This month’s office playlist is courtesy of someone even younger than I am — Fortune‘s 23-year-old art assistant, Grace Martinez. Why? Well, Grace’s taste is so cool beyond her years that our deputy managing editor, Hank Gilman, was actually convinced that she was well into her thirties. But the recent grad of Fordham University at Lincoln Center isn’t older, just into great music. And it shows, even if most of the bands on her list formed and/or peaked before she was born or when she was just a toddler. So here’s a list from a Yer who’s music really does make her bosses respect her…
GRACE “CLASH CITY ROCKER” MARTINEZ’S OFFICE PLAYLIST:
- “Clash City Rockers” by The Clash. (And “Arms Aloft” and “Coma Girl” by Joe Strummer.) The Clash and their frontman (himself an eventual solo artist) are the definitive British punk rockers. Rebels with a cause, they were vehement about their leftist politics and instilled an everlasting passion in their music — and it’s still appreciated by rockers of all ages. It shows you know your punk rock roots. And if you want to really impress your boss, keep a signed copy of one of their albums out in your office. It’ll spark the whole “You met him?! How cool!” conversation.
- “Disorder” by Joy Division. First song off Joy Division’s classic album, “Unknown Pleasures,” which is also considered one of the best albums ever. Moody, passionate, and climactic — it’s a great first song to one of the greatest records. Any rocker boss will know Joy Division.
- “Hold My Life” by The Replacements. The Replacements are one of my favorite bands. They started as a punk band in the late ’70s/early ’80s, but developed into a more pop rock ensemble. Their infectious catchy songs still resonate.
- “Here Comes Your Man” by The Pixies. (And “If Your Poison Gets You” by Frank Black.) The Pixies are one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the ’80s. Frontman Frank Black is still cranking out solo records to this day. These songs are my favorite.
- “Bliztkrieg Bop” by The Ramones. Considered the first real punk rock band. This song encapsulates all that is great about the Ramones: Simple, catchy, and totally punk rock!
- “Star Witness” by Neko Case. Neko Case is part of the indie pop rock group The New Pornographers, but she has garnered a lot of attention of her own. She has this sort of melodic sadness to her with some country undertones and one of the most beautiful voices. This song and the record it’s featured on, “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood,” is just amazing.
- “Here Comes the Summer” by The Undertones. Nothing gets me more excited for the summer than this song. Formed in the late ’70s, The Undertones are one of the finest pop punk bands. Though they’re an older band, they still have that youthful energy.
- “Ever Fall in Love” by The Buzzcocks. Power pop punk rock — they’re pretty irresistible. This is one of the Buzzcocks’ most popular songs.
- “God” by John Lennon. My former boss actually turned me onto John Lennon. He said the record changed his life, and if you give it a listen, you’ll see why, too. This song is off of Lennon’s first and arguably greatest record, “Plastic Ono Band.” I love how Lennon pretty much shatters everything people believe in and then croons at the end, “I just believe in me/Yoko and me/And that’s reality.” Beautiful.
- “Gone for Good” by The Shins. The Shins are one of the best bands out there right now. Any hip boss will dig this, if they don’t know it already. I remember the first time I heard my former boss blasting this out of his office, I had to come in and say, “You like the Shins?! That’s awesome!” This is one of my favorite Shins songs.
- Bonus Picks: “I Gotta Move” by Ben Kweller — One of the best songwriters of our generation. “My Only Swerving” by El Ten Eleven — Instrumental and melodic. The group is made of two guys who play multiple instruments, sometimes simultaneously. So cool!
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