April 22, 2013

Monday Mix: Teen Mom

Chris Kelly of D.C. band Teen Mom takes us back to the nineties. 

I've recently found out that Washington, D.C. is a pretty small place. At almost every show and every bar I go to, I end up running into someone I know either in real life or from music-related things on the Internet. I've known who Chris Kelly was since the fall of 2011 when I interviewed him for a story that I never ended up writing (still feel bad about that). I originally heard Chris' band Teen Mom after a friend showed me the demo of their infectious song "You and Me". Teen Mom is one of my favorite bands in the District and their first EP, Mean Tom, is much deserving of your ears. After about a year of emailing back and forth, I finally got a chance to meet Chris when he found me DJing in a dark corner during a show. We discussed him possibly making a Monday mix for THE LE SIGH and now a few months later, he delivered on this promise with a bevy of nineties hits.

When Chris sent me his playlist, I audibly freaked out. It features some of my favorite nineties throwbacks, which my friends and I refer to as "DITRs" (diamonds in the rough), such as Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me" and Madonna's "Like a Prayer". While still sticking to his chosen theme, Chris introduced me to a song by Sarah McLachlan that doesn't remind me of the depressing infomercials she stars in and seventies German folk artist Sibylle Baier. This mix will bring you back to the days of your youth (if you're a nineties kid like we are) while also showing you some songs that you might have overlooked when you were too busy listening to Top 40 radio. Chris shared some words below on his song choices and you can listen to the mix on 8tracks as well.

"I was eight years old in 1996, and I first heard a lot of these songs around that time in my life. The music I mostly listened to was whatever my mom would play in the car. I was her little buddy and accompanied her around a lot. We would often drive what seemed like, at least to a little kid, long distances, and I remember riding next to her, staring out the window and listening to a lot of these songs. There's a smell in the air in my head when I think about that time, and I think I'd cry if I ever saw a cracked and dust covered Surfacing CD case tossed in a pile in the garage. 

Other songs, like "Teenage Whore" and "Fuck and Run" that were recorded around the same time I just heard later on, in college and high school. I found out about Sibylle Baier in college, too, shortly after her album itself was rediscovered. So, although "Tonight" was recorded in the '70s, it felt appropriate to place it near the end. I love "Like a Prayer" and wanted to open with Madonna because she's the best. And "Dreams" seemed like a good closer for many reasons. 

You've probably heard all of these songs before., and I think that's a good thing. Maybe you also listened to them in a car nearly twenty years ago, or maybe not. Either way, enjoy!"

Check out Teen Mom's website.

Written by Emily Thompson