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As I recall, the seed was initially planted with a discussion of George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1. Somehow, in an editorial office that can rarely come to a consensus on whether or not to capitalize particular varieties of wine, we all agreed that we, um, you know, kinda liked that album. That was the one where the former Wham! vocalist decided that he was getting too famous and stopped appearing in his own videos (who could complain—he put Naomi Campbell in his place); the same one where the “I Want Your Sex” guy wrote some serious, socially relevant songs. We all admitted it to each other, and it felt good. And although that album was never brought up again (thank God), we all decided to delve into the shadowiest corners of our collective musical past to find the bands, songs, and albums that make us roll up the car windows for fear of being exposed. In perusing my own legacy of poor taste for gleaming examples of music I should feel unhip for even thinking about listening to, much less owning, I found myself looking nervously over my shoulder just about every 30 seconds. I mean, I actually own the frickin’ Xanadu soundtrack. I still think it’s priceless, fluffy prog-pop, but this particular adoration might be directly connected to a childhood fascination with the movie for which the music was written—more specifically, Olivia Newton-John.

There’s always those summertime pop-radio tunes, too. They come stamped with an expiration date, sure, but I still find myself cranking ’em, sometimes several weeks into the following summer. I’ll stand by “The Humpty Dance” any day, dammit, and R. Kelly’s “Ignition” is a stone classic. Should I hate myself for loving it? Only because it’s R. Kelly.

So after a good amount of soul searching and skeleton de-closeting, we’ve found the bottom of the barrel, and it is good. Well, maybe a little bad, actually. We know we’re asking for trouble here. Me, personally, well I may lose a great deal of credibility, perhaps entire relationships, based on what I’m about to admit, but I’m just going to go ahead and throw it out there—I, um, you know, kinda like Sting’s Ten Summoners Tales album. Just a little. And Dream of the Blue Turtles is pretty good, too. Please don’t hit me.

We’re going to go buy ourselves helmets now.

—John Brodeur


I am not the type of girl who should be listening to AC/DC, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I’m WASPy, square and persnickety. AC/DC are burly, boisterous and dirty. We eloped.

I discovered my love of AC/DC when I first heard “Highway to Hell” in 5th grade, but at that point I didn’t know what band it was. Then one rainy summer day years later, I was working as a record-store clerk, and upon watching a Bon Scott-era AC/DC video compilation in the store, I was kidnapped by them. It was either during the video for “It’s a Long Way to the Top (if You Want to Rock & Roll)”—they’re playing with a full marching bagpipe band on a flatbed truck—or the “Jailbreak” video, a blend of the cover of Who’s Next and Holy Grail, complete with bad pyrotechnics, that I knew I’d found my new favorite band. I bought records like a junkie and got my fix in the solitude of my apartment. I had all-day rock-outs with myself, and my boyfriend laughed. So did I.

At the time my infatuation seemed inauthentic, but like my enjoyment of the Stooges, my attraction to AC/DC is somewhat primal: sex and blues and mischief all rolled into one awe- inspiring package. Plus they have so much fun. Songs like “Soul Stripper”—the tale of original sin as only Bon Scott could tell it—and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”—where Bon promises to do in your oppressors (the principal, your lover)—are so cheeky. I still won’t wear my AC/DC shirt out of the house though. (It’s a little Johnny-come-lately.)

I have a friend who turns to his AC/DC records when “it’s time to put on something a little stupider.” I do not find them stupid except when I catch myself singing along to “Big Balls.” I drive too fast when I listen to AC/DC in the car and, though Angus is the gifted brother who can shred like no other, when I play air guitar I imagine myself as Malcolm. (Is that so wrong?)

—Ashley Hahn

The Beach Boys

I’ll say it. I love The Beach Boys. I caught my first ardent whiff of their elemental harmonies in third grade, in Mrs. Buddenhagen’s class. There was this sweet, tiny girl in class named Sue Coyle. After math exercises every day, Mrs. B. let us play records, so Suzanne brought the Beach Boys’ Spirit of America in and played their cover of “Barbara Ann” over and over until my tiny, soon-to-be-passive-aggressive heart would bleed and bleed all over the place.

Thanks to Sue, the Beach Boys became the sole reason why I associated rock & roll with women very early on. Something about the quintet seemed so confident, so capable and effortless. They wrote about things that fascinated me, namely cars, girls and California. A few years later I forgot all about Sue and set about collecting every Beach Boys LP ever made, from the infamous Pet Sounds to murky ’70s flops like the oblong M.I.U. Album. I loved them all, and I still do: They took the honey glaze from what vocal groups like the Four Freshmen were doing in the ’50s and transmuted it into something that could really send you somewhere besides the sock hop. I can’t explain it. To this day friends recommend various prescriptions to rid me of this malaise, but to no avail.

Even in high school, when in an alcoholic gas cloud I succumbed helplessly to the goat lord, erasing brain cells at outdoor keggers to the likes of Black Sabbath, Venom, Slayer, Raven and so forth, I defended my proclivity for the ill-fated five with vigor. Their four- and five-part harmonies, at times a cappella or infused into rich orchestration, could either open the heavens and release the doves or come across as haunting, desolate calls from the lonely black sea. It is this binary conflict that is most appealing for me today; many don’t realize that the “surf’s up” topic matter was ephemeral at best in the band’s history. Much of their catalogue is more of a dove cry (or sometimes a scream therapy) for the maladjusted, awkwardly disguised as California love songs.

But in the end, it is the songs themselves that I hold dear. Allow me to list a few recommendations: “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Hawaii,” “Catch a Wave,” “In My Room,” “409,” “I Get Around,” “Don’t Back Down,” “Drive In,” “Little Honda,” “Sloop John B,” and of course, “Heroes and Villains.” They are a part of me as is the ink in my arms, the ringing in my ears, the pain in my neck. Sue Coyle, Mrs. B., wherever you are, thank you. Thank you for my first and finest music lesson.

—Bill Ketzer

Steely Dan

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Steely Dan: the cloying radio-friendly hooks, the pretentious liner notes, the control-freak production, the smug go-ahead-and-punch-me look that Walter Becker assumed in nearly every photograph. He and Donald Fagen were nerds. And not very rock & roll. But they didn’t seem to care. They were smug because they knew they were great songwriters. Early in their career, they moved to Los Angeles to get famous. Although their music came to reflect all the sheen and gloss of Southern California superficiality, the band’s spirit remained true to the East Coast. They were bitter, cynical bastards.

That’s one of the reasons I dig them so much. Hidden beneath the grooving, insistent melodies are some of the bleakest, nastiest sentiments you’ve heard in song. They set up gorgeous compositions only to soil them with bile. That’s true subversion. Especially for an FM radio staple. In some ways, Steely Dan represented ’70s ennui, wrapped up in a raging post-’60s hangover, better than nearly any other band. Only a year after John Lennon’s appeal to imagine a world with no possessions, Steely Dan sang this world-weary line on one of my favorite tracks from 1972’s Can’t Buy a Thrill: “I heard it was you/Talkin’ about a world where all is free/It just couldn’t be/And only a fool would say that.” Take that, hippies.

Becker and Fagen met at Bard, here in the Hudson Valley, and I always think of that college when hearing “My Old School,” which nearly drips with contempt for the place: “California tumbles into the sea/That’ll be the day I go/Back to Annandale.” Nothing personal against Bard. I went to a similar private college nearby. But I can just imagine Becker and Fagen surrounded by the sort of loosey-goosey upper-class idealism that permeates certain private schools. And I like to think about them skewering it in song, even though that probably makes me a bitter, cynical bastard too.

—Kirsten Ferguson

Britney Spears: ‘Toxic’

I can’t pretend “Toxic” is worth deconstructing as art; that’s for future generations, for when Britney Spears has more catalogue depth and reaches middle age. My appreciation for “Toxic” is more of the prurient variety. I will say that in “Toxic,” both song and video, Britney has come into her own, delivering a pop artifact that not only will go down as a turning point in her career but also is built to last. “Toxic” is one of the best funk-rock songs since Prince’s “Kiss,” particularly if you favor the Tom Jones version.

Do I get the lyrics? Not all of them. Seems “Toxic” has to do with addiction, as so much pop does. Britney plays three roles, all pretty aggressive: She’s the cutely cleavaged stewardess who roils and teases a nerdy chubbo in a plane. She’s the redhead who is the real engine for the motorcycle of buff, chiseled model Tyson. And she’s the black-haired vixen who throws a Viggo-like hunk on a bed and, Vampira-like, transports him into a mutual intoxication of their own.

The video imprints instantly, largely because of its centerpiece, a fourth character: Britney herself, adorned in little more than a body stocking and strategically placed diamonds. Consider this Britney, an update of Madonna’s “Material Girl,” a bridge between Spears’ various personae.

But the video wouldn’t work without the song. Pumped up with cybersteroid coos and chirps, Britney’s voice distorted into an edgy dreamland courtesy of a hormonal string section, it also rocks because of the “Peter Gunn”-style bass lines and the near-folk acoustic-guitar detail. It’s really well done. Every time it comes on the radio, I want to turn it up.

When I’m in the car with my girls, they sing along with “Toxic,” thrilling to its riffs and goofing on its artifice without grasping the many ways in which it is sexy. I guess that’s my domain.

—Carlo Wolff

John Denver

It could just be that I’ve always associated John Denver with that fairy-tale summer of my first girlfriend. It must have been the last summer that I didn’t have a job, and I played a lot of tennis. At the courts, I started flirting with a girl who had been in two of my classes. I began to notice that she was signing up for courts at the same time I was, and then it dawned on me that she’d been flirting with me for much of the school year.

I bought John Denver’s Greatest Hits that year, and it fit pretty well as the soundtrack to my summer, in no small part because I was spending so much time outdoors. When I wasn’t playing tennis, I was often riding my bike—to the lake, to my girlfriend’s house, exploring as many back roads as I could find. It didn’t take long to figure out that the best way to get somewhere where we could make out was to ride our bikes into the surrounding woods and hills. John Denver songs played in my head as we pedaled out to the falls, where there was plenty of soft grass beyond the sightlines of the picnickers and the kids splashing in the water. On the way home, my now-dizzy brain once again filled up with Denver’s odes to love and nature.

As much as I still associate that music with that summer romance, I think the pleasure it gave me was about something more. I never dropped Denver the way I dropped many of my early pop favorites. I wouldn’t listen to Chicago now, and I can barely listen to the Eagles or Steely Dan. A Simon and Garfunkel album I used to like now strikes me as dated pretentious crap. But when I hear those old John Denver songs, they hit me the same way they always did. “Goodbye Again” still conjures bittersweet images of early-morning light and a sleepy lover. “Rhymes and Reasons” still reminds me of the first cold night of fall. The nature songs, in their fluid, catchy innocence, give me that same old rush I got from biking to the reservoir. I feel the Rocky Mountain high. I feel the sunshine on my shoulders.

Sure, celebrating nature is cool (even if celebrating John Denver isn’t cool, by hipster standards). But there’s still something more. Why did I hate “Leaving on a Jet Plane” until I heard Denver sing his own composition? Why do I buy the clichéd sentiment of “I’d Rather Be a Cowboy”? I think I know. Most of the music I’ve liked since the dawn of the ’80s features some combination of alienation, misery, tension, world-weariness, hopeless yearning, and irony, irony, irony. And that’s fine. But John Denver was none of that: He was sincere, direct, sentimental, often joyful, and for me—dare I admit it—infectious. He has said his purpose in performing “is to communicate the joy I experience in living.” Well heck, joy can be good for you. Love may tear us apart, but it’s nothing a good bike ride can’t fix.

—Stephen Leon

Adam and the Ants: Prince Charming

As if I hadn’t taken enough heat already back when my man was pretending to be Native American, he had to go and become a pirate. It was 1981 and I had successfully weathered the jibes—and worse—of my British Steel-loving classmates for my adoration of Adam and the Ants’ brilliant 1980 album Kings of the Wild Frontier. Yeah, yeah, you’ve all got my back now, years after the album gets its critical due as an indispensible artifact of the early days of new-wave music, but where were you when I was trying to explain that Kings had all the arty weirdness of Talking Heads but twice the sleazy after-dark appeal, and all the guitar snarl of the Buzzcocks but three times the sense of humor? Where were you when I was insisting that Burundi drumming made perfect sense as a backbeat for an American Indian mythology filtered through a sexed-up J.M. Barrie escapism? You were at home, still wearing out the grooves on your year-old copy of Live at Budokan.

So, I thought I’d earned myself a respite. I thought the argument had been exhausted, if not settled. And then Prince Charming hit the racks. And was clear that the man had lost his mind, and I loved it; whereas I hated the same year’s .38 Special release, Wild-Eyed Southern Boys. So began Round Two.

Rather than tapping the tribes of the New World for inspiration, Ant adopted an English highwayman look so cartoonishly over-the-top it made Ziggy Stardust look like Minnie Pearl. The work itself was no less ridiculous: Nothing on this album should have been permitted, much less been appealing. From the opening track, a celebration of dandyism called, inexplicably, “Scorpios,” to the magnificently titled “Picasso Visita El Planeta de los Simios”; from the not-quite anthemic “Ant Rap,” which hints at why it took the English this long to produce Dizee Rascal, to the naïve but deliciously moody “S.E.X.”; from the single, “Prince Charming,” which brazenly featured not only a huntsman’s horn but also a horse’s slobbering whinny, to its snarky b-side “Beat My Guest,” the album gleefully ran a freaky gamut from poppy postpunk through the cheap theatrics of the spaghetti western, adding wild doses of mutant sea chanty and time-travel hedonism for a pleasure that, for me, very nearly made up for never standing a chance of scoring with the Southern-rock chicks. Round Two goes to me on points, I think.

—John Rodat

Dirty Dancing Original Soundtrack

Oh the shame! It wasn’t until I asked my coworkers if the Dirty Dancing soundtrack could be considered a guilty pleasure that I realized how completely uncool it really is that I love it.

I’m a sucker for good soundtracks. I especially love soundtracks from the ’70s and ’80s, like Footloose, Grease, and The Breakfast Club. . . . These movies (guilty pleasures in themselves, I’m sure) were made much more memorable by their outstanding soundtracks. A good movie and a good soundtrack? (All right, obviously this is a confession of my love for the Dirty Dancing movie just as much as Dirty Dancing the soundtrack.) That makes a happy me.

Dirty Dancing is an epic-of-our-time love story between sheltered, goody-two-shoes Frances “Baby” Houseman and riff-raff, wrong-side-of-the-tracks Johnny Castle. It has excellent dancing, excellent music, and a cliché love story—and c’mon, Patrick Swayze singing “She’s Like the Wind”—what more could you want?

Even just the first few beats of the drum on “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes conjures the memory of the opening scene, where Baby brings us up-to-date on the events thus far of her very cushy life. When I hear “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel, I inevitably think of the scene where Swayze is teaching Grey how to dance while balancing on a log. Like how Mickey & Sylvia’s “Love is Strange” transports me to the scene where the two lovebirds playfully lip-synch and dance under the guise of having an actual dance lesson (ooh, they’re so naughty!). Songs like these and “Stay,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Hungry Eyes”—they paint the movie’s background and that’s what makes the association between movie and music so strong.

And hey, I’m not alone in my shameful adoration: The anthemic hit from the movie, “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” usually ends up on all the Top 10 lists of songs written for movies. OK, I admit, this song is pure Velveeta, and the lyrics are appropriately syrupy: “You’re the one thing/I can’t get enough of/So I’ll tell you something/This could be love.” But the beat is ultra-hooky, and it always makes me want to dance. And of course, the amazing dance scene at the end of the movie, preceded by the line that makes all girls melt upon first view: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” It’s pure nostalgia.

—Kathryn Lurie

Gary Wright: Dream Weaver

My “guilty pleasures” are probably better called “shameful pleasures,” since I don’t embarrass myself when I listen to them alone, but only feel twinges when I think about how other people would react to my musical choices. So, yeah, I probably would be a bit mortified if you caught me driving around having a happy solo sing-a-long to Gary Wright’s best solo album, Dream Weaver, but while I’m driving and listening in a human vacuum, I feel no guilt at all.

Why? Because this may be one of the oddest and most prescient popular records of the ’70s, an almost-entirely-keyboard-constructed album that points towards synthpop, but is orders of magnitude more beefy and chunky than just about anything produced by the spawn of Soft Cell and the Human League. You want phat analog synth sounds? This is the spot to find ’em, boyo. Dream Weaver’s title track has been overplayed by classic-rock radio, sure, but the best cut on this album is the less-well-remembered “Love Is Alive,” (which, like “Dream Weaver,” was also a No. 2 chart hit at the time), and the record’s other seven cuts are soulful and punchy and well-programmed to boot. I still cringe a bit when I catch sight of Gary Wright’s very glam mascara, scarf and velour spaceman outfit on the album cover, but once the disc begins to spin, the cringing is replaced by happy headbobbing and, yes, enthusiastic singing. I also regularly remind myself (and others, when they catch me) that my fave Fab, George Harrison, thought enough of Gary Wright to feature him on most of his best ’70s records. If he’s good enough for George, then Gary’s good enough for me. But, still, it’s probably best that he remains good enough for me when I’m alone, lest shame tarnish the experience.

—J. Eric Smith

Duran Duran

For two decades Duran Duran have produced some of the most disposable, creatively anemic pop music known to mankind. (Cheekily self-aware, they named their 2000 album Pop Trash). And if you think I have come to celebrate the lost nuances of Duran Duran or to mount a defense, you are sadly mistaken. I come to offer the trembling confession that I have, during my lifetime, liked them much more than I should have.

In the ’80s, little did anyone know, but deep in my high school gym bag—hidden beneath Hüsker Dü and Replacements cassettes—was a copy of Rio. I bore my fetish with discretion; my local record retailer and I exchanged furtive, understanding glances as I purchased Seven and the Ragged Tiger—our relationship probably much like that of J. Edgar Hoover and his favorite women’s clothier.

So what drew me to Duran Duran? In most other respects, I was a red-blooded, American kid: captain of a sports team, track record holder—my maternal grandpa had even been a Hollywood character actor of some renown in American classics (counseling Audrey Hepburn behind the Tiffany’s counter, getting assassinated through a milk carton by the Manchurian Candidate). Nothing in my lineage anticipated this character flaw of knowing exactly which one was Nick or Simon or John or Roger or Andy.

Why did I listen to Duran Duran? Maybe it was the funky, Chic-like bass guitar grooves. Maybe it was because I came of age with MTV—and Duran Duran, the first video megastars, offered a sensual world of exotic beaches, colored drinks and Chekhovian video plots.

But let me say this: The club-heavy throb of “Come Undone” (1993) is indisputably a great song. And even Lou Reed has said that his favorite cover version of one of his songs was DD’s “Perfect Day.” But still, today, it pains me to look at pictures of the fashion-challenged group. And watching an old TV interview, it makes me want to strip off my shirt, bang my head against the wall and run around babbling gibberish to listen to a headbanded Simon and Nick discuss their “creative process” without a touch of irony. And so I have come to the conclusion that there was simply something wrong with me for a time—that’s why I liked Duran Duran. But I’m better now . . . I think.

—Erik Hage

Neil Young: Trans

Some say Neil Young lost his mind in the ’80s.

The Reagan decade is considered Young’s musical nadir. In 1981 he released Re-Ac-Tor, an outrageously minimalist Crazy Horse album that offered, for example, eight minutes of guitar sludge disguised as a song, in which the only lyrics are “Got mashed potato/Ain’t got no t-bone.” He donned a pink-and-white suit for a rockabilly album. He made a straight country album that his label fought not to release, and a god-awful-sounding new-wave album.

The experimentation kept Young one step ahead of the musical reaper. Unlike the Rolling Stones, he wasn’t making the same tedious record over and over. Unlike David Bowie, he wasn’t chasing fruitlessly after lost Top Ten glory. To me, a malcontented college student bored stupid with classic rock, Young’s high-profile goofiness was liberating. He was doing anything to kick his muse in the ass—no matter if it pissed off his label, the critics and his fans. And no Neil Young album of the ’80s pissed off more people than 1983’s Trans.

The Geffen execs must have gone into shock over Trans. For six of the album’s nine songs, Neil processes his voice through a vocorder, double- or triple-tracking it for maximum alienation effect. “Transformer Man” is a dreamy ode to functionality. The sardonic “Sample and Hold” is about ordering a sex robot (“Hair—blonde/Eyes—blue/Mood code—rotary adjustable”). In his meanest moment, Young remakes his classic “Mr. Soul,” rubbing Trans’ weirdness in his fans’ faces.

All of the computer shit rocks. Of the non-computer songs, two are dumb throwaways, and the other, “Like an Inca,” is a typical Neil ode to ancient Pan-American civilizations, only dopier than usual: “Said the condor to the preying mantis/We’re gonna lose this place, just like we lost Atlantis.”

The album tanked. I was delighted. Trans oozed a level of musical irony and lyrical loopiness appropriate to the through-the-looking-glass early Reagan years, when ketchup was a vegetable and Nicaraguan death squads were “freedom fighters.”

Imagine my surprise when Young later said the album was an attempt to reach out to his autistic son. This makes Trans even more baffling—and more lovable.

—Shawn Stone

Oasis: “Cum On Feel The Noize”

Maybe it’s because I grew up with it, but piss ’n’ vinegar Brit-pop still just sounds right to me. I know they’re 100-percent wankster, tabloid rock (which I can usually find as compelling as repulsive), but Oasis are just a great, feel-good, sing-along band. I dig Noel’s commitment to trying to write the perfect pop anthem (which he’s done a few times), and Liam’s croon, equally snotty and lovely, is one of the best rock & roll voices to ever hit the stadium-pop stage.

Though I’ve yet to drag myself to any of their stateside appearances, my favorite way to indulge my Oasis fancy is as a live band. From the full-volume solitude of my car (where all Oasis listening should occur), I can belt along with the frenzied masses—the jocks, the British schoolchildren, and little ’ol me—and end up making an asshole of myself at no one else’s expense.

Actually, though, when push comes to shove, I get my Oasis fix as a cover band.

All my love for Oasis comes to a fairly guilt-ridden head with their Slade-via-Quiet Riot cover of “Cum On Feel the Noize.” Both originals—an appropriate paradox in this case—stand well enough together as one of rock’s greatest party anthems. It’s impossible to listen to either version without getting stupid with some sort of edgy anticipation. But, and mostly due to Liam’s scorching vocal, the Gallagherized format channels all the fun and energy of the originals and amps them up into a sleazy ball of seedy excitement. “Girls grab your boys! ‘We’ll get wild, wild, wild! We’ll get wild, wild, wild!”

I can rationally admit that Oasis’ “COFTN” is one of my favorite covers of anything ever. I once let my “Don’t Look Back In Anger”/”COFTN” cassette single auto-flip in my car stereo for two weeks straight, and, in these digital times, it’s probably been the song to lead off more iPod playlists than anything else. From Liam’s “Baby, baby, baby, baby” intro to his incoherent Manchester-drawled outro, this song tapped Oasis into that elemental rock & roll power you always hoped they’d find.

—John Suvannavejh

Evan Croen
Operations Director, WAMC Performing Arts Studio

Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride”
“I own their greatest hits CD because hearing that song like 10 times a day on classic rock radio wasn’t enough.”

Jim Barrett
Owner, River Street Beat Shop, Lawn Sausages

Antonio Carlos Jobim
“I can listen to anything, any hour, any day or night . . . gargling, I would listen to him.”

Chili Walker
Disc Jockey, The Edge

The Bee Gees (early, not disco)
“I pop in the greatest hits, and just start singing (poorly). It’s funny, but I tend to listen to Black Sabbath right after the Bee Gees—I guess that is just to get planets realigned.”

Jim Furlong
Owner, Last Vestige

Caterina Valenti, Laurez Alexandria, Swingle Singers, Anita Kerr Singers . . . and tons of other little-known female vocalists or vocal groups from the ’50s and ’60s.
“I come home now with armloads of all of these singers who I’ve never heard of.”

Jason Steven Murphy
Impulse Response

The Kamikaze Hearts’ Foxhole Prayers (especially “Tennessee”)
“I mean, it’s all heartfelt and has lyrics about feelings and emotions—I should not be a party to this in any way, shape, or form. . . . [“Tennessee” is] just one of those songs that I will play on a late-night walk home and then catch myself singing in the shower the next day. And no one (not even the shower curtains) should have to hear me sing. Feelings and emotions—and I used to consider myself punk rock . . . ”

Chris Lawrence
Clerk, Last Vestige Saratoga

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Live Bullet

Mike Keegan
Lincoln Money Shot

Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk
“Stevie Nicks is, was, and shall always be a slobbery unmusical walrus; however, Lindsay Buckingham can write a real motherfucker of a song and you kind of have to tip your hat to someone who realizes when a song totally requires a marching band.”

Sherwood Webber

Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Heels”
I have no guilt though, the song needs no explanation.

Georg Jorvic-Englar
Drummer, Five Alpha Beatdown

Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” and Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”
“When Magnus is away from bus, I listen only to songs about poker, such as “I am joker, I am smoker, I am midnight toker” by band of Steve Miller (I am not sure this toker is real word. Is it he means “gardening”?) and “You have to be holding them, you have to be folding them, you are walking away, now you run” by Kenneth Rogers. He is of my favorite, that Kenneth Rogers. Please do not be telling Magnus these thing, he will challenge me to fishing duel.”

Kitchen Staff
Club Helsinki
Behind closed doors in the kitchens of Club Helsinki, the stream of embarrassing music never ends. The staff prefers to dance and shake as they listen—with the volume on 10—to:
1. Spice Girls
2. Footloose Soundtrack
3. Lou Bega, “Mambo #5”

Ted Etoll
Booking, Step Up Presents
Ronnie James Dio
“I bring it to all the shows and shove it down the kids’ throats.”

Jason Keller
Host, Big Break, Channel 103.1
Britney Spears’ “Toxic”
“There’s something really seductive about that song; it’s got this sexy futuristic quality to it. I just make sure to turn down the volume at traffic lights when my car windows are open; I don’t need that kind of shame.”

Gay Tastee
The Wasted
The Carpenters

Dan Goodspeed
“Though I’m not really embarrassed to have liked them . . . maybe a little embarrassed at how much I liked them (doing school reports on the band whenever possible, learning every song by the band, buying every magazine that mentioned them, buying all their videos, etc). But yeah, I liked Europe, still do and am not ashamed to say so.”

Nate Wilson
CEO, Gloom Records
D.R.I.’s Dealing With It
“The record brings back very fond memories of a time and place when things felt as though there were important and necessary changes that were needed. The record and its attitude that it conveyed/influenced me in was one of anti-authoritarian. It had me questioning every part of society, and got me in trouble more then once in school and with the cops. ‘Who am I to tell you who to believe in, with all the masses it’s so damn deceiving, how can I say to you you’ve been brave, that would never bring about mass anarchy now, would it?’ ”

Michael Campion
Mainstream hiphop
“With hiphop being one of the biggest-selling and most popular genres on the planet and with it in the state it’s in, things have become boring. This said, when a song is rotated hundreds of times a week and marketed so that artists are shoved down your throat, you want to resist it, but it’s hard not to bob your head to “In Da Club.’ ”

Bob Carlton
Vocals/guitar, the Sixfifteens
Aerosmith ballads
“Not just the older
songs, I’m also talking about the newer songs from the last few years.”

Jeff Fox
Guitar, the Sixfifteens
“No pleasure is guilty—unless you wake up confused and dirty, having no idea where you are. Seriously though, musically I don’t feel ‘guilty’ for liking anything. If I ever got any pleasure from listening to hair metal or teen pop I might list that, but I don’t. I like TLC a great deal.”

Matt Baumgartner
Owner, Bombers Burrito Bar
Britney Spears
“She could remix the Happy Birthday song and I would have it downloaded to my iPod quicker than any Modest Mouse song.”

Howard Glassman
Owner, Valentine’s
Neil Diamond
Is that a guilty pleasure? I dunno. Sometimes it feels that way. One of the original “Jews Who Rock,” what can I say. Growing up he got a lot of play in my house. Cherry Cherry indeed.

Jason Martin
musician, recording engineer
Shania Twain

Devon Murray
Booking, Northern Lights

Sean Rowe
REO Speedwagon: High Infidelity album
“Yeah, I know what you’re thinkin’. I can’t help it. That song “Take It on the Run” takes me back to when I was 7 years old. I used to lock myself in my bedroom and seriously rock out to that damn 8-track for hours. Scary huh?”

Mike Trash
Singer-guitarist, the Erotics
“Those songs are so fucking bad (as in horrible). But I still have the mentality of a 14-year-old, so I find myself cranking those tunes from my stereo quite often.”

Nate Buccieri
50 Cent
“Something about driving when the 50 Cent song comes on, and you are transformed into the O.G. himself driving a Saturn.”

Matt Novik
Booking, Club Helsinki
No Doubt

Deborah McDowell
Booking, Club Helsinki
Maxwell, D’Angelo, Shakira

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