Kiley Wellendorf | Arts & Life Blogger
I fell in love with music when I was eleven years old, and I cannot begin to express how powerful chords and lyrics truly are. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a multitude of genres constantly spread out on speakers throughout my house. My dad spent his time reminiscing on Nirvana while my mom sang along to Meatloaf in the car. I used to throw fits and tell my parents to turn off their music but somehow found myself begging to hear the song again as I grew older. I wouldn’t be the first to say that music has saved my life, but I will say that music continues to make me appreciate life even more every day. Have you ever wished you could rewind and live through a moment over and over again? I would like to invite you to take a seat and sit through some of my best moments, awkward stages, and new beginnings in my life. So plug in, press play, and allow me to cordially introduce myself.
Track 01: “Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam
Every summer, my family finds themselves seated next to each other on the boat, cruising around the lake, listening to either the CDs my dad has always kept close or “Lithium”, the only SIRIUS station my dad will listen to. Now when I mean “listen”, I mean blare as loud as it will go. My dad is the type of person who honestly doesn’t mind who watches or glares our way because somehow my parents have learned how to talk over the ear-piercing music. As I grew older, I found myself looking forward to this special mix and even looked across the boat and saw my brother singing along to a song or two. When I was younger, I was always concerned about listening to “cool” music on the boat and always wished I had older friends who would take me around instead of my parents. My “little” brother is now seventeen and gets to live out the fantasy I always envisioned for myself. Instead of riding along with him and his friends on our boat, I would much rather sit with my parents, cozied up to some obnoxiously-loud Pearl Jam. This song will always remind me of boat rides at Lake View and how great my parents are for never being too embarrassed to be themselves.
Track 02: “The Funeral” by Band of Horses
I used to have a trail next to my old house that my friends and I always took to get home or get to places downtown. Whenever my mom refused to leave work to take us to Quiznos or my grandma was too busy, my friends and I would either decide that the walk was worth it or we would wait and starve. Somehow this trail transformed from a walking destination to a place where we went to clear our heads. We became excited about summer nights because this meant that we were able to walk through the trail without slipping on ice downhill or getting our shoes wet from the fresh snow. My friends and I made it a point to keep this trail our little secret, and everyone knew that if we asked you to walk through it, then you must have meant a lot. I moved away from the trail, out of my old house, and past all of the memories talked about while making the short trip uphill or downhill. This song brings me back to the days where we all walked through the trail, covered in snow, and the nights we walked as a group back to my house, getting ready to have a bonfire or a big movie night.
Track 03: “Midnight City” by M83
My junior year of high school was the most fast-paced, continuously changing year I’ve ever encountered. I joined a sport, became involved in different aspects of my school, and started to branch out more. During this year, I became extremely close to new friends and even found myself having driving dates that lasted until one in the morning on school nights. I was overwhelmed and exhausted but excited about the direction my life was taking. This year also taught me how important it is to constantly say how you feel and never let a moment go without recognition. It’s impossible not to take everything for granted, but I tried my hardest to be there for anyone that needed me or even take time for myself as well. This year was full of misunderstandings, late night hospital bed talks, and an endless supply of sugar-free red bull. I think everyone has a changing point in their life, and I think if you’re able to move on through it, then you can ultimately accomplish anything. This song always pulls me back to the anxious feeling I had sitting in the pit of my stomach that entire year.
Track 04: “I’ve Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None on My Fingers” by Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy was not only the first band to introduce me to music, but they also play a huge part of who I am today. I was in fifth grade when I started listening to Fall Out Boy, and somehow they turned from a band to an entire lifestyle. The only type of clothes I got for Christmas were Fall Out Boy band t-shirts, and my mom even mentioned them in our Christmas card that year. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t looking for songs that were played on the radio because I was too busy analyzing lyrics and relating it back to my life. I started straying away from the social norm and all of a sudden wanted to be known as someone different. Instead of participating in sports on school nights, I spent my school nights tucked into crowds at concerts with my friends. I lived for the excitement a concert brought and instantly promised myself that I would try my hardest to somehow involve myself with music as I grew older. Fall Out Boy has literally changed everything about my life, and I cannot express enough how grateful I am for their music. This song brings me back to my middle school years where black eye-shadow, fingerless gloves, and band shirts made you an individual.
Track 05: “Bigger Than My Body” by John Mayer
While my dad listened to “Lithium” and other rock bands, my mom always settled for softer music. Whenever I got in the car, I knew that I would either be able to change the station or suffer through the moments where she sang at the top of her lungs. She played Matchbox 20, the Goo Goo Dolls, and John Mayer like it was her job. If she wasn’t singing and dancing to their music, then you knew that her day wasn’t going well. My mom has a certain light to her that allows her to light up an entire room or make someone laugh when they certainly are not in the mood to do so. She is the definition of light-heartedness and goes out of her way for anyone who crosses her path. While her spunky attitude sometimes gets the best of me, I enjoy every shopping trip, car ride, or night in spent with this wonderful lady. This song will always bring me back to the warm feeling I always got whenever my mom sang in the car to John Mayer. There is nothing better than being surrounded by someone who produces nothing but happiness.