressed up and looking coy / painted like a brand new Christmas toy / She's trying to figure out if she's a girl or she's a boy..."
Of course I chose the Garbage version, you know, just 'cause.
"What it Feels Like for a Girl" -Madonna
"One of the Guys" -Jenny Lewis
Maybe I'll post some more when I find those songs that really move me, that make me sad or make me smile or make me feel alright.
And beyond that, I just wanted to share some thoughts on music and why it's such an important part of my life.
Back when I was an awkward, unpopular, introverted teenager, Rock & Roll saved my life. It absolutely did. There were a couple times in junior high when I seriously thought about suicide. Those years were a terrible, horrible time in my life. I'd be terrorized and bullied at school, had no real friends, a generally unhappy home life and a whole heaping helping of gender confusion on top of that. Life was bad.
But, then I discovered music. Honestly, I'm not even sure how it really happened, but I think it started with a friend of mine trading me a copy of Stabbing Westward's 1993 album Ungod for a Warhammer 40K Imperial terminator figurine. Though I'd never heard the album, the concept of owning a CD of my own, especially one so blasphemous, was exhilarating.
|Cool, Rock & Roll future.|
Ungod was an industrial album full of emotion; anger, sorrow, loss, pain, fury. I soaked it up like the lonely, sad, frustrated sponge of teenager I was. I hid the CD from my parents and started listening the the local radio stations when I could. There was RXR, a rock station and Chanel Z, which played alternative. Alternative struck more of a chord with me than rock, though I still liked some industrial and a bit of heavy metal too.
All that summer I saved up my cash, did extra chores and eventually, after a few months I purchased my very own Sony Discman. It was black and shiny and I loved the sound. It so crisp and clear. Plus it came with its own headphone so I could listen to my music any time. Slowly but surely, I started buying CDs of the songs I liked on the radio. Eventually, I stopped hiding them from my parents. My early collection included grunge like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, some more alternative stuff like Greenday, Cracker or R.E.M., and some punk bands too like Dead Kennedy's, The Ramones and Operation Ivy. Eventually, I found Garbage and fell in love. But I've told that story before.
The 90s was a good time for music. There weren't hair bands. Disco was dead. Pop music was easy enough to ignore. Hip hop hadn't quite yet become mainstream. And alternative rock was great for the weird, awkward and geeky kids to feel, for the first time in their lives, that they belonged. Our rock stars weren't gods. They were geeky kids just like us, with jeans and cheap sneakers and bad hair and glasses. All you had to do to be a rock star was just be yourself. Unlike hip hop, which felt like it was all just bragging, or R&B which was all just about fucking, alternative rock could be about anything. It was just about life and being okay with who you were. It was fun. I loved it.
|Pictured: 90s rock stars.|
You know, my live was saved by Rock & Roll.