Soundtrack for Rough Patches or Redheads Walking

I really love the poet Lang Leav. Please read the poem to the left (or wherever it is on this page if you’re on your mobile device). Her words are haunting and cut deep.  This poem is honestly all that needs to be said about a soundtrack for rough patches. I can’t add to that or say it any better, but there’s something I stumbled on about a month ago that I thought I’d share.

Obsession is a strong word, but I’m a little obsessed with podcasts. Mostly true crime, but also one I heard about called The Hilarious World of Depression. I know, it sounds like my autobiography title. Anyway, the podcast’s host interviews funny people who have depression. It’s fantastic. It’s refreshing. In between the first and second season (that just started with Wil Wheaton as the first guest) there were “placebo” episodes. Two of these episodes were listener’s favorite songs for coping or just songs that help.

I’ve used music as medication since high school. Psychedelic Furs, 10,000 Maniacs, R.E.M., Pet Shop Boys, The Cure, and The Lemonheads. Those were my top six. Six because a top five would be pedestrian.  Those were my go-tos.

A couple of the bands have changed. I wouldn’t say replaced. Singers and bands don’t come and go in my life, they are added to the playlists and the soundtracks of my life. Everyone has them. You have them. Whether you recognize it or not. What are the songs you turn up? What are the songs you repeat three times on a nine minute drive because you just need it? I have those. I’ve had a playlist on my ipod for years called “Angry Day.” It’s appropriately titled. That’s not the current soundtrack. Sometimes I think “if John Hughes were here he’d know exactly what angst-ridden song to drop in right at this moment. It would be The Smiths or PFurs. Or New Order.

Lately I’ve had several on repeat. Just because. I haven’t titled this soundtrack yet. It’s a hard one. “Rough Patch” doesn’t fit.*

*I’m calling it the “Redhead Walking” soundtrack because no matter what, it will be ok. And this redhead will be walking.

Here are the songs, some of the videos, not all because we’d be here all afternoon. Guess what? A few are by Ben Folds. “A little predictable, KBF?” No, not really. Not if you’ve been paying attention and not if you’re not all that familiar.


“Learn to Live With What You Are” Ben Folds

“Somewhere Only We Know” Lily Allen

“Song for Zula” Phosphorescent

“Your Ex-Lover is Dead” Stars

“Redhead Walking” R.E.M. (0k, one super angry song, but it’s one of my theme songs)

“So There” Ben Folds

“Break Your Heart” Natalie Merchant

“Positively Lost Me” The Rave-Ups

“Keep Breathing” Ingrid Michaelson (if you don’t know Ingrid, what are you waiting for? Her music has helped me as much as Ben Folds and Counting Crows)

“Four Days” Counting Crows

“Selfless, Cold and Composed” Ben Folds (I requested this at the Paper Airplane Tour – he played it)

“Bruised” The Bens (I requested this and he played it as well – even if it wasn’t my paper airplane, still and it’s one of the songs)

“Murder of One” Counting Crows (man, this has been with me for twenty years)

“Somebody That I Used to Know” Elliott Smith

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” The Lemonheads

“Find the River” R.E.M. A good one to end the soundtrack for my past couple of months.

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