The Pooley’s, circa 1996

Being in my early 30’s I find myself nostalgic for my teen years. Mainly 16 to 19 because those were the years I was elbow deep into music and skateboarding – and both fed my teen passions in so many different ways. All I did was go to shows and skate. That’s all I wanted to do so, that’s all I did… Well that and smoke entirely too much pot.

The more I meet people my age that I didn’t know as a kid, the more I realize if they were skating in the ’90s, then we were into the same stuff. Unless you were really, really into Shorty’s and Peter Smolik, you listened to Pop Punk in the mid ’90s, you may have dabbled in some ska and you definitely listened to Wu Tang. This was before blogs spoon fed us what to listen to, so what we had was word of mouth, mix tapes and skate videos to feed us new music. (I’m hyped to be at an age where I can give a “In my day we didn’t have CD-Rs” speeches.)

Here are some of the bands and songs I immediately think of when I think of myself at 16. This is what filled my ears and still influences the music I write to this day. As folky or indietastic as the stuff I write now is, this stuff is engrained in my brain…I hope you can share in the comments what was in your in ears at 16, whether it was 1996, or 2006, or 1966 (uncles-aunties).

Home Grown – Face in the Crowd

Descendents – Coolidge

MXPX – Middlename

Oasis – Cast No Shadow

Verve – Lucky Man

Luniz – I Got 5 on It

Outkast – Wheelz of Steel

GZA – Shadowboxing

A Tribe Called Quest – Award Tour

And one more for good measure…
Willow Smith – Whip My Hair