TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Ms. Minty

Ms. Minty is a guidance counselor at BHS who is described by her students as “sweet,” “helpful,” and “really understanding.” Here is what she has to say about what she was listening to at sixteen. 
imagesWhen it comes to U2 and Aerosmith, I bought Achtung Baby and Get a Grip in early high school and became obsessed, so I went back and knew every song that existed for both bands. Mostly, I wasn’t into music they were playing on the radio at the time (I only started to like Nirvana and Pearl Jam in college), so I got into classic rock instead. Any songs that were passionate and sentimental were my favorite and I frequently used song lyrics to reference how I was feeling or to remind me of people. In college, I got more into alternative, hard rock, and nostalgic for the 80s. Now, my favorite current music is country, which I never would have expected. You never know how things are going to evolve…
1. “So Cruel” by  U2 (this was officially my favorite song)
2. “One” by U2
3. “With or Without You” by U2
4. “Bad” by U2
5. “Livin’ On the Edge” by Aerosmith
6. “F.I.N.E.” by Aerosmith
7. “Dream On” by Aerosmith
8. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette
9. “Immigrant Son” by Led Zeppelin (I listened to this every morning before school to wake up)
10. “In My Life” by The Beatles
11. “Self Esteem” by the Offspring
12. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult (this and the next one were because I loved “the Stand” miniseries)
13. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by  Crowded House
14. “All I Want Is You: by U2 (this was my prom song)
15. “You Don’t Know How It Feels” by Tom Petty
16. “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf
Here are some highlights from Ms. Minty’s Sweet Sixteen:

TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Mrs. Bernard

Mrs. Bernard, who teaches English to sophomores and juniors at BHS, is described by her students as “outgoing,” “nice,” and “no-nonsense” while being very “passionate” and “thoughtful” about her work. This is what she  has to say about what she was listening to at sixteen.

103670-pink_floyd_617_409When I was 16 I was a junior in high school and the year was 1998. I wore jeans, birkenstocks, and baggy sweaters or patchwork tank-tops. For me, music was a way to experience life with my friends. That life (way back then) included long drives to the beach, hikes in the woods, and bonfires at night on Little Neck. Yes, we were the “hippies” of Ipswich High School and our music reflected that. However, we liked to think of ourselves as the only ones with any real taste in music. We went to as many shows (yes, concerts are actually called shows) as possible and would get up early on Saturday mornings just to stand in line to buy tickets. When I hear one of the songs on my Sweet Sixteen I think of the people and places that I still love the most: Ipswich and my friends that I am still close with.

Mrs. Bernard’s- Sweet Sixteen

1. Led Zeppelin- “D’yer Maker”

2. Strangefolk- “Valhulla”

3. Dave Matthews Band- “Ants Marching”

4. G. Love and Special Sauce- “Cold Beverage”

5. A Tribe Called Quest- “We Can Get Down”

6. 311- “Don’t Stay Home”

7. Phish- “Bouncing Around the Room”

8. Pearl Jam- “Go”

9. Allman Brothers Band- “Ramblin’ Man”

10. Bob Dylan- “Hurricane”

11. Jamiroquai- “Virtual Insanity”

12. Them (with Van Morrison)- “Baby Please Don’t Go”

13. Pink Floyd- “Wish You Were Here”

14. Led Zeppelin- “Over the Hills and Far Away”

15. Bob Marley-” No Woman No Cry”

16. Dave Matthews Band- “Two Step”


TDP News: Nirvana is in the Hall of Fame

Nirvana-kurt-cobain-1285569-1024-768Twenty years after the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, the band was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Last night’s induction ceremony at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY celebrated the talent of rock-n-roll greats the likes of Kiss, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Peter Gabriel, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), Hall and Oates, and Linda Ronstandt, but one of the most noteworthy inductions of the night was definitely that of the grunge rock pioneers Nirvana. This beloved band who have meant so much to so many people were, as R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe put it, “a voice for the disaffected.” Their music continues to  influence and inspire listeners, and their spot in the Hall of Fame is certainly well-deserved.

The surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, took the stage at the ceremony to perform some of the band’s songs with a variety of singers standing in for Kurt Cobain, including: Joan Jett on the angsty anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Kim Gordon on “Anuerysm,” Annie Clark of St. Vincent on “Lithium” and Lorde on “All Apologies.” Once the ceremony concluded, the band moved on to Saint Vitus, a small Greenpoint metal club, to play a secret show. There, they were accompanied again by Jett, Gordon and Clark; and also joined by Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and Deer Tick’s John McCauley. The 230 member audience had the great fortune of seeing some of rock-n-roll’s greatest alternative talents come together to celebrate perhaps the most influential band of the 1990’s.

Nirvana with Joan Jett at Saint Vitus, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Nirvana with St. Vincent at Saint Vitus, “Heart Shaped Box”



TDP Review: Spirit Kid ‘Is Happening’

avatars-000063119425-lyv08j-t500x500Boston-based indie power pop band Spirit Kid recently released a second album, Is Happening, and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time. With this long New England winter finally coming to a close, the beachy, dreamy sounds of Is Happening remind listeners that summer is around the corner; and the promise of summer, encapsulated in this record, makes everything better.

The band is really a project of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emeen Zarookian who is backed on stage by various members of other Boston outfits, including Bent Shapes and Babydriver. In the studio, however, Zarookian IS Spirit Kid.

Heavily influenced by ’60s British bands and psychedelic sounds, Is Happening captures a certain energetic and soulful nostalgia. The opening song, “Everything is Old,” bears an instrumental resemblance to the Stones’ “Get Off of My Cloud” and echoes The Animals’ “I’m Crying.” The sound may be familiar, but that doesn’t mean the song – or the album, for that matter – lacks originality. Zarookian, clearly a skilled musician and impressive talent, combines the familiar with the new, making the album contemporary and relevant.

Is Happening shifts between moments of high energy on songs like “Slow it Down” and “Making Excuses,” to mellower songs, like “Is This Heaven.” The majority of the album, however, falls somewhere in between, which seems to be the best place for Zarookian. Although Is Happening is consistently strong, there are a few standouts. “Playing Cupid,” which Spirit Kid released in time for Valentine’s Day, is much more bluesy 50’s crooner than hazy 60’s psychedelic. The great mix of sounds – from swelling to discordant to jazzy – works well paired with Zarookian’s sharp voice. Another striking song on the album is the closing track, “You Know She Would,” which also highlights Zarookian’s vocal talent and his ability to move fluidly from one style and sound to another. There is a bit of intentional jarring in this one, but it works. The whole album works.

As the weather is shifting and the sun is shining, Spirit Kid is happening. Tune in.

TDP Sweet Sixteen: Ms. McAuliffe

Ms. McAuliffe, described by some of her freshman students as “smart,” “fun-loving,” and “laid-back,” is a math teacher at Burlington High School. Here is what she has to say about what she was listening to at sixteen. 

imagesAs I started this I realized that my sixteen-year-old self was not all that different than my…. not-16-year-old current self  – all over the map.  In high school, I bounced around a lot.  I had a lot of friends in all the different social groups, and I got along well with everyone, but never had a best friend or a perfect clique that I fell into. I think I liked it that way.  My closest girlfriends were those I played soccer with.  “Let Me Clear My Throat Now” was on our warm-up TAPE  year after year.  It reminds me of fall afternoons and summer double-sessions.  When I switched into hockey season, where I played on the boys team, I had no choice but to listen to Nirvana, RATM, and endless Metallica.  Intense.  Those bands make me think of before-school practices, pasta parties, and completely inappropriate hockey movies.

I had one goth friend (I’ll shamefully admit that our friendship outlasted our common interests because her family had the INTERNET and we could spend time on chatrooms… so cool).  No Doubt was what she would play that I could tolerate (with NIN and Marilyn Manson being the other options).

My first two concerts were Phish and then Shania Twain.  Go figure.  Shania was my gateway into loving country music.

3EB makes me think of my friends who got into things that I didn’t want to get into.

Friends and Dawson’s Creek theme songs… couldn’t leave those out.


Each of these songs brings an exact person or group into my memory.  I like not fitting into one category of music.  Being open-minded in music, and life, has exposed me to songs/bands/people that I probably wouldn’t have expected myself to like.  It’s helped me as a teacher because sometimes I think I can see parts of these songs… whether it’s the emotion or the lyrics or the scene… in particular students.  I think this helps me relate to them in ways I wouldn’t have anticipated.




TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Mrs. Rose

Mrs. Rose is a valued member of the BHS English department revered by her students for her “ability to teach difficult material by making it relevant and cool to talk about.” She is described as “challenging,” “interesting,” and “sweet.” She is also respected for her “sick sense of style” and “great laugh.” This is what she has to say about what she was listening to when she was sixteen.

Bradley-Nowell-300x226Oh the memories this project elicited! I spent a lot of time listening to music, like most people do when they are 16. I started to explore my musical tastes a bit more at this age, which is pretty well represented by this list. Most pop music was uninspiring and Nirvana had introduced a whole new world of music to the pop world in the early 90s. I loved all of the long hair, flannel wearing bands, but Nirvana and Pearl Jam have special places in my heart. To this day Pearl Jam’s Ten is one of my all-time favorite albums. From there I became obsessed with alternative music – indie rock and punk particularly. Not only was I listening to more and more music, I started to go to more and more shows my junior and senior years of high school. As I look at this list I realize all of these songs are still in my music rotation, because my tastes have not really changed that much, matured maybe, but not changed. This is what I was listening to when I was 16.

1 Hole – “Violet”
2 Mazzy Star – “Fade into You”
3 Pearl Jam – “Alive”
4 Face to Face – “Disconnected”
5 Green Day – “J.A.R.”
6 Big Head Todd and the Monsters – “Broken Hearted Savior”
7.The Pharcyde – “Passin’ Me By”
8. Lagwagon – “Violins”
9. Tori Amos – “Little Earthquakes”
10. Nirvana – “Drain You”
11. Radiohead – “Just”
12. Oasis – “Don’t Look Back in Anger”
13. Fugees – “Killing Me Softly”
14. Sublime – “Badfish”
15. Nine Inch Nails – “The Perfect Drug”
16. A Tribe Called Quest – “Electric Relaxation”

TDP Recommends: Mavis Staples- “I Like The Things About Me”

In this groovy and moody song from her latest album One True Vine, Mavis Staples, a legendary American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, embraces her individuality.  Described as vocally-warm by critics and fans, since her beginnings as singer, Staples’s purpose for performing came from her passion for civil rights.  At only fifteen years old, she vocally lead the gospel band, the Staple Singers, often being mistaken for either a man or a grown woman because of the aforementioned warmth and lowness of her voice.  While the majority of her songs contain a religious message, “I Like The Things About Me” applies to all people who have struggled with their self-image.  The song focuses on the positive influence of the singer’s age onto her perception of herself.  The subtle saxophone complements Staples’s low and slow voice to emphasize the maturity within the lyrics, while the electric guitar adds a modern twist onto the classic genre of rhythm and blues.  Mavis Staples’s “I Like The Things About Me” is an overall success through its simple and relatable lyrics as well as its strong potential in empowering the listener.  Dig it, Devils!

TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Mr. Carr

Mr. Carr, a BHS history teacher, is described by his students and colleagues as “passionate,” “highly motivating,” “memorable,” and “wicked smart.” He is also known throughout BHS as a “die hard” track coach “who is there to champion you when you win and to pick you up when you don’t.” Here is what he has to say about what he was listening to when he was sixteen. 

I actually got my first CD player and CD (Led Zeppelin IV) for my 16th birthday. I listen almost exclusively to 60s and 70s classic rock, since music effectively died for me when John Bonham died in 1980 and Led Zeppelin disbanded. My mom claims I was conceived at Woodstock (the time matches up perfectly). But my dad takes pains to remind her that he wasn’t there. In any case, though not part of the Woodstock generation, it is my music. Although I did go through my obligatory heavy metal stage in the 80s (Iron Maiden) and then right before heading over to Germany for the one-month-long German exchange program we had at BHS at the time, a bunch of us got hooked on Falco and even got to see him in concert at the Munich Olympic Stadium. Falco I only have on cassette and don’t listen to anymore. All of the others are part of my 600+ CD collection that I still listen to. I heard there is music online now apparently?

Mr. Carr’s Sweet Sixteen:
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced (1967)
Moby Grape – 8:05 (1967)
The Doors – Tell All the People (1969)
Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well (1969)
Jethro Tull – Reasons for Waiting (1969)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Ohio (1970)
Grateful Dead – Ripple (1970)
Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee (1971)
Led Zeppelin – Going to California (1971)
Roy Harper – One Man Rock and Roll Band (1971)
The Who – Behind Blue Eyes (1971)
Bob Marley and the Wailers – I Shot the Sheriff (1973)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Rush – Tom Sawyer (1981)
Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills (1982)
Falco – Rock Me Amadeus (1985)
NOTE: The following song from Mr. Carr’s list is not included in the Spotify library, so we’ve provided a YouTube clip below.
Roy Harper: “One Man Rock and Roll Band”

TDP Recommends: ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’ by Nick Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse has soul. Although he got his start in the garage rock scene of Orange County, his time as an R&B DJ prompted a move to the South and the recording of his debut album, Time’s All Gone.  The album is strong from start to finish – full of swirling soul, smooth and howling vocals, frenzied rhythms, and high energy. Waterhouse, The Los Angeles guitarist and crooner, brought his Motown sound to the Brighton Music Hall last night to promote his upcoming album, Holly, which is due out on March 4th. Holly promises to be another stellar mix of throwbacks to the time in American music that brought us Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Etta James. This track, “I Can Only Give You Everything” is a mix of surf rock, soul, and sixties girl group, with a hint of doo wop swagger. It will tide you over until the release of his second album. Dig it, Devils!

TDP Sweet Sixteen: Mrs. Lapsley

Mrs. Lapsley is a math teacher at BHS, and an assistant coach for our champion girls’ track team. Her students describe her as “just straight awesome.” This is what she was listening to when she was sixteen.

dave-matthews-band-cricket-wireless-amphitheatre1.  Dave Matthews Band – Before These Crowded Streets, Favorite Song: “Pig”

I was listening to Crash for a good two years of my life nonstop, so I would say that this album was the most highly anticipated album of my entire life and it lived up to most of its expectations.  “Pig” was my favorite song because I saw a special on the making of  the album and Dave’s favorite lyric on the album was in “Pig.”  (“Here are we on this starry night staring into space and I must say I feel as small as dust lying down here”).  I was obsessed with the Dave Matthews Band from the age of 14 to the age of 24.  I wanted to name my first child Dave. I had hundreds of magazine and newspaper clippings of the band hung all over my bedroom wall. I had a videotape with Dave Matthews-only footage recorded off TV.  My first concert was a DMB concert when I was 16.  Now, as a reformed DMB fan, I will still go to their concerts and be blown away.  I will say that they put on one of the greatest live shows ever.

2.  Pearl Jam – “Release”

I would literally get in my car and drive on the highway and belt out this song.  In ‘98, it was so hard to get Pearl Jam tickets. All I wanted was to see Pearl Jam live, but that didn’t happen for another six years.  I was listening to Ten, Vs., Vitolgy, and No Code a lot.  They still hold up as some of the greatest albums ever created.

3.  Barenaked Ladies – Rock Spectacle – Favorite Song: “When I Fall”

I’m pretty sure there was a time in ‘98 that I saw BNL like four times in three months.  They were always playing these free concerts at City Hall and The Hatchshell in Boston.  They came close to becoming my favorite band over DMB.  Close.  Now I can’t stand them, but this album still holds up.

Unknown4.  Radiohead – “High and Dry”

I was still listening to The Bends even though OK Computer had come out.  I still kind of think OK Computer is overrated.  Radiohead has had the greatest evolution than any of my other favorite bands from when I was sixteen.

5.  Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn”

One hit wonder! I got Natalie’s CD for my sweet sixteen party.  The CD is actually pretty good.

6.  NSYNC – “Tearin’ up My Heart”

I was definitely an NSYNC person over a Backstreet Boys person.  I liked JC Chasez.  I didn’t see what people saw in Justin Timberlake.  I get it now.  I saw them in concert a couple of years after this song came out and they blew me away.  I’m a sucker for choreographed dancing.

7.  Backstreet Boys – “I Want It That Way”

If you weren’t obsessed with this song at some point in ‘98, you didn’t have a pulse.  I remember driving with my mom in our blue Dodge van and listening to this song for the very first time.  I still believe it is one of the most popular pop songs ever.

Unknown8.  Brandy – “Top of the World” (feat. Mase)

I loved this song and Mase was huge at the time.

9.  Janet Jackson – “Escapade”

I loved Janet more than Michael.  This song was a little vintage at the time.

10.  Puff Daddy (featuring Faith Evans)- “I’ll Be Missing You”

Biggie died the year before and I was still obsessed with this song.

11.  Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight, Tonight”

I was still listening to a lot of songs released in the early and mid 90s when I was 16.  It was the best time for alternative music.

12.  Spice Girls – “Spice Up Your Life”

It was past the Spice Girls prime, but I wasn’t ready to give them up yet.  Loved this song and loved girl power.  I will still request this song at the occasional wedding.

13.  The Lion King Soundtrack – Favorite Song: “Circle of Life” by Elton John

Again, I was still listening to a lot of music that was released earlier in the 90s.  This soundtrack influenced my liking of instrumental music from soundtracks like Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, The Social Network, and Drive.

1Aerosmith94.  Aerosmith – “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

Another big hit from 1998. One of the best ballads of all time.

15.  K-Ci & JoJo – “All My Life”

I loved me a good R&B song.

16.  Usher – “Nice and Slow”

I went through a little R&B phase, but this was a hit in 1998.