Laura Lofgren’s playlist

Laura Lofgren

Trampled by Turtles “Wait So Long” (Palomino)

Trampled by Turtles has been around since 2003 with the release of “Songs from a Ghost Town,” but I just learned of them a few months ago and have been hooked. While the majority of their songs are tactile and wickedly tuned, “Wait So Long” was the first song I heard of the band. I thought it’d be a good pick for the first-time listener to get them hooked on this hybrid folk bluegrass quintet from Duluth, Minn.

Favorite lyric: “And you know that I’m doomed to repeat this/With all the bad habits that I learned/But it’s better than your fiber ‘n fornication/And all the dirty money that you earned.”

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Company of Thieves “Oscar Wilde” (Ordinary Riches)

This Chicago-based group released its first album, “Ordinary Riches,” in 2009, following the debut of its single “Oscar Wilde.” Genevieve Schatz’s chalky but feminine vocals are backed by melodic and steamy guitar and drums and keep “Oscar Wilde” thudding through your speakers.

Favorite lyric: “We are all our own devil/ And we make this world/We make this world our hell.”

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Gorillaz (feat. Bashy, Kano and The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music) “White Flag” (Plastic Beach)

“Plastic Beach,” released March 2010, is radical altogether. But with a combination of dubstep and orchestral music, along with a dash of humanity, the English alternative hip-hop group Gorillaz once again hits the world with a song that is thoughtful, impactful and insightful.

Favorite lyric: “I ain’t Jesus, but I’m walkin’ on water/There’s no bums here, there’s no wall/ ‘CauseI can break out of jail with a lighter/So is there any point in makin’ laws blood?”

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Black Lips “Bad Kids” (Good, Bad, Not Evil)

The first song I heard from the Black Lips was this 50s pop-inspired, lyrically grungy tune from the Georgian punk band. Formed in 1999, Black Lips are a bunch of hooligan boys doing what they love and singing about what they know – sex, drugs and hating school.

Favorite lyric: “In class, we are a minority/Got no respect for authority/And won’t play well with others/And steal from all your mothers/They’ll try to give us pills/Oh wait, give us all the pills/Go cry, Mom I gotta go to court/Dad won’t pay his child support.”

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The Runaways “Cherry Bomb” (The Runaways).

I’ll be the first to admit I thoroughly enjoyed Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart in the film that follows the young lives of The Runaways, a 1970s all-girl punk band. It wasn’t the famous pair that wowed me, but the director’s portrayal of the kick-booty songs the teenagers punctured the music scene with. This led me to research The Runaways, and I fell in love with them so fast that I wrote a paper on the girl-group for my Roots of Rock class.

Favorite lyric: “Hey street boy what’s your style/Your dead-end dreams don’t make you smile/I’ll give ya something to live for/Have ya, grab ya till you’re sore.”

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The Wombats “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” (A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation)

Dude, if you’re having a shitty day, just pump this heart-thumping, ecstatically happy song. If you’re down with indie Englishmen, you’ll freak out to The Wombats. Some may find this song annoying, what with little children accompanying lead singer Matthew Murphy in the later refrains, but come on, it’ll put a smile on your face and a skip in your step, man.

Favorite lyric: “So if you’re ever feeling down/Grab your purse and take a taxi/To the darker side of town/That’s where we’ll be/And we will wait for you and lead you through the dance floor/Up to the DJ booth/You know what to ask for/You know what to ask for.”

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Wolfmother “Vagabond” (Wolfmother)

The Australian trio formed in 2000 and has had a wide array of criticisms thrown their way. I’m no musical expert; I just know what I like, and I like “Vagabond.” The song is another happy-go-lucky, confidence-building love composition, beginning with a steady bass drum that chisels away to reach a fun, flavorful center and a sweet ending.

Favorite lyric: “You don’t need to know what I do all day/it’s as much as I know/Watch it waste away/’Cause I’ll tell you everything about living free/Yes I can see you girl/Can you see me?”

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Paramore “The Only Exception” (Brand New Eyes)

I’ve been in love with this female vocal-driven group since high school, and my love is undying despite mockery from friends and relatives. Formed in 2004, Hayley Williams leads the quintet with fiery hair and a fierce voice. My inner emo-kid can’t resist the contents of “Brand New Eyes,” the group’s third album, released in 2009. (Although “All We Know Is Falling” will forever be number one to me). “The Only Exception” is a love song for our generation and grips at your heartstrings, refusing to let go until the final strums of the guitar.

Favorite lyric: “Maybe I know/Somewhere deep in my soul/That love never lasts/And we’ve got to find other ways/To make it alone/Or keep a straight face/And I’ve always lived like this/Keeping a comfortable distance/And up until now/I had sworn to myself/That I’m content with loneliness/Because none of it was ever worth the risk”

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Say Hi To Your Mom “November Was White, December Was Grey.” (Oohs and Ahhs)

Released in 2009, “Oohs and Ahhs” is the sixth album from the Seattle-based indie rock band. This song is the exact mood I and everyone else in Ohio is in. We all can’t wait for spring. We’ll feel better when the winter’s gone.

Favorite lyric: “Well, some day soon/When the spring brings the sun/I’ll finally sleep/I’ll finally feel better when the winter’s gone”

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My Chemical Romance “Na Na Na” (Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys)

Once again, high school nostalgia has set in. MCR’s new album, though, offers another great storyline about our generation’s negligence of the happenings in our world. MCR puts on an awesome show, with theatrical costumes and resonating guitar riffs. They’re never dull, and this song will get you pumped to change the world.

Favorite lyric: “And all the juvie halls/And the Ritalin rats/Ask angels made from neon/And fucking garbage scream out “What will save us?”/And the sky opened up”

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Contact Laura Lofgren at [email protected].