Sloppy Jane’s “Impactful Songs”
“This is a playlist of songs or records that have dramatically shifted my perspective upon discovery.” — Haley Dahl (Sloppy Jane)
Marilyn Manson, “Tourniquet”
I discovered Marilyn Manson while staying at my grandma’s house in New York one summer. I remember I was crying because some middle school “friends” were all hanging out without me and were being super mean and ignoring me and I felt tormented and alienated. I was in a Youtube-hole and eventually ran into the “Tourniquet” music video. I watched in awe and the next day, I dyed my hair black.
Hole, “Miss World”
I found Hole actually through watching videos of Marilyn Manson tours—they did a short run together in 1999 and ended it early because they couldn’t stand each other. I looked up Hole for context on this scandal, and there’s a part in the “Miss World” video, where they are on stage and the guitar comes in for the chorus and Courtney Love flips her hair back and the light hits her face and she squints and begins to sing this beautiful song with her damaged voice. I’d always wanted to make music and I’d always wanted to make something beautiful, but I’ve always had a nasty voice and a sort of harsh demeanor by default, so I felt that I couldn’t. Watching Courtney Love skip rope with the line between beautiful and wretched taught me that I could actually make something of value.
Frank Zappa, “Baby Snakes”
Frank Zappa was pretty present in my entire upbringing because my dad is a big fan, but I didn’t really pay attention to a lot of the stuff my parents showed me until I discovered it on my own. In early high school, I fell in love with a boy named Max, who was my first boyfriend and is still one of my dearest friends. When we first became friends, he gave me a burned CD of Baby Snakes and I listened to it over and over again. Zappa is an artist who proved over and over again that huge ideas can be pulled off seamlessly, if you work and work and work. He’s my favorite guy.
Dungeon Ballet, “5000 Fingers of Dr. T Soundtrack”
The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T is Dr. Seuss’ one and only live action film, and is my favorite piece of art ever made. I watched it every weekend as a little kid and it found me again in high school through another high school boyfriend, who was also a fan of it (fun fact: almost everyone I’ve ever loved was coincidentally also raised on this film that almost no one has seen). A lot of times, the things you watch as a child sort of fade in their magnificence when you get old enough to see the seams. This movie and its’ soundtrack are an exception to that. It’s more impressive every time I watch it and it fills my heart up and inspires me to keep trying harder every time I visit it.
Roy Orbison, “In Dreams”
This song has played a nauseating role in my personal coming of age story.
Tom Waits, “Tango ‘Til They’re Sore”
Same as above.
Beach Boys, “Heroes and Villains” (Smiley Smile version)
Once upon a time, my best friend, Ember Knight, and I ran away to the Mojave Desert and we put on the record Smiley Smile by the Beach Boys. We decided that it was very important to us to be able to write records that were arranged in the same way, particularly vocally. We decided the way to do this was to listen to ONLY the record Smiley Smile until we had every single vocal part memorized. We listened to it for 4 months straight with no other music. I’ll never forget the day we sang through the whole record and then took the CD out of my player. I’m still not sick of it.
Kim Fowley, “Red Phantoms of Zombie Island”
My friend and mentor Kim Fowley passed away and I was living in Hollywood at the time and ran to Amoeba covered in tears so I could have something of his to listen to in my car. The only CD of his they had left was Frankenstein and the All Star Monster Band; a record he had made in the 80’s that I’d never listened to. I’ve practiced imitating all the cartoon voices on this album so much, they definitely have bled into the things I make.
Love, “The Red Telephone”
Love is a band that was passed to me through a lot of people I heavily respect. There’s something that is common in children’s music and not-so-much in grown up music where the music, down to a T, follows the syntax of the words without any real meter, but still feels extremely natural. Love is one of the few bands in my opinion that cultivates that same thing successfully, also Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys).
The Residents, “Gingerbread Man”
The Residents, to me, are another beacon of imagination that prove to me and everyone else that something very big and cool can happen.
Sloppy Jane, “King Hazy Lady”
Who would I be if I couldn’t confidently advertise my own music in a publication? This record was hugely influenced by much of the above and a whole lot more. A strip club, a sitcom, and a house of God.
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