Field Notes and Fixations: Guilty Pleasure Music

By Thomas Hentges


It’s early spring and you’re giddy just to lower your car windows down and let the fresh air run through your hair.  After seemingly scanning stations for the last five minutes you land on something a little out of your normal wheelhouse, but at this moment, it just feels so right.  Now, with sun-infused abandon, you release your own soulful rendition of the chorus like a pagan praise to the vast sky itself.

And then it happens. 

You are abruptly roped back to reality by the four college girls in the sedan next to you enjoying their front row seats to your inspired performance of the Beach Boys’ late 80’s soundtrack single, “Kokomo.”


Guilty pleasures…we all have them.  Be it a song with a melody too sweet not to savor or an album that will forever conjure up adolescent memories of simpler days.

I recently queried several area musicians to get a glimpse at what artists, albums and songs have them singing along like, hopefully, no one is watching.

Jared “Jrok” Thomas of Elevated Rebellion


Artist:  Paul Simon or Neil Young

Album:  Harvest by Neil Young

Song:  “Graceland” by Paul Simon


Zach Geier of Gloominoti


Artist:  Adele

Album:  Only by the Night by Kings of Leon

Song:  “Closer” by The Chainsmokers


Paul Squyer of Ch6r6z6rd


Artist:  Five Iron Frenzy

Album:  Kiss by Carly Rae Jepsen

Song:  “I’m a Slave 4 U” by Britney Spears or “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” by Kylie Minogue


Connor Pederson of Condor


Artist:  Neil Diamond

Album:  Plans by Death Cab for Cutie

Song:  “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal


Xavier Pastrano of Skin Of Our Teeth


Artist:  311

Album:  Mind of Mine by ZAYN

Song:  “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips


Lindy Wise of Angie Hosh and Androgynous Squash


Artist:  Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album:  Freaky Styley by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Song:  “Believe” by Cher


Hunter Johnson of International Cover-Up


Artist:  Counting Crows

Album:  All Killer, No Filler by Sum 41

Song:  “Your Anything” by Taylor Swift


Jack Winders of Horseplay


Artist:  ABBA

Album:  Fly by the Dixie Chicks

Song:  “Africa” by Toto


Heath Babcock of WOLF SKIN


Artist:  Justin Bieber

Album:  Pure Heroine by Lorde

Song:  “Africa” by Toto


Ryan Knutson of March In Arms


Artist:  Rammstein

Album:  The Bleeding by Cannibal Corpse

Song:  “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by the Fifth Dimension 




Field Notes and Fixations: A Conversation with Sam Outlaw

Meet Music Writer Thomas Hentges