Soundtrack Of My Life: ‘Meet Me In The Bathroom’ author Lizzy Goodman

Rock and roll scribe, wrote the book on noughties indie in New York

In partnership with Universal

The first song I remember hearing

The Everly Brothers – ‘Wake Up Little Suzie’

“I grew up in a small farming community outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Every day after school we’d take the bus to our babysitter’s house, known simply as ‘Mary’s’. We ran wild in her alfalfa fields, caught scorpions in jars, and drank fresh milk from cows whose names we knew. Only when it rained were we allowed to play inside. It was there, in that small house, on one of those rare wet days, amidst all that muted coziness, that I first remember really hearing music. Mary’s husband David, who was a bad boy airplane mechanic, listened exclusively to the Everly Brothers. That sound got in early, and it’s never really left.”


The first album I owned

Guns N’ Roses – ‘Appetite For Destruction’

“I was seven. My friend Donna’s cool older sister was obsessed with this record, and I was obsessed with her, so I asked for it for my birthday. As soon as my parents heard the lyrics, the cassette went directly into a drawer, ‘until you’re older’. How exciting! I wanted the album not because I liked the music – which seemed loud and kind of scary – but because I suspected it had some kind of special power, some appeal I didn’t yet understand but instinctively wanted to get close to. And I was right.”

The first gig I went to on my own

Bush at Tingley Colisseum, Albuquerque in 1996

“I saw Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan with my parents, but the first gig that I bought tickets for and attended with friends was Bush with Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt opening. It was at Tingley Coliseum at the New Mexico State Fair grounds on March 22, 1996. I sat with my best bad influence friend in the nosebleeds. The whole place stank like manure. The sound was fucking terrible. And it was totally glorious.”


The song that reminds me of home

Emmylou Harris – ‘Boots Of Spanish Leather’ / The Supremes – ‘Baby Love’

“My parents’ taste in music had a huge effect on me growing up. My dad is into lots of good stuff, from Talking Heads to Richard Thompson, but when I was little, he used to do a folk music show on public radio. He played a lot of serious country/folk songwriter stuff by artists who happened to be women, like Emmylou and Alison Krauss. Meanwhile, my mum is a Motown freak – whenever I hear The Supremes I think of her bopping around our kitchen.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Kylie Minogue – ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’

“The first song I ever remember dancing to was Kylie’s cover of ‘The Locomotion’. In elementary school I had this friend Krista, and we’d put on our pink leg warmers and crimp our hair and borrow her mum’s blue eye shadow and lock ourselves away making up dance routines for hours. It was pure, girly self-expression. It felt private and free. I get that same feeling all over again when I play this track.“

The song I do at karaoke

Liz Phair – ‘Fuck And Run’

“I am not that into karaoke. I don’t like fun that involves prescribed participation. I like to be the center of attention, of course, but only on my own terms. But when [American music journalist] Rob Sheffield invites me to one of his epic karaoke birthday parties, I go for Liz Phair, every time. All the lyrics [from Phair’s 1993 album ‘Exile In Guyville’] are like prayers to me at this point, and Liz’s speak-singing vocal style is pretty forgiving.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Wet Leg – ‘Chaise Longue’

“The same one as everyone else over the last many months. I revel in their earnest brattiness. Wet Leg make me feel like I am being invited to hang out in their own weird, beautiful corner of the world. And they inspire me to reconstitute my own.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Björk – ‘Big Time Sensuality’

“I never think about this. Funerals are for the living. When I’m dead, I won’t be there to care! But for the sake of fun… This song has such a sense of feral joy, to borrow a phrase from Maggie Rogers. That’s how I want to live, so that’s the tone I want struck when I’m gone. As Björk sings, ‘it takes courage to enjoy it’. I hope I’m that kind of brave.”

The song that makes me cry

Lucinda Williams – ‘Out of Touch’

“I named my dog after Lucinda Williams, so, you know, I’m a fan. She’s written so many perfectly plaintive songs. But this is one I go back to over and over again. I love how it conveys the privilege inherent in heartbreak. You sense the richness of the past these two people shared, and you feel – like a punch in the gut – the loss of that connection. But the song leaves me feeling not sad but grateful for all the people I’ve gotten to love for as long as it lasted.”

‘Meet Me In The Bathroom’, the new documentary film, is in UK cinemas from March 10 and Australian cinemas on March 16.

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