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* Home page illustration by Angelica Conde, 17, Los Angeles HS

Breakup playlist
By Kristy Plaza, 16, Duarte HS

There is no cure for a broken heart, but one thing that can help is music. Music puts our pain into words and helps to express whatever emotions you’re feeling. So listen to this playlist and it’ll help you feel better.

Track 1:Fall for You,” Secondhand Serenade
I put this song first because it expresses the feeling that everything is your fault or that you weren’t good enough. That feeling of sad guilt is portrayed beautifully here.

Track 2: Everything You Want,” Vertical Horizon
The chorus is what I felt embodied the message best:“He’s everything you want/ He’s everything you need/ He’s everything inside of you that you wish you could be/ He says all the right things at exactly the right time/ But he means nothing to you and you don’t know why.” This song helps to let you know that deep down, you knew that he/she wasn’t right for you.

Track 3:Pink Thoughts,” Moving Units
This song is for when the frustration, anger and bitterness set in. “Nice to know that you once were a major part of me/ Love comes and ruins everyone/ So what so what’s the point of it all? Nothing stays forever.” When you have given up on love, listen to this song because someone out there understands exactly how you feel.

Track 4:Love the Way You Lie,” Eminem ft. Rihanna
This song forces you to look at the whole relationship and see the good and the bad: everything that you said, did, didn’t say, and didn’t do. This is the song that gave me the theme for this playlist because it shows the pain, anger and deceit that occurs during a breakup. Most relationships at this age don’t have violence, but the theme still epitomizes the pain of a breakup.

Track 5:Breakeven (Falling to Pieces),” The Script
This song is for when you’re lost and have been left behind, when you see that the pain is real and that it’s mostly you suffering from it. When Danny O’Donoghue sings “What am I supposed to do if the best part of me was always you/ and what am I supposed to say when I’m all choked up that you’re OK?” it’s like he’s speaking directly to your heart.

Track 6:Learning to Fall,” Boys Like Girls
There comes a point after the breakup when you will pretend that everything’s all right in front of your former significant other who has already gotten together with someone else. When Martin Johnson sings and the guitar plays you’ll see that you are losing yourself to someone who hurt you.

Track 7:Broken,” Lifehouse
This is for when you are barely surviving the pain of your broken heart, “I’m falling apart/ I’m barely breathing/ With a broken heart/ That’s still beating.”

Track 8:We Might As Well Be Strangers,” Keane
When I heard Tom Chaplin sing: “I don’t know your face no more,” I understood that I no longer knew this person that used to be my everything. I cried when it finally hit me that it was over.

Track 9:Taking Back My Love,” Enrique Iglesias featuring Ciara
Whoever broke your heart didn’t deserve it, so it’s now time to take back the love that you gave to him or her.

Track 10:So What,” Pink
Let the healing begin! You have been through hell and emerged alive. So get out there and live it up. “So what! I’m still a rock star/ I got my rock moves/ and I don’t need you/ And guess what?/ I’m having more fun!/ And now that we’re done/ I’m going to show you tonight!”



80s Playlist
By Jacky Garcia, 17, Lynwood HS

From the clothes to the music, I am a huge fan of the 80s. A lot of great music came from this decade, which included the fun and upbeat sounds of the synthesizer, the awesome guitar solos from the hair metal bands and of course anything from Michael Jackson. If I were to host an 80s-themed party, these would be the tunes I would have to play.

Track 1:Video Killed the Radio Star” – The Buggles
This is the song that made me love 80s music. The chorus is fun to sing along to. I wish I lived during the awesome 80s.

Track 2:Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
It is mandatory for me to do the Moonwalk while this song is playing. I grew up listening to this song and it made me a huge Michael Jackson fan. This is one of his best songs from the 80s.

Track 3:Take On Me” – A-ha
The best part of this song is the high note in the chorus. “I’ll be gone/ In a day or two.” When lead singer Morten Harket sings “two,” he hits a note that most men, and even many women, can’t. When I hear this song I always try to hit the note, but it’s nothing like Harket.

Track 4:Too Shy” – Kajagoogoo
I would want this song to be played multiple times at the party. I dance to it every time, no matter where I am. I love the bass, especially in the bridge of the song, and it goes perfectly with the synthesizers, making it my favorite dance song of the 80s.

Track 5:99 Luftballons” – Nena
I have no idea was she is saying in this song since it’s in German, but I love every second of it. All I know is that this song has an anti-war message, implied in the English version of the song. “The war machine springs to life/ Opens up one eager eye/ Focusing it on the sky/ Where 99 red balloons go by.” Although there is an English version, it does not compare to the German version.

Track 6:Tainted Love” – Soft Cell
I love this song because of the way the lead singer sings about heartbreak and desperation in such a seductive tone. “Don’t touch me please/ I cannot stand the way you tease/ I love you though you hurt me so.”

Track 7:Sweet Dreams” – Eurythmics
I love the synthesizers, which make the song very danceable even though it does not have a fast tempo. I really like how Annie Lennox’s voice sounds androgynous, which was also her look in the 80s.

Track 8:White Wedding” – Billy Idol
This song refers to the poor choices of Billy Idol’s sister. In the song, a girl marries a guy just because she got pregnant, hence the expression “shotgun,” referring to a shotgun wedding. Idol mocks the wedding by calling it a “white wedding.” I love the guitar riff in the beginning of the song.

Track 9:Call Me” – Blondie
This is my favorite Blondie song. It has that girl rocker edge. And I love Debbie Harry’s voice. Blondie’s music in the 70s was influenced by disco, and this song has a touch of that with its drums.

Track 10:Time After Time” – Cyndi Lauper
This slow song is about love never being forgotten and that true love never dies. It is the perfect song for that slow-dancing moment during a party.

Track 11:Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses
I could see a guy playing this song for a girl outside her window, just like in the 80s high school movie classic, Say Anything. Slash’s guitar solos are amazing and Axl Rose’s powerful, yet slightly raspy, voice gives this beautiful song about love an edge.

Track 12:Thriller” – Michael Jackson
This is the song that would make everyone do the “Thriller” dance from the music video. I always go into zombie mode when I hear “Thriller.”

Track 13:You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”- Dead Or Alive
I can listen to this song all day long. It is so upbeat and fun to dance to. I always do what I like to call the “bring it around town” dance, which is making circles with your upper body.


A summer day
By Melissa Hu, 16, Ramona Convent (Alhambra)

There’s something about summer that makes everything seem so much more exciting. I love going to the beach, having barbecues, going to water parks with friends, playing music, and rocking out at concerts. There always seems to be a song that fits perfectly with those activities. This playlist will definitely keep you energized for the hot summer afternoons and create a relaxed mood all around you.

Track 1: “There You Are,” Goo Goo Dolls
This is an energetic pop-punk song that always reminds me of the great times I’ve had at my family’s 4th of July and end-of-the-summer barbecues.

Track 2: “California Gurls,” Katy Perry
I have a love-hate relationship with this song. I think it’s kind of annoying, but I have to admit, it makes me want to get up and enjoy the sun and the beach while having fun with my friends.

Track 3: “NYC Moves to the Sound of LA,” Funeral Party
From the relatively new L.A.-based band this awesome, fast-paced song makes me want to get up and dance as if I’m in a packed club having a blast.

Track 4: “Eleanor Put Your Boots On,” Franz Ferdinand
A sweet, relaxing acoustic song about feeling free and having fun even though you have no idea where you are going. Sometimes you have to be spontaneous to have a good time.

Track 5: “Put Your Money Where You Mouth Is,” Jet
This song is quick-paced rock and roll fun. You will feel as if you are in the crowd during a summer music festival on a hot day.

Track 6: “27th Avenue Shuffle,” Foxboro Hot Tubs
Garage-rock inspired song. By a side project of Green Day, it’s a great song to pump you up and make you want to clap along and do some oldie dances like the jitterbug and shuffle.

Track 7: “Boyfriend,” Best Coast
This is a simple indie-rock song about a girl who wishes her platonic guy friend was her boyfriend. Whenever I listen to this, I feel as if I’m at the beach having a great time, escaping the sweltering heat.

Track 8: “Fabric of My Life,” Zooey Deschanel
Although this song is for a cotton commercial, it always makes me smile. The clapping, piano and her voice make the song so bubbly and fun for a summer day.

Track 9: “Cool Yourself,” Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
With Thao’s jazzy voice and the band’s fun guitars, this song will get you up and moving as if you’re jamming with your friends in the basement.

Track 10: “That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed),” Panic! At the Disco
Listening to this always puts me in a good mood, excited for what will come tomorrow.

Track 11: “Happiness Is Overrated,” The Airborne Toxic Event
This song begins slow, then starts to become almost like a drunk guy yelling at himself. With the crunchy sounding guitar, this song illustrates the feeling of insanity we all feel at some point during the summer whether it’s because of the heat or because we are tired out from all the fun we’ve had.


Late night love songs
By Melissa Hu, 16, Ramona Convent (Alhambra)

When the lights are turned off and the world around me is dark, I like to sit outside and just think. My thoughts go to love and the peace and heartbreak it brings. I’m a very sentimental person, so I love getting lost in love songs with a late-night feel. This playlist is perfect for any sentimental people like me or just anyone else who feels their heart is the heaviest or loneliest at night.

Track 1: “Sometime Around Midnight,” The Airborne Toxic Event
It is very easy to get lost in this trance-like rock song. I love this song because it is honest in expressing the feelings you get when you see someone whose life you are no longer part of, and also, the sound of the violin and guitars are amazing in setting the late-night mood. “But you know that she’s watching … /The room suddenly spinning/She walks up and asks how you are.”

Track 2: “2 a.m.,” Alexz Johnson
This song has a heartbreaking stripped-down piano and guitar melody about not being able to truly move on from someone you once loved. This song is perfect for this playlist because the lyrics are about a dark, cold night and the vocals are pure and beautiful.

Track 3: “Only Ones Who Know,” Arctic Monkeys
This song, which is about two lovers and their desire to stay together, creates a sense of nostalgia for love, making it a great addition to this playlist.

Track 4: “First Love,” Adele
Mellow and simple song about breaking up with someone because she wants something new and needs to get away. There’s a sense of hurt and romance in the sound of the instruments and Adele’s strong voice.

Track 5: “What Sarah Said,” Death Cab for Cutie
This is one of my favorite songs. I listened to it for the first time while taking a bus, and I felt as if the world stopped. The song is elegantly beautiful; you’ll feel as if you’re in another world. “Love is watching someone die/so who’s going to watch you die?”

Track 6: “Cosmic Love,” Florence and the Machine
An amazingly layered and instrumentally varied song about being alone without any sign of light, but still having hope that a loved one is with you. It’s about the stars and the moon giving you a desire to find something you could hold on to in the endless darkness.

Track 7: “Wasteland,” Augustana
Written as a diary entry, this song is about leaving an old hopeless life while realizing that life is actually a “wasteland.” I had generally skipped this song in the past, but when I decided to listen to it in that moment, the song hit me unlike before. The emotions in the song struck me, and I finally understood what the song had to say. I remember having to go to a performance rehearsal and feeling lonely because everyone in the room was with their own friends and I knew no one. There was an enormous crowd outside, but in that room, I felt as if I was living in a wasteland myself.

Track 8: “Boats & Birds,” Gregory and the Hawk
This is very mellow and simple, almost like an exploration of a love as beautiful as the sea and stars. When my friend played this for me, I became obsessed with listening to it in the freezing winter air late at night when the moon was out. “If you’ll be my star/I’ll be your sky/but you can skyrocket away from me/and never come back if you find another galaxy”

Track 9: “Moon and Moon,” Bat for Lashes
I love this song because it’s moving but very simple with a medieval-like fantasy (but not in a bad way). It’s about missing a lover who’s away and dreaming of being together again.

Track 10: “The Longest Day,” Laura Gibson
Gibson’s sweet voice, the underlying sense of sadness and peaceful lyrics make this an amazing song and a must for this playlist. “Tell me again/ press my hands to your lips/ as you sing of love and life/ don’t leave me now/ here in my darkest hour/as the longest day turns night”

Track 11: “So I Thought,” Flyleaf
This is about not being able to let go of something, but how love and faith help to overcome such obstacles. The reverb-filled song about love and God makes me want to cry because it’s so passionate, yet so contained in terms of the lead singer’s voice and the direction of the song. The song doesn’t become thrashing like many of the band’s other songs, but instead, the music remains pretty much calm although the voice and lyrics themselves escalate.