School has started and we’ve got the ideal soundtrack for you!
Whether it’s you, your children, or your nostalgia looking forward to sharpening those #2 pencils, we’ve curated a playlist just for the occasion!
Thirteen by Big Star
It perfectly captures and brings me back to that time and age and all the conflicting emotions and hormones.
Joe Wolfe-Mazeres, Double Shot with Joe and Sue
Sacré Charlemagne by France Gall’s
DJ Natasha, The French Connection
Punk Rock Girl AND Bitchin’ Camaro by The Dead Milkmen
For me, this is SO high school!
DJ Sirena, Music for Grownups
Sister, Do You Know My Name? by The White Stripes
Everyone knows The White Stripes’ “We Are Going to Be Friends” (which I believe can now be found in childrens’ book form): a sweet, schoolish song. But “Sister, Do You Know My Name?” is my pick from their catalog, and not just because of the word sister. It can be found simmering in the middle of the tracklisting on their second album, De Stijl (2000), which was a huge back-to-school album for me circa junior year of high school. It was one of the first vinyl records I bought and then recorded with a vinyl-recording software that came with my record player (all very early-2000s). I remember listening to the crackly, too-quiet mp3 of “Sister” on repeat while biking around my neighborhood in autumn, crunching dry leaves under my tires. Yes, it’s a bit silly, but so is going back-to-school when you’d rather be listening to records. 16-year-old DJ LT was all about this dreamy, autumnal blues and its simultaneous indebtedness/reverence to Blind Willie McTell, whom the record was dedicated to.
Meg White’s drumming is usually simple yet relentless, but here we find it almost sleepy, behind itself, like a lounging cat batting at the rug on the verge of slumber. The slide guitar fills in the blanks and overflows, coloring outside the lines and warming up the atmosphere perfectly for some sweet, boyish lyrics about longing:
I didn’t see you at summer school
But I saw you at the corner store
And I don’t want to break the rules
Cause I’ve broken them all before
But every time I see you
I wonder why
I don’t break a couple rules
So that you’ll notice me
DJ LT, Shout, Sister, Shout!
Schoolhouse Rock by Billy Harlan
Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, rockabilly!
Fuck School by The Replacements
A classic from the Great American Songbook!
Drugstore Rock & Roll by Janis Martin
And one from the Female Elvis her ownself!
Randy Fox, Randy’s Record Shop and Hipbilly Jamboree
I Need a Teacher by Hiss Golden Messenger
This is more generally pro-education (countering the Replacements? ha) and brand new from NC’s Hiss Golden Messenger, which is coming to Basement East in November. Big ups to all our educators gracing classrooms AND the airwaves each week!
DJ Celia, What Moves You
Late for School by Ponytail
This one is mostly included here for the title, as the song itself doesn’t have lyrics — unless you count the odd whoops, hollers and general sonic craziness. So, y’know, just like being late for school.
Rick Pecoraro, contributor
A Summer Song by Chad & Jeremy
DJ Alexis, Free Association
Waitin in School by Ricky Nelson
DJ Blackcircle, The Root
(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party) by the Beastie Boys
High school would not have been bearable without the parties . . . believe it or not we listened to the Beasties on our way to the Science Bowl at TTU with our super school science teacher!
DJ Leanne, X-Posure and Double X-Posure
Another School Day by Hollywood Brats
DJ Michael, The Scattershot
Sunday Morning by No Doubt
What Did You Learn In School Today? by Tom Paxton
Tom Paxton’s “What Did You Learn In School Today?” is not the cheeriest of back-to-school bangers, but it’s a banger nonetheless. Its call-and-response folk form displays a conversation between a little boy in school and his parents, who ask in each verse: “What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?” The boy responds with all kinds of plaintive answers, delivered with a touch of self-awareness to make it clear that Tom has an opinion on the matters at hand. Here’s an example:
What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that policemen are my friends
I learned that justice never ends
I learned that murderers die for their crimes
Even if we make a mistake sometimes
And that’s what I learned in school today
That’s what I learned in school
DJ LT, Shout, Sister, Shout!
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Smokin’ in the Boys Room by Brownsville Station
Because it’s so punk!
DJ Houndog Hoover, Goin’ Down South
School’s Out for the Summer by Alice Cooper
Because I’d already be looking forward for this shit to be over.
DJ Ed, Eighties Schmeighties