Sometimes I just need music to get me into the right frame of mind to write, and I find it particularly helpful to listen to music I loved when I was a teen myself, and The Violent Femmes certainly fall into that category. One of the key differences between the Femmes and the other stuff I listened to in high school is that I still love them, and not just in a nostalgic sort of a way.
I also love that on their website they refer to themselves as “Calcified fossils of teen angst.”
It’s really hard for me to pick one song to post here, but I’m going with “Held Her in My Arms.” I had a bunch of friends who formed a ska band and they used to play this song. Once, they even played it specifically for me. Ah, Skarotum, you still hold the hearts of so many Seacoast New Hampshire girls.