ashley dean

Here's what's outside right now: The sun is shining, the air is warm, healthy and happy people run around merrily. I half expect to see a unicorn trot down Pearl Street and Boulder Creek to run sparkling gold.

But here's what's in my headphones right now: Karen O snarling and yelping in my ears.

I've been walking around like I'm on my way to a fight.

Black moods don't fit well with Boulder life. You know what I mean. Some days you want to rise with the sun to hike Mt. Sanitas. Some days are meant for The Lumineers. But other days you want to hide from the sun with a whiskey in a dark bar. Life's bullshit does not halt for pretty weather. So if I was going to ignore my nice surroundings and let this mood properly stew, I was going to need a playlist.

I dove down a gnarly rabbit hole of angst, booze, recklessness and guitar riffs and pulled together a fistful of musical middle-fingers of all kinds.

In the smart-ass indie pioneer department, there's Mission of Burma and the Minutemen. For barely coherent punk, it's Ty Segall and METZ. There's unchecked aggression in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Iggy Pop, offset by some angst and self-pity in Wavves, Dum Dum Girls and Bleached. FIDLAR and Jeff the Brotherhood can take care of the booze-soaked trashing. Throw in femme supergroup Wild Flag, Royal Headache's angst from down under, Japandroids' wild abandon, Howler's leering. Cap it all off with EMA spitting acid.


When you're having one dark day, it's twisted comfort to know that these bands know what that feels like. Misery -- or, in this case, raging angst -- loves company. Sometimes a nasty streak has to cut through, even in the sunshine of a gorgeous Boulder day. Because, Fuck It, Dawg -- Life's A Risk. I just want a Demon To Lean On and some Cheap Beer. So Fuck It.

"So Fuck It," Mission of Burma

"Jesus and Tequila," Minutemen

"Boom," Wild Flag

"Black Tongue," Yeah Yeah Yeahs

"Search and Destroy," Iggy Pop

"Cool Out," Jeff the Brotherhood

"Girlfriend," Ty Segall

"Cheap Beer," FIDLAR

"Get Off," METZ

"The Dream," Thee Oh Sees

"Beach Sluts," Howler

"Never Again," Royal Headache

"Younger Us," Japandroids

"Demon To Lean On," Wavves

"Think Of You," Bleached

"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," Dum Dum Girls

"California," EMA