Wow, is this challenge hard! But here goes.

1. Acquiesce, by Oasis. My husband is a huge fan, and of course as his wife I’ve become one, too. This one is “our” song. We had it played at our wedding. We once went to London for the weekend just to see Oasis play in front of 80,000 screaming fans at Wembley. We’ve been to lots of their concerts, of course. Our son is named after one of the Gallagher brothers.

2. In My Life, by the Beatles. I didn’t really discover the Beatles until I was 17, thanks to a guy friend. I remember he and I having a conversation about this song, discussing about how we both felt we had stronger attachments to places than to people. It was quite a moment. In any case, the Beatles became such a big influence in my life. This song, off Rubber Soul, was one I listened to all summer after I graduated, the summer I spent in Taiwan. And then all through college. And now.

3. Lithium, by Nirvana. I was actually late discovering Nirvana, but I was in college, and this was my favorite anthem to listen to during those late, late nights at the college newspaper office.

4. Screamager, by Therapy? Another college anthem. I went to a women’s college, had a crush on someone back home, and the lyrics go, “I’ve got nothing to do, but hang around and get screwed up on you.” Therapy?’s hard-hitting lyrics really captured my angst and anger at that period in my life.

5. You Are the Music In Me, from “High School Musical 2.” What can I say? I have an unholy addition to the Disney Channel, which has apparently been transferred to my two-year-old son. He calls this “The Na Na Na Song” and asks for it every day. This is a guilty pleasure he and I can share.

6. Don’t Cry, by Asia. I had about the same bad taste in music as everyone else did back in the ’80s. But Asia stuck. I loved this video–the mystery of it, the emotion. My sister and I used to watch it together every time it came on MTV. I wore out the cassette–only time, I believe, that I’ve ever done that. My husband and I bonded over this band, too, as a memento of our collective ’80s fascination. We saw them recently reunited at the House of Blues.

7. Heart of Glass, by Blondie. Blondie was the very first record I ever owned from the adult section of the music store (not counting musicals). And Blondie was the very first band I ever liked. This was before we had MTV, though I was introduced to Blondie by way of an hour-long special (on ABC, I think) showing a bunch of her videos. I went out the next day to buy the album. I was 11.

8. Dream Police, by Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick was my favorite band as a girl. I first saw them on MTV, of course, and some of my friends started buying their tapes. These friends were very influential to me, and I followed suit. Eventually I had every tape I could get my hands on (at the local Wal-Mart). I loved every song, even the obscure ones. Even the ones I didn’t get yet because I was too young. I still consider them the defining band of my pre-teen and teen years.

9. Birdhouse In Your Soul, by They Might Be Giants. In my rebellious teenage years, going against the norm was a big deal to me. They Might be Giants was innovative, irreverent, crazy and fun, and Bryant Gumbel did not get them at all. That made them just right for me. I love their stuff to this day, now that they’re on Playhouse Disney and my son can listen to them too.

10. Blister in the Sun, by the Violent Femmes. As a senior in high school, I bonded with the girl who’d stolen my guy over this song (we were on our way to a debate tournament). She and I became lifelong friends–no clue what happened to him. More recently, I sang a Violent Femmes song at karaoke with a friend at a bachelorette party, a few years ago. It did not go over well, just for the record.

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