What songs are playing during these key scenes in the movie of your life and why?
Childhood: KISS “Shout It Out Loud”
My first favorite band was KISS. I saw them play live when I was 8. This is the first song I think of when I think of that time.
First Love: The Cure “A Night Like This”
Like every entry on this list, this one could be its own list. With that said, there’s still something about “A Night Like This” that captures the potential of that first encounter.
Teens: Minor Threat “Salad Days”
My teen mind was shaped by Ian MacKaye, Kevin Seconds, Robert Smith, Chuck D, and KRS-One. I’ve already said too much.
Young Adult: Superchunk “On the Mouth”
I spent the already tough young-adult years in a stilted and stifling relationship. Mac McCaughan’s tales of young love’s beginnings took me away.
First Heartbreak: …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead “Mistakes & Regrets”
I once listened to this song for 13 hours straight. I was distraught.
Working Montage: Gang Starr “Work”
DJ Premier’s bounce on this song is perfect for a getting-it-done montage. The lyrics about putting in work are just gravy.
Sex Scene: TV on the Radio “Wear You Out”
This is one of the only songs ever written about sex that’s actually sexy.
Writing Montage: Godflesh “Like Rats”
This selection is probably because I’m working on a book right now heavily influenced by Godflesh, so I’ve been listening to them a lot. I think it would work any time though. Turn it up.
Old age: Abecedarians “They Said Tomorrow”
I think of old age as a period of summation. “They Said Tomorrow” is my favorite song ever. I first heard it in my teens,and it sums up a lot of things then that still haven’t changed.
Death: His Name is Alive “I Can’t Live in This World Anymore / Home”
The perfect goodbye.
Roy Christopher is an aging BMX and skateboarding zine kid. That’s where he learned to turn events and interviews into pages with staples. He has since written about music, media, and culture for everything from self-published zines and personal blogs to national magazines and academic journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. As a child, he solved the Rubik’s Cube competitively.