Veruca Salt: The Concert I Didn’t Even Know I Needed



The GF is a huge Veruca Salt fan. Eight Arms to Hold You “got [her] through high school.” So she was super-excited when she heard that not only has Veruca Salt’s original line-up gotten back together, but they have released a new album (the awesome Ghost Notes – my current fave: “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl”) and were going to be playing in LA!

On my birthday. 🙂

The GF was torn – she wanted to go to the show, but she was also prepared to defer to what I wanted to do on my birthday, and if that didn’t include Veruca Salt, then so be it. So, of course, I said we should go to Veruca Salt on my birthday. I wasn’t about to deprive my boo the chance to finally see one of her favorite bands in concert. Meanwhile, I love live music, no matter what it is – and they’re the band that does “Seether” right? I remember that song. Oh, and that other one that goes like…you know the one. It’s about Spider-Man? 🙂 I wasn’t a huge Veruca Salt fan, but they were a female-fronted band from the 1990s, and I thought it’d be cool to see them live and see how their stuff holds up almost 20 years later.

We got the tickets a couple of months ago, and as I was brushing up on my Veruca Salt catalog, I realized two things:

1) Veruca Salt is awesome! Why haven’t I been listening to them all this time? and

2) I was so painfully mainstream as a kid.

I grew up during grunge. During Riot Grrrl. During a really great time in indie rock. But you’d never know it from what I listened to. I was a Top 40 girl through and through. I mean, I listened to those grunge/punk/rock songs that managed to make it onto the radio, like Nirvana, or VS’s “Seether.” The most “alternative” thing I listened to was Fiona Apple – but that was also at a time when Lilith Fair artists were popular, and songwriters like Fiona Apple were mainstream. I’ve never been the kind of person who was a geek about music. I’ve never been the kind of person to seek out my own stuff. I listened to the radio and relied on recommendations from people I know. I absorbed music when I was a kid, I didn’t seek it out. It was through literature and film that I expressed my tastes, not music. And so a lot of great stuff passed me by.

Talk In Tongues - El Rey Theatre 7/11/15

Talk In Tongues – El Rey Theatre 7/11/15

However, as fate would have it, whereas most people get more conservative as they get older, I’ve gotten more liberal – and in some ways, more radical (thought I’m still a moderate most of the time). And I’ve started to appreciate the music from my youth that was a little more alternative and rebellious. Don’t get me wrong – I am UNASHAMED of having listened to The Spice Girls and TLC. But that’s the great thing about music – or any art, really. It’s always there for you when you need it, even if you need it almost 20 years later.

The concert had a great first opening band in Talk In Tongues. I dug their sound from the moment they got out on stage. And then, I fell absolutely in LOVE with The Muffs, who were the most punk band I’ve ever seen.


The Muffs – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

It was once The Muffs got on stage that I realized why this concert was so important to me. When I say that The Muffs were “the most punk band I’ve ever seen,” I mean that bassist, Robbie Barnett looks like Bill Nye, but plays like Dee Dee Ramone. I mean that lead singer and guitarist, Kim Shattuck uttered the phrase “I’m a grandma, but I don’t give a fuck” before launching into her next song where she proceeded to scream like a banshee. That is punk. A young person being all “down with the establishment” and “I’m a non-conformist” ain’t no thing. That’s kinda part of the job description. But if you can carry that attitude with you through the rest of your life. Holy crap, that’s amazing. That’s what I aspire to!

Veruca Salt - El Rey Theatre - 7/11/15

Veruca Salt – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

The awesomeness continued as Veruca Salt took the stage. Having never seen them play live before, I was totally transfixed by them. Everyone’s musicianship was on point, the vocals were amazing, and the energy – oh, the energy. I felt older than they are as I started whinging about having to stand for so long. Meanwhile, their energy never flagged. They brought the same in-your-face, feminist rebelliousness of their youth, but also brought all the wisdom they’ve acquired in the subsequent seventeen years of breaking up and getting back together. It was inspiring.

I needed this show right now. I needed to see women older than I am rocking the fuck out. It inspired me and reminded me that it’s more than OK to not “settle into” getting older, but rather, come into it kicking, screaming, and screeching. Happy fucking birthday to me!

36th Birthday Playlists!

veruca salt

So, The GF is taking me to see Veruca Salt tonight at the El Rey for my birthday, and I’m very much looking forward to it! I don’t see nearly enough live music anymore, and their new album, Ghost Notes, is really good.

But this got me thinking about the music I grew up listening to, and I decided to put together a playlist of the #1 songs for every year I’ve been alive. Because it’s my birthday, and I. LOVE. LISTS.

So, join me in a trip down memory lane while listening to the soundtrack of my life. Here’s my Birthday Playlist on Spotify!

1979 – “My Sharona” – The Knack
1980 – “Call Me” – Blondie
1981 – “Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
1982 – “Physical” – Olivia Newton-John
1983 – “Every Breath You Take” – The Police
1984 – “When Doves Cry” – Prince (Dammit! Prince isn’t on Spotify!)
1985 – “Careless Whisper” – George Michael
1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” – Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder
1987 – “Walk Like an Egyptian” – The Bangles
1988 – “Faith” – George Michael
1989 – “Look Away” – Chicago
1990 – “Hold On” – Wilson Phillips
1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” – Bryan Adams
1992 – “End of the Road” – Boyz II Men
1993 – “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
1994 – “The Sign” – Ace of Base
1995 – “Gangsta’s Paradise” – Coolio
1996 – “Macarena” – Los del Rio (Bayside Boys Remix)
1997 – “Candle In the Wind (1997)/Something About the Way You Look Tonight” – Elton John
1998 – “Too Close” – Next
1999 – “Believe” – Cher
2000 – “Breathe” – Faith Hill
2001 – “Hanging By a Moment” – Lifehouse
2002 – “How You Remind Me” – Nickelback
2003 – “In da Club” – 50 Cent
2004 – “Yeah!” – Usher ft. Ludacris, Lil Jon
2005 – “We Belong Together” – Mariah Carey
2006 – “Bad Day” – Daniel Powter
2007 – “Irreplaceable” – Beyonce
2008 – “Low” – Flo Rida ft. T-Pain
2009 – “Boom Boom Pow” – Black-Eyed Peas
2010 – “TiK ToK” – Ke$ha
2011 – “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele
2012 – “Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye ft. Kimbra
2013 – “Thrift Shop” – Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis
2014 – “Happy” – Pharrell

After putting that together, I realized that if I were to create a Birthday Playlist listing the songs that were Number 1 on my actual birthday every year I’ve been alive, it’d be a very different list. So, of course I had to figure out what that’d look like. Here’s my “Still Alive” Birthday Playlist on Spotify – chock full of summertime jams!

1979 – “Love You Inside Out” – Bee Gees
1980 – “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” – Paul McCartney & Wings
1981 – “Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
1982 – “Don’t You Want Me” – The Human League
1983 – “Flashdance…What A Feeling” – Irene Cara
1984 – “When Doves Cry” – Prince (Dammit! Prince isn’t on Spotify!)
1985 – “Sussudio” – Phil Collins
1986 – “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” – Billy Ocean
1987 – “Alone” – Heart
1988 – “The Flame” – Cheap Trick
1989 – “Good Thing” – Fine Young Cannibals
1990 – “Step By Step” – New Kids on the Block
1991 – “Rush Rush” – Paula Abdul
1992 – “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-a-Lot
1993 – “Weak” – SWV
1994 – “I Swear” – All-4-One
1995 – “Waterfalls” – TLC
1996 – “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You” – Puff Daddy ft. 112/Faith Evans
1998 – “The Boy Is Mine” – Brandy/Monica
1999 – “If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez
2000 – “Be With You” – Enrique Iglesias
2001 – “U Remind Me” – Usher
2002 – “Hot In Herre” – Nelly
2003 – “This Is The Night” – Clay Aiken
2004 – “Burn” – Usher
2005 – “We Belong Together” – Mariah Carey
2006 – “Promiscuous” – Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland
2007 – “Umbrella” – Rhianna ft. Jay-Z
2008 – “I Kissed A Girl” – Katy Perry
2009 – “I Gotta Feeling” – Black-Eyed Peas
2010 – “California Gurls” – Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg
2011 – “Give Me Everything” – Pitbull Ft Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
2012 – “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
2013 – “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke Ft T.I. + Pharrell
2014 – “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea Ft Charli XCX
2015 – “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa Ft Charlie Puth

This was fun! 🙂 If you wanna figure out the soundtrack of your life, the Billboard website is super-helpful. And to bring things full circle, I’ll leave you with Veruca Salt – the band I’m seeing play tonight – doing a cover of the Number 1 song the year I was born, “My Sharona” by The Kinks. Enjoy!

HOTPIXEL POST: Tom Grey Takes Player Piano to the Next Level

I’m on a roll over at HotPixel! 🙂 Or, rather, we at HotPixel want to make sure to support the efforts of a member of the extended HotPixel family. Here’s a post up at the HotPixel blog about Tom Grey and Sonya Belousova’s Player Piano, and their current plans and IndieGoGo campaign!


For those who missed it, Player Piano is a series where classically-trained pianist, Sonya Belousova, plays covers of everything from film/TV/video game scores to pop/rock, hip-hop, metal, and classical pieces. Grey directs and produces captivating videos to accompany her playing, and so far, the results have been stunning….

[…] Player Piano already produces great videos, but Grey and Belousova are looking not only to take the show to the next level, but to create something that is sustainable for years to come. We at HotPixel really want to see that happen, so we’re reaching out to our community – because we want to see quality content flourish on the internet.

For the full post, some cool videos, a link to the IndieGoGo campaign, or to leave a comment of support for the Player Piano team, CLICK HERE.

NEW AT BEACON: “All About That Bass: White Girls and Booty”

This week’s Pop Goes Teresa column over at Beacon actually talks about pop music. Or rather, one particular pop song that my pals Maighread, Jason, and Alison turned me onto.

I discuss Meghan Trainor’s debut single, All About That Bass and how, while it’s a great song, it throws women – particularly skinny women and Women of Color – under the bus.

But it’s still so damn catchy!


But even just looking at the photos above – Miley Cyrus during a performance of We Can’t Stop; Lily Allen in her video for Hard Out Here; and now Meghan Trainor’s video for All About That Bass – you can see that even in videos created by white women trying to make a positive statement, black women are being used. Sure there are other white women in the videos, too, but they’re not the ones being grabbed. They’re not the ones being used as visual aids. They aren’t asked to be props in addition to being performers. 

And yes, in the case of someone like Lily Allen, she’s doing something like this to speak out about how wrong it is that this gets done. I get it. But you know that by doing stuff like this, you’re just making it happen more, right? And it’s hard for me to respect a message coming from the Mileys and Lilys and Meghans of the world when they aren’t even willing to bear skin and get grabbed in the same way in their own videos, staying above the demeaning treatment while attempting to comment on it.

Actually, scratch that – of the three examples above, Miley Cyrus is the most balanced! In the We Can’t Stop video, she does grab black women’s asses, but they also slap her ass. What’s more, she grabs other white women and lets them grab her. And also, there are scantily-clad people on both ends of the gender spectrum. Really, she just wants people to live, love, and say who and what they want to. Point: Miley Cyrus. (At least on the video. That live performance was another story…)

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! For only $5/month, you’ll be able to access Pop Goes Teresa, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! 🙂

SONG OF THE DAY: “Rebel, Rebel” – David Bowie

Song: “Rebel Rebel”

Performed by: David Bowie

Album: Diamond Dogs (1974)

Sorry for posting so late today! I wasn’t feeling well in the morning, and then the day job took up the rest of the day. BUT, I DID do my Couch to 5K running and workout in the morning, so…YEAH! Day well spent!

Anyway, today’s Song of the Day – the last song that was playing on my iPod as I completed my jog – is “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie.




SONG OF THE DAY: “Same Love” – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert

Song: “Same Love”

Performed by: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert

Album: The Heist (2012)

Last week, I started the Couch-to-5K program for the second time. The first time was months ago – I got to Week 5, then stopped. Boo.

It’s a 9-week program, and this time, I plan on going all the way! Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are my running days, and I plan on doing each week of the program twice, to get comfortable with each one before moving on to the next.

So, I thought that on those days, my Song of the Day would be the last song playing on my iPod as I finished my running. Just to mark the fact that I finished that day’s running. Also, so you can get to know the kind of thing that’s in my iPod. Also, because this is the kind of thing I do. 🙂

Today’s Song of the Day is “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Enjoy!


Because Boys Deserve Love Songs, Two. A PLAYLIST.

Yesterday was The Boy and my first anniversary! Yay us! We celebrated by recreating our first date, and it was a wonderful evening.

Me and The Boy. I can't even take how cute we are. :)

Me and The Boy. I can’t even take how cute we are. 🙂

And it got me thinking about how amazing he is, which got me thinking about my Valentine’s Day post “Because Boys Deserve Love Songs, Too,” which continues to be one of my most popular posts to date! So I thought that, in honor of my amazing partner in crime, I would do a sequel to that post appropriately titled: Because Boys Deserve Love Songs, Two.

The first song, however, is just a duet that reminds me of my relationship with The Boy. 🙂 


The Moldy Peaches – ANYONE ELSE BUT YOU

“We both have shiny, happy fits of rage. You want more fans, I want more stage. I don’t see what anyone can see in anyone else but you.” Yup. Pretty much. 🙂

And now for the guy-focused love songs you’re here for! And remember that my criteria for this is to pick songs that praise men for being awesome partners without talking about what they’re not or what they don’t have. And, as always, if you have suggestions for songs that fit the bill, leave them in the comments below! Here we go…


Because our male love interests sometimes need to be reassured that they’re pretty. 🙂

Liz Phair – ROCK ME

Speaking as a woman dating a younger man…young guys DO rule! 🙂 Thank you, Liz Phair, for capturing this truth.

Paula Cole – FEELIN’ LOVE

Because that special guy should know just how much he’s turning you on. Um…this song is hot. 🙂


Another 1990’s track about a special guy turning the narrator on. Hell yeah! Women have sex drives! And good men pay attention to those. 🙂


I love, love, love the way that this song captures that moment when you know you want someone to kiss/touch you. 🙂 


Men are more than sex objects, you guys! 🙂 They’re actually people. With feelings. In all seriousness, men that know how to give you their time, who share their vulnerability with you, who know you better than you know yourself, who keep you excited, and treat you well are priceless, and should be told when they’re getting it right!

Taylor Swift – MINE

I love the story that Swift tells in this song, talking about love going through good times and bad times and how problems don’t send this guy running. 

Julie Delpy – A WALTZ FOR A NIGHT 

I just love the bravery of this moment in the film, Before Sunrise. Singing a song like this to the the guy who inspired it ten years after the fact? 🙂 Awesomeness. 

Salt N’ Pepa, featuring En Vogue – WHATTA MAN

The best song ever about a guy being The Whole Package. 🙂

Rachael Yamagata – 1963

Such a sweet, carefree, ebullient love song!  

Miley Cyrus – SEE YOU AGAIN

Here’s a throwback to the days of Hannah Montana, and it’s the only Miley Cyrus song I ever liked from that era of her career. I love how it captures the nervousness about being around your crush. It’s unlike anything else. 

Well, that’s it for this installment of Because Boys Deserve Love Songs! (I didn’t even realize this would be a thing until today.) If you have a special man in your life who does all the right things, tell him so! Hell, no matter how you identify or who you’re dating/married to/sleeping with, good relationship behavior should be rewarded and celebrated!

And to The Boy, I say: Happy First Day of Our Second Year Together. I love you.