One the cool things about music is how you meet people. I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of stories about how I’ve met people because of this wonderful thing called music. There are some I met over 15 years ago that are still in my life, there are ones I met 3 years ago that I can’t imagine my life without. One of my favorite stories is about the singer of the local pop punk band Causeways.

A few years ago, I was getting ready to interview Broadside and this woman asked if she could sit in on it, I of course said yes, I mean why not. Afterwards she took some pictures of the band and myself. First forward about a year later I’m at a show and this woman comes up to me and was like, “I have a picture of you on my Instagram”, I of course was like ooooook. And she informed me who she was. She was the Broadside girl.

A few weeks after our second encounter to my surprise I find out she is in a band. Over the next few months they play a few shows and it is always on a night there is another show going on, that’s Columbus for you. It was not until Halloween of 2017 that I finally caught Mia and her band Causeways, be it was a cover set but I was impressed, and I am looking forward to finally seeing them play and you should be as well.

The Gaslight Anthem – Señor and the Queen

I love them for their lyrics, sound, and Brian Fallon’s voice. I adore all of their albums, but I chose this EP because it has my two of my ultimate favorite songs ever, Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts (“I’ll love you forever if I ever love at all, wild hearts, blue jeans and white t-shirts”) and Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis (“I wash my hands like the man with the blood on his teeth, over and over without relief”). All four songs are bangers and each of their albums is very special to me in many ways.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits

Listening to this album always makes me think of my mom, who introduced me to Tom. We always played this in the car. It is essential road trip music. I picture fields, blue sky, my arms out the window, the great wide open. Driving and getting away are a common theme in my lyrics/poetry, I’m sure this album has something to do with it.

Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine

Fiona has been a favorite forever. It was hard to narrow it to this album, but I love how the fans made this one happen and how she came back after years and you could see her growth. Other than the title track (I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine”) she writes about relationships for the most part, which I find myself usually doing. She’s a favorite during break-ups and hard relationships. I write mostly when I’m sad and find a lot of similar themes as her music, unsurprisingly.

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

I always wished I had been in a band before Conor Oberst, so I could’ve claimed the name “Bright Eyes”. He has always inspired me with his amazing lyrics. I used to print them out, read them and keep them in my lyrics binder haha. They’re beautiful (listen to First Day of My Life), poetic and thought provoking. The super sad one is my favorite – Land Locked Blues.

No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom

Always a classic for me, I remember the first time I heard Spiderwebs and Just A Girl, then becoming obsessed with their videos. Gwen was very influential and empowering for me. I admire her unique style, cool personality and fantastic stage presence. I didn’t have room to mention Paramore, but their albums and magnetic performances always inspire me, as well. I couldn’t make this list without mentioning them! Sorry for cheating and adding them in here at the end!

Can I do honorable mentions? Man, I’m the worst. Authority Zero – A Passage In Time, The Cure – Greatest Hits, Transit – Joyride, Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue. Thanks, Tuned Up and Ray – you da man!