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Birthday Music Countdown: A Top 16

I love music, and I’m so lucky that I seem to be able to also share this love with Blake.  As much as I love music, I’m not exactly versed in what’s current, but I know what I like and when something current catches my ear I will gladly give it a listen. I don’t listen to Top 40 radio so the only way I will find out about new music is if it comes across on my streaming audio apps. As an example, I had no idea who Charlie Pluth was up until a few weeks ago (I still don’t recognize any of his music), and when speaking about him to a friend this week I couldn’t think of his name and ended up saying Chris Pratt. Oops.

I’m not sure at what point I stopped listening to Top 40. Which came first? My age and being over it, or the music scene drastically declining and throwing itself into the dumpster? I believe the latter, but I have hope that it’s redeeming itself based on what iHeart radio plays me.

As for Blake, the kid has great music taste, and I cannot wait for him to be my concert buddy when he’s a bit older. His current favorites include Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy and The Lumineers. I’ve tried to get him into John Mayer but the love just isn’t there. He also has a great appreciation for Journey, Survivor, Chicago, Whitney Houston, among so many others.

August 16th is my birthday (Happy 34th to me!), and every year on my birthday month I like to do a Top 16 countdown recounting some of my new and old music favorites. Just because. This one has more current songs than I think I’ve ever put on a list before, though some of my old favorites have an appearance.

Each year I also, unfortunately, realize the growing age gap between myself and current musicians. I think I should stop paying attention to this, yet, I cannot.

  1. Car Radio-Twenty One Pilots

Like I said, I find new music by either doing my own online searching or from streaming music-iHeart, Spotify, or Pandora. I’m sure I caught wave of this song and other Twenty One Pilots songs long after others knew of them, but the moment I heard them I was hooked and I immersed myself in all of their music. When I saw the music video I thought the lead singer, Tyler Joseph, was so cute–then when I googled him I found I’m older than him! I can’t believe I’m getting to the point where all the cool new actors and musicians are younger than I am. It’s kind of depressing.

I love this song because of the riff build up. I’m really attracted to lyrics that give me something to think about it and ponder, and this song does just that. The music video gets my heart pumping, and by the end I totally want to be rocking out with Tyler in the mosh pit! (Don’t judge me.)

Full disclosure, crowd surfing is on my bucket list!

Please wallow in this with me. I am 5 years older than Tyler Joseph.

2. Gasoline-Hasley

I’ve never been a fan of female musicians and singers but recently I’ve found myself coming around to them more. Either my music tastes have changed, or they’ve just now gotten interesting and worth my ear. Hasley has a great collection of songs and I appreciate her raw lyrics.

I am ELEVEN years older than Hasley. ELEVEN.

3. Whatever It Takes-Imagine Dragons

This is one of Blake’s favorites. He’s always asking Alexa to play “Magic Dragons” (I don’t have the heart to correct him because it’s so darn cute-AND she somehow understands he means “Imagine Dragons”.)
I’m certain, musically, that Imagine Dragons can do no wrong. One of my ultimate goals in life is to sing all the rap portions of all Imagine Dragons songs. I’ll never forget how excited I was the day I was able to sing all the lyrics from “Believer”–on the dance floor at Tin Roof, no less, on the microphone! (Have I mentioned dancing is one of my absolute favorites?)

Aaaaaaand, I am older than lead singer Dan Reynolds.

4. Kashmir-Led Zeppelin

Just the title “Kashmir” speaks for itself. This song transcends every musical barrier and even genre. It’s classic at its finest. I hope Blake learns to appreciate this one day. When I’ve played it for him before he’s asked to play it again, so this is promising!

And can we just touch on Puff Daddy’s/P-Diddy’s remix of this, “Come With Me”?  My 90s teenage self liked this song, but as I get older I cannot appreciate direct unoriginal scores.

5. Angela-Lumineers

Similar to Mumford and Sons, I appreciate the pop/folky tone they have.

Blake loves The Lumineers every time they come on, and we usually play them on repeat.

6. Kamikaze-Walk the Moon

Blake and I were singing this song together when we first heard it. It’s catchy! What can I say? The kid has never liked kiddie music. We appreciate good music together. This one is also fun to sing with its fast lyrics!

7. Spirits-The Strumbellas

The day I told Alexa to skip this song was the day Blake said, “momma, why would someone want guns in their head?” Ummm. Yeah. Not sure how to explain that one to a 4 year old with a song, so I skipped it and enjoyed it on my own time.

So. Yeah. I am older, 7 years to be exact, than lead David Ritter.

8. Come Pick Me Up-Ryan Adams

This song will always be on any top music list I make, and is one of my favorite Top 10 songs of all time. If you listen to no other songs on this list, listen to this one if you don’t know it. Please.  The fact that I’ve been a huge fan of Ryan for 16 years and have yet to see him in concert is almost more than I can take.

(Bucket List Reminders- Number 1: Crowd surf, Number 2: Be able to karaoke every Imagine Dragons song, Number 3: See Ryan Adams live.)

9. Creep-Radiohead

I remember when I first heard this song and I thought “finally! Someone has just written it.” I felt like it was the anthem for all of us who strangely stood out a little bit. This is another I would include on a top music list every time.

10. Unsteady- X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors have great rhythm to their songs, and no matter how slow they are they have great dance beats. 😉

YES, I’m also older than lead singer Sam Harris

11. Aenema-Tool

Funny story about this song. Shortly after purchasing our van (Yes, I proudly sport a mom van), this song came on and I was totally rocking out in my mom yoga pants and tee blaring this song with my windows down. I stopped at a red light and I got the strangest looks. (Blake was NOT in the van with me, btw) I just smiled and kept on with my Tool lovin’ self.
I purposely did not include the actual video of this because of it’s bizareness-though not as bizarre as a Nine Inch Nails video.

12. Shut Up And Dance-Walk the Moon

My second Walk the Moon song, but only because these are among Blake’s favorite songs at the moment. Maybe it’s his favorite because he isn’t allowed to say the word “shut up” except when telling Alexa to play this one.

And let’s not mention, again, how I’m older than the lead singer…

13. August & Everything After-Counting Crows

Adam is the master of poetry and putting it all to music as if it’s effortless. I know many musicians will write music first then come up with the lyrics, but (and I don’t know this) Adam sings like the lyrics write the music, which seem always beautifully secondary to his true artistry.

14. Not On Drugs-Trove Lo


Tove Lo often comes up on my Hasley music station. She has a grunge feel to her and honestly reminds me quite a bit of Garbage’s Shirley Manson. I like her!

15. Zombie-Bad Wolves

This is one of those songs that I never saw the reason to cover. Afterall, no one could ever do it justice after Dolores O’Riordian. I have to admit I was impressed with this cover and this rendition because they kept it true to the original while still modernizing it. Job well done.

16. Take Me to Church-Hozier

I feel like his songs don’t have a particular timeline they belong in. This song, and many others of his, could’ve been released in a pockets of time throughout the decades. I think his music is timeless.

I am 6 years older than lead singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne. He’s even younger than my brother!

It seems as if I was really focused on the age differences here. This is all about the music, and I do enjoy putting these together each year, though usually I do it on Facebook-I thought I’d take it to blogging this time.

Aside from the seeming rapid age gap between myself and music’s finest, I do think I’m gaining some sort of appreciation for what’s current. Is it me or is it getting better?

You’ll have to excuse my age whining. I think I’m just having some minor tantrums inside about not getting carded anymore for alcohol.

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