While writing the memoir Open, I listened to a lot of music. Sometimes I knew just what to listen to because a particular song, album, or artist was relevant to a particular time period or story or setting. Here are a few suggestions for music to accompany the book.
Music that Fits the Story
Pretty much anything R. E. M.
They’ve been my favorite band since high school so you can play them for any time and any place.
Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean”
When you are home alone and feel like dancing.
Indigo Girls’s 1200 Curfews
I’ve enjoyed the Indigo Girls since high school as well. I listened to this live double album a lot in the late nineties, and an Indigo Girls concert is part of the story in 2004.
Counting Crows’s “Mr. Jones”
For the late nineties when I’m in grad school and still figuring myself out.
Beck’s “The Golden Age”
Perfectly expresses the melancholy of my late twenties and early thirties. That phrase “with a desolated view”!
Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Listen to this album to capture the feeling of my time in Dallas in the mid-Aughts.
Patty Griffin’s “When It Don’t Come Easy”
When I’m depressed over my first relationship with a guy ending
The White Stripes’s “Seven Nation Army”
When you need to kick some ass.
Green Day’s American Idiot
The best musical critique of political and religious conservatism in the mid-Aughts.
The Black Eyed Peas’s “I Got a Feeling”
Not that I loved the song, but it played all the time in the years I was single and clubbing and does a good job of getting you ready for a night out.
Eric Himan’s “Little Boy Blue”
For the years I pastored in Oklahoma City and was first exploring being out.
Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”
When Michael and I begin dating.
Melissa Etheridge’s “What Happens Tomorrow”
Expresses the hope and optimism I had for LGBT equality while pastoring in Oklahoma City.
Music while Writing the Story
The Mynabirds’s Generals
Be’s This Stupid Dream
Mumford & Sons’s Babel
Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs
Perfume Genius’s Too Bright
Mavis Staples’s Livin’ on a High Note
Scissor Sisters’s Magic Hour