I've heard a lot of musicians, artists and hardcore music nerds claim that the deepest connection they ever felt with music was during their high school years. When you're in high school music is essential, it's life, it's the embarrassment of still owning Jewel's first two albums and the excitement I still feel when I hear any song by Nerf Herder. Before you know who you are, music helps you along the road of self growth, realizations, first loves and continued heartbreaks. After you're a grown up, life seems to get in the way of necessary albums and all night sessions with your disc man.


If you grew up when MTV still played music videos instead of dumb bitches talking about fashion, and your sleepless nights were nicely accompanied by Insomnia Music Theater on VH1, then your musical experience didn't simply stop when your iPod did. I remember music being around more then than I ever see now. I remember buttons on backpacks, band stickers on cars, carting around my giant flip book of scratched CD's with my initials on them, and sometimes having to watch five music videos you didn't want to see in order to see one you did. Something about that seemed richer and special. For me, turning music videos on every morning while I was getting ready for high school and listening to whatever MTV offered up trumps the absent romanticism and lack of spontaneity experienced when simply typing in some bullshit on YouTube. I want that former feeling back.


Music is great these days and the power of the internet has allowed so many new musicians to make their mark without the necessity of labels or corporations, and that's god damn awesome. But I can't help but miss music in high school-- the organic process of listening, the hardcore connection, the relatability, the 24 hour music videos, flipping through your friend's CD cases and, of course, the sweet, folk sounds of Jewel.


These are some songs that remind me of that time, came out during my adolescent years or simply have that high school edge that always reminds that they were meant for me... and I was meant for them.