Soundtrack of Our Lives…2003 “Sweet Little 16”
1: Pretty Girls – Neko Case: This one is special. In October I got to see the amazing Miss Neko Case. She had, within the span of a year, become almost like an idol to me and I was thrilled at the idea that I’d be seeing her live and in concert. It was at Schuba’s, one of my favorite venues. It’s small enough to be intimate, but big enough to get a good crowd once sold out. That night, Neko had decided that she didn’t feel like writing up a set list, so she took requests. Now, it must be stated that “Deep Red Bells” is my favorite song written by her, but I knew she’d play that one. So, I called out for “Pretty Girls! Pretty Girls!” in between the songs, my other favorite. It struck me as being about everything that’s wrong with the media and
2: I Feel Fine – The Beatles: “I’m so glad that she’s my little girl. She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world.” That summer, I learned that I was a very lucky girl. I was loved by people who would get to be very important to me within the year. Also, things at VC had gotten to be quite good. I was the little baby girl and I had people all over the world looking out for me. Little did I know that the people I admired so much, Jeff Tweedy and Sue Miller, had come to think of me as their “Little Baby Girl.” As soon as I found this out, I went around telling everyone. It was all far too exciting to keep to myself.
3: Favorite – Neko Case: I was the Favorite, and I knew it. I had a fan club, VC, an extended family, the Tweedy-Millers, the affections of my favorite rock stars, Kelly Hogan, Neko Case & Wilco, and an internship at Bloodshot Records. “But I know that I was your favorite, and I said ‘Amen’”. Within months of meeting Wilco, I had been brought into the family by none other than Ms. Susan Miller. She decided that I was her little baby girl, and I knew I was her Favorite. Kelly Hogan had noticed me singing with all of her songs the first time I saw her, and she had told me I was in the band, I knew I was her Favorite. Neko had played a song for me, and taken pictures with me, and told me I was to monitor her fansite (make sure the boys didn’t post any bad pictures of her), yes, I knew I was her Favorite. With Bloodshot…well, it was sort of the same, and sort of different. I met Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw while volunteering at Por Vida, a benefit for Alejandro Escovedo, who was in the hospital at the time. My dad had signed himself and me up to work the auction on the second day of the event. I was 16, but I could name a dozen of the artists on their label already.
4: Andy – Neko Case: “Andy, summer’s over. We’re one year older. Did you really think it’d be so fast?...It helped me through the spring just to dream of what it might become. Woke up to find it’d been here and gone.” Oh my…Andy… I had the biggest crush on him for most of high school. He was supposed to come with me to see Wilco at Summerfest. I thought for sure we’d have something together, but we never did. Or else, it came and left faster than either of us could have seen. Maybe I’ll get into that another time, but, although he was a big part of my life for the longest time, it doesn’t seem necessary to write about him right now. I guess the song really says it all.
6: Sweet Little 16 – Chuck Berry: I’m sure you’ve all heard this song before. If not, it’s a familiar story: Sweet Little 16 wants to dance and have fun. She collects autographs from her favorite teen idols. She calls her parents “Mommy” and “Daddy” but thinks she’s old enough to wear lipstick and high heels. In the end, poor Sweet Little 16 has to give up her fun and get down to work. In other words: her party’s over when school starts up again. This was me in a nutshell. I have posters and CD’s signed by my favorite stars. I danced like crazy during the summer. I was caught in the world between childhood and innocence and being the sweet one and being a part of a social group that consisted of people at least 5-10 years older than me, if not twice my age. School was the last thing I wanted to think about. And, to be honest, at the time, I thought I’d be like this forever.