Erin P.S. Zimmerman has not only the memory of an elephant and the rhythm of one of Destiny’s children, but she’s the twin sister of our Editor, so she’s an absolute magnet for pop culture. She took a side road and grabbed us a large quantity of songs for a playlist that easily covers the entire decade. We’re sure it was inspired by her Spotify plays, as well as a deep dive into each year and her own iTunes library. But this girl’s got some gems. So read em, listen to em, and celebrate 2020 with the sounds of the past!
Dick in a Box – Lonely Island ft Justin Timberlake One of the first times I realized that my mom has a wicked dirty sense of humor. In 2011, we requested this one at a piano bar “for our mom”. They pulled her on stage to sing and dance…and boy, did she!
I’m on a Boat – The Lonely Island Everyone seemed to know this one, and it brought us all togethe
Water Landing – Third Eye Blind Favorite TEB song. My new bf at the time – now my husband – made me a mix CD when we started dating, and this was the first song.
Boom Boom Pow – The Black Eyed Peas “You’re so two thousand and LATE!” – Also, my sorority formal date’s “THIS IS MY JAM!”
Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects Our anthem for all the bullshit left behind in high school.
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon Favorite moment of my study abroad trip to London: a packed room at a bar singing this to a live band playing a cover.
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus There is no physical possibility she could walk off the plane at LAX, hop in her cab and look to the right to see the Hollywood sign.
Battlefield – Jordin Sparks Why DOES love always feel like a battlefield?
Fireflies – Owl City Why did we like this one so much??
I Love College – Asher Roth This is the given on the soundtrack of someone who was in college in 2009 or any year after.
Breakeven – The Script This introduced me to The Script. Which became part of the soundtrack to my summer.
Lines, Vines, and Trying Times – Jonas Brothers YES, this is the whole album. Because I loved about 4/5ths of it. And it was the magical soundtrack to exploring London and Los Angeles.
Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner Someone told me they thought of me every time they hear this song because I probably think I’m cooler than them. I am.
Billionaire – Travie McCoy ft Bruno Mars Heard this one for the first time driving around Los Angeles with some friends. And I could picture myself as a billionaire VERY clearly – and still do every time I hear it!
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida ft. David Guetta Always blasted in my dorm with my roommates. Always never at the club…because it can’t handle me right now.
Whataya Want from Me – Adam Lambert I felt like I had his vocal range. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. Also: what I sang in my head every time someone from high school reached out to me…
If I Die Young – The Band Perry My co-worker’s young daughter loved this song. And creepily sang every word as she stared deep into my eyes. I lived to tell the tale.
Shout It Out – Hanson Yes, it’s another boy band album. I truly love all of the upbeat music on this, and it’s great for running through the sprinklers and then enjoying a bomb pop on a summer day (or upbeat music for your NYE)!
Under the Mistletoe – Justin Bieber My sister received a video invitation to a Christmas party in Manhattan, New York that featured this song. And it was original and funny and I can’t help but love the song now.
Rolling in the Deep – Adele Power ballad and my introduction to Adele [insert heart eyes]
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO My little bro learned the dance. We made the gold box head from the video for him. This was his anthem.
Raise Your Glass – P!nk Underdogs. Weirdos. Dirty little freaks. I’ve never felt so seen…
F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk NOW I feel seen.
Look At Me Now – Chris Brown ft Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes I spent an entire week vacationing in San Diego practicing rapping to Busta’s verse. I got most of it, performed it at my 21st birthday party, and retired from the rap game.
Good Life – OneRepublic Upbeat. Meaningful. Nostalgic. Perfect for a party!
Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson Because, of course.
Jessie J’s entire album: Who You Are Spent the summer – and fall and winter and spring – driving around with my twin sis rockin’ out to this one! Daddio’s favorite is Price Tag
Threw it on the Ground – The Lonely Island Makes me giggle. Referenced often to this day.
Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye Just one of those songs from 2012 that defined the year…because it was played non-stop on every radio station. So, everyone knows it.
We Are Young – Fun Another one of those anthems for people of all ages about going out and painting the town red – or setting it on fire, whatever
Ni**as in Paris – Jay Z and Kanye West A fun one that made at least SOMETHING in Blades of Glory funny.
Birthday Cake – Rihanna ft Chris Brown Super weird collaboration following his assaulting her and the romantic breakup that followed 3 years prior…but a super catchy – albeit sometimes annoying – track.
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Who didn’t love this song, and then become a complete thrift shop junkie? It took me years to get back to thrifting and getting anything good!
Flawless – Beyonce Empowerment anthem OF THE DECADE. And, most days? I DID wake up like this.
Mirrors – Justin Timberlake Cried. Sang it with the windows down driving up the 101. Made my bridal party do a dance to it. There is video evidence.
Royals – Lorde I had somehow forgotten this song. It played in perpetuity from 2013-the KC Royals 2015 World Series Championship. Now I can’t get it out of my head…
Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus An ode to Miley’s breakup, breakdown and ripping off the bandaid that was her Disney persona. And you, too, can get a skin for your MacBook that turns your Apple logo into the wrecking ball in question.
Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys ANOTHER empowerment anthem? We will take all of them we can get!
You and I – John Legend Hell, really I just mean all of the album “Love in the Future”. Best of 2013.
Happy – Pharrell Williams Who doesn’t want a feel-good song to take you from down in the dumps, to dancing on the hood of your car? Or the bar? Or the table or the street?
All of Me – John Legend Bawled. Became first dance at wedding. Years later, I told John Legend to his face that he only makes music to purposefully make me cry. And he guaranteed tears at his concert. And he delivered. Damn him.
Turn Down for What – DJ Snake and Lil Jon Only video I took at my wedding: Dance off in the foreground between 5 VERY white boys to this song. In the background? Family friend Russian kicking my 9-year-old niece into 2016.
Chandelier – Sia I DO want to swing from the chandeli-here!
The Man – Aloe Blacc Best basketball warm up song. Best slideshow music for the graduating seniors of the St. Pius X high school basketball team.
Partition – Beyonce This one just has me feelin’ myself, no matter what mood I was in before! In fact, I’m going to go listen to it, now!
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth First death of a friend my age. This played on a slideshow. He’s all I think of when I hear it and I cry. Which means I cried while watching Fast and the Furious. But not because of Fast and the Furious.
Take Me to Church – Hozier The year I really STOPPED going to church. But his voice more than made up for it!
Elastic Heart – Sia Two words: Shia. Labeouf.
Outlaws – Alessia Cara I felt like this was the anthem for myself and my fellow entrepreneurs as we retreated in the mountains and built our businesses and white-water rafted and had a jolly ole time.
House Party – Sam Hunt How the twin and I have always lived our lives: entertaining from the comfort of our own homes.
Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
Sorry – Justin Bieber OK, let’s be honest. The whole damn album. I’m not embarrassed. I danced my way through 2016 to JB.
Work from Home – Fifth Harmony I had just started working from home as a full-time freelancer when this one came out. So, it was constantly in my head – and is a fun one to dance to, as well!
Just Like Fire – P!nk Apparently, I am drawn to fire. I believe it’s the Aries in me…
One Call Away – Charlie Puth Sister broke up with her boyfriend. I rallied the troops and had friends and family from across the US lip sync on video and put it together as a breakup gift. And a perpetual reminder.
Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya Calling society in to question. While being catchy and easy to dance to? Yes, please and thank you! Because smashing the patriarchy can and should feel a hell of a lot more fun!
Lost Boy – Ruth B Haunting, gender-bending, put into question how we see ourselves vs. how we are seen.
I know, deep, right?
HUMBLE – Kendrick Lamar I saw this one as a challenge for me to be less humble and take up space, while also singing along loudly in the direction of folx who need to sit the f*** down, shut up and listen.
Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur Does anyone else see Jane and Rafael from Jane the Virgin when they listen to this song? No? Just me?
Redbone – Childish Gambino A range and style no one expected, but everyone needed.
Slow Hands – Niall Horan Sexy from a former One Directioner…I should have seen it coming.
Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato Hate the saying. LOVE the song.
DNA – Kendrick Lamar The BEST song to lift heavy weights and smash a bag around to! TRY to tell me differently!
Better Life – P!nk Sad and beautiful. It helps me to stop and take inventory and answer P!nk’s question for myself.
Younger Now – Miley Cyrus How I feel with each passing year…
Bastards – Kesha First song on her 2017 album. “Don’t let the bastards get you down” (America’s official slogan since, what, 2016?)
Everybody Lost Somebody – Bleachers Bleachers makes depression fun by helping folx find commonalities in one another. YOU are not alone!
Finesse – Bruno Mars and Cardi B LOVE the throwback late 80s/early 90s sound. MORE PLEASE!
All The Stars – Kendrick Lamar & SZA Black Panther. Entire Marvel/Disney soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar. My mom is friends with SZA’s mom.
This is America – Childish Gambino Calling us out. Poignant. This IS America. Always and still.
God is a Woman – Ariana Grande Finally. Someone got it right.
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran I’m still trying to hate it. But every time it comes on – and it still does a LOT – my foot just gets a’tappin’!
Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande I find myself singing this at my husband of 5+ years. Gotta keep um on their toes!
Hey Look Ma, I Made It – Pan!c at the Disco Haven’t heard much from Pan!c since the mid 2000s…and now they are back and better than ever! In fact: theirs was my favorite show of 2019 (and Elizabeth’s! Check out her review here: http://imperfectfifth.com/elizabeths-favorite-shows-of-2019-dont-threaten-me-with-a-good-time/)
7 Rings – Ariana Grande Sound of Music is my favorite. And so are my bitches (though, I don’t have 6 of them…probably)
Old Town Road – Lil Nas X ft Billy Ray Cyrus Lil Nas X became a role model, THEN came out (and became an even BIGGER role model), all while trolling us with this annoyingly catchy – but really bad – anthem of 2019.
Bad Guy – Billie Eilish Hate to say it…I love it. Because, well, I don’t always want to be the nice guy!
I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber This is literally how I feel about everyone and everything. Except for my family. Sometimes. Other times, it’s exactly how I feel about all humans except myself.
Homecoming: The Live Album – Beyonce Watching it live. Listening to it in its entirety. Tears to my eyes and over a decade of music and emotions.
I’m a nostalgic person by nature. This time of year brings out all the memory triggers – smells, sights, yearly movies, conversations with family. Thinking back on the gifts I’ve gotten through the years, the most memorable often include music.
As a kid, my cousins and I drew names for gifts. Our family didn’t get together very often since we lived in different parts of the state, so Christmas at my grandmother’s house was a big deal. Christmas when I was eight was huge – the gift from my cousin was The Partridge Family Christmas album! Three of my cousins were slightly older than me, so they talked about songs and bands that were not on my elementary school radar. The Partridge Family, however, was on my TV every Friday night and now I had their album! The songs were Christmas standards, sung by David Cassidy, Shirley Jones and studio musicians. Very pedestrian by grown up standards, but that album meant the world to me. It even had a card attached to the front of the cover that was “signed” by the entire Partridge Family. What did I know about mass produced autographs? I nearly wore that record out playing it well beyond the holidays.
As a teenager, I would often get albums as gifts – Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Don Henley’s Building The Perfect Beast, all the albums by Hall & Oates. Music is so easy to gift and so appreciated. I still have an extensive album collection, even though I have most of the music downloaded, because they bring all the great memories to the fore. Reading liner notes was the best because you would know an entire song and be able to sing along immediately. As I got older, albums gave way to cassettes, then CDs.
Then came concert tickets!
I cannot hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” without thinking of the first time I heard him sing it – November, 1984. It was also the first time I had seen Bruce live in concert and that song closed the show. Even though everyone in the crowd should have been spent after the four hour show, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” just re-energized the full house. There was very defined time line – those events before that show, and those events that occurred after that show. Although I had been to live shows before that, all that came after would be compared to Bruce Springsteen live. It’s a high bar, but one that most artists meet in their own way.
Another special show was taking our family friend to see Barry Manilow. Her name was Mary Louise Weaver and she could not have been a bigger Barry fan. She was speechless, teary-eyed, smiling and singing – mostly simultaneously. She knew all of his music and had the best time. I was so happy to witness her happiness.
I am now a grown up with grown children, but I still experience the same excitement when I hear a song from any time in my life. Fortunately, all three of my kids have grown up loving music, so my husband and I did something right. We have a great time listening to different genres and attending different shows. I love to sing at the top of my lungs driving in the car, around the house, or at any concert I am attending. Music is a great unifier and sharing music is a gift that we can all give each other.
Now, it’s time to fire up the turntable for that Partridge Family album.
What’s your favorite musical memory? Share with us so we can feel that nostalgia too, over on our Facebook page!
2019 has seen a plethora of music come through Kansas City, both large tours and one-off intimate shows. We are fortunate to live in an area that attracts artists of all musical genres.
Two of the shows I enjoyed most this year were Panic! At The Disco (February 2, Pray For The Wicked Tour) and Backstreet Boys (September 7, DNA World Tour). Before you think this is the opinion of someone who grew up on boy bands, understand that I am the mom of young women who listened to boy bands as a part of their musical repertoire. Road trip music did include the Backstreet Boys and Panic!, but playlists also consisted of Garth Brooks, P!nk, show tunes, The Temptations, and the Proclaimers among others. Music, and live music, are givens in our family.
When these two tours were announced, I knew that my two daughters and I had to go to both of them. I had never seen Panic!, but both of them had, so I was excited to see this show. It did not disappoint. The show was sold out and everyone was on their feet the entire time. Brendon Urie entered the stage by leaping out of a hole in the floor and the energy did not wane from there. With a full band that included strings and horns to back up Urie, the entire show was a musical gem. In addition to the songs, which everyone knew every word to, lights, pyrotechnics, and graphics were used to create an event, not just a concert. Brendon Urie also spent some time playing piano, both at the front stage, and an auxiliary stage which was then elevated over the crowd.
I can honestly say that I came away from that show hoarse from singing at the top of my lungs. It was so much fun to watch other people enjoy themselves. All 14,000+ of us were at a party together and no one left dissatisfied. Don’t threaten me with a good time!
(Fuck A) Silver Lining
Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time
Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
Hey Look Ma, I Made It
The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Nine in the Afternoon
One of the Drunks
Dancing’s Not a Crime
This Is Gospel
Death of a Bachelor
I Can’t Make You Love Me (Mike Reid cover)
Dying in LA
The Greatest Show (Benj Pasek & Justin Paul cover)
King of the Clouds
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
Emperor’s New Clothes
Say Amen (Saturday Night)
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Backstreet Boys were another first time show for me. Once again, my daughters had seen Backstreet Boys, so I was looking forward to going with them. What I didn’t expect was for this show to sell out as well! Although the crowd was slightly older than the crowd at Panic! At The Disco, there were plenty of younger people in the audience as well. And once again, these were people who did not sit down during the show!
Backstreet Boys employed a more traditional stage, but were in constant motion to cover the entire area. This also allowed them to take turns singing lead. There was not band on stage, but no one seemed to mind – these fans were here for the Backstreet Boys. The Boys, which I hate to say since they are all married men with children, interspersed medleys with their full length songs to cover most of their broad catalog. Everyone knew all of the songs, regardless of whether they were 20 years old or on the newest album. And they sang every word.
And I sang every word and danced with my daughters, just like other moms in the audience danced with their daughters. Live music can help you create memories like none other.
Everyone (First verse only)
I Wanna Be With You
Don’t Want You Back
Nobody Else (Brain Solo, First verse and chours)
Get Down (You’re The One For Me)
Chateau (Howie Solo, First verse and chours)
Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely
More Than That
The Way It Was (Nick Solo, First verse and chorus)
Shape of My Heart (No second verse)
Drowning (No second verse)
Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
As Long As You Love Me
Don’t Wanna Lose You Now
I’ll Never Break Your Heart
All I Have to Give (Conversation Mix)
All I Have To Give
Backstreet Boys DNA Tour Remix
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
We’ve Got It Goin’ On
It’s Gotta Be You
That’s the Way I Like It
Get Another Boyfriend
I Want It That Way
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Larger Than Life
What was your favorite show of 2019? Let us know on Facebook!
Rising Taiwanese act The Fur. enjoyed galavanting around SXSW 2019. We know this because they shared a brief glimpse of the experience with us. Check out the view from their lens below, then head over to take a listen to their debut album Town.
“Yes, we are so happy to play at SXSW.”
We got hair done at artist lounge and felt cool and ready to be on stage.
Ren made a new friend.
Zero is at Walmart.
We saw someone wearing the same shirt as Ren’s, so took a secret photo with him. Nobody noticed.
It’s challenging to finish a stage setting within a short period of time at B.D. Riley’s. We yelled at each other in Mandarin and moved so quickly to get the change-over done as fast as possible. It’s so much fun to recall how we did the show.
We shopped at a toy store. How we wish to bring all the Rick and Morty toys back to Taiwan but we can’t.
In an era of computer-made, beat-driven music, Grand Canyon is the antithesis of modern pop music. However, by focusing on musicianship and timeless songwriting, and drawing on the inspiration of the classic sounds and arrangements of the 70s, it is the kind of pop music that will be wafting through the canyons for a long time. Here, guitarist Joe Guese shines looks back on a rock legend that inspired his career, as well as countless others.
My journey with Tom Petty began like many others did, with a road trip.
It was the summer of ’92. I was 10, and my family was taking our annual road trip. California was that year’s destination. I had just recently purchased, or more likely my parents purchased, Into the Great Wide Open. We set off on our journey for the west coast. Little did I know then, it would be a road trip for the rest of my life. I put Into the Great Wide Open on my discman, letting it be my soundtrack through the endless canyons and expansive horizons of the west. The music always seemed to have a vision of hopefulness, positivity, and pure rock ‘n’ roll. I picked up the guitar two years later and never looked back.
He provided the soundtrack for my youth. I’ll never forget my first Petty concert at Red Rocks, the soundtrack to high school parties, hearing “Room at the Top” the day Columbine happened, and his music present at many other seminal events in my life. Tom Petty led to some of the best and longest lasting friendships I’ve ever had. Fast forward to the winter of 2002, I had just finished up a rehearsal with my college band who was trying out a new bass player. That bass player was Ethan Mentzer. We decided to make the long walk back from the rehearsal space to the Berklee dorms. On that fateful walk, we discussed our love of Petty, girls, anything rock ‘n’ roll, and more Petty. We would go on to become lifelong friends and start a band that would tour the world. He taught us everything: cool guitars, cool amps, great songs, how to record, and most importantly the attitude and feeling of rock ‘n’ roll music. He was the embodiment of “cool”.
Petty has led me down some pretty strange and wonderful roads. I had the pleasure of playing “Running Down a Dream” with three members of the Heartbreakers and two great friends Jamie Arentzen and Matt Pynn (the Elmbreakers) a couple years ago at a Grammy party. That road also led me to Casey Shea who would also become a lifelong friend. Our mutual admiration of Tom Petty pushed us to start Grand Canyon in our mid 30s. Talk about running down a dream!
So cheers to that summer of ’92 in the back of a suburban, where I’m at now in Los Angeles, wherever that road may lead, to all the bad girls, and those boys who play that rock n roll.
New Jersey-based pop/rock collective The Ones You Forgot – comprised of Jenna Bruno (Vocals), Matthew Thompson (Guitar), Ferdinand Benauro (Guitar), Justin Rodman (Drums), and Lance Nelson (Bass) – has a beautiful new video for their track “Luna”, and we’ve got the exclusive premiere. Against a simple backdrop, allow Bruno’s 90’s-inspired vocals (think Liz Phair) to to croon this acoustic love song to you, with smokey contrast and artful dance. In addition to the video premiere, the band was wonderful enough to provide some date night ideas. As we approach the month of love – and every day – with bigger hearts, let’s see if we can’t integrate a few of these ideas!
Jenna: I would love to go on a Zip line and ropes course date! Anything outdoors-y is fun (maybe not for a first date though). I’d also love to just get some dinner, see a movie and take a drive to the beach at night – a classic date!
Lance: My first idea for a fun date would be going out to some trails and hunting for geocaches together. Another idea would be ice skating and catching a hockey game!
Justin: My first ideal date idea is beer, hatchet throwing, philly cheese steaks, and insomnia cookie! A great combo. Another fun date would be going on a hike to a waterfall.
Ferd: My first ideal date idea is going record shopping and going to the arcade!
My second date idea would be going
to the beach, hiking and top golf (all in one day)!
Matt: A fun date idea for me would be going record store hunting.
I would also love to go to the arcade and have a nice dinner. I’m thinking Ferd and I should just date already.
Keep up with The Ones You Forgot here. Too Afraid to Say is available now.