My name is Miski Dee Rodriguez, I’m from Southern California and I write and play songs as City Mouse. I guess you can call my music soulful punk rock or pop punk. I listen to everything from indigenous music to thrash so there’s a lot of competition in there for three life changers but here goes…
Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual
The first one was easy. Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” popped into my head as soon as I got asked the question. My dad and I picked it out together because he had just finished working a job where we both got to meet her and I was absolutely spellbound. I listened to the whole thing over and over til I knew the exact moment the next song would start. I teared up with every sting in the sadder songs and felt wildly empowered by the sassier ones. For a good while I sang words I didn’t quite understand then as I grew up, they started to come to light. I still listen to and examine this album often. It has a way of making sad songs dancy (or vice versa) and uses a lot of minor keys that pull in unexpected directions and I think that has a lot to do with how emotional some of these songs come across. My favorite song on the album has always been “All Through The Night” and I remember recording it on repeat to a cassette tape and listening to it to sleep every night until my headphones fell off. I still have my original copy of the record and the liner notes are absolutely ragged. This record and Cyndi in general empowered me to be the little weirdo I was at heart at a crucial development point in my childhood.
Green Day – Kerplunk
I bought this on vinyl long after I had already fallen in love with “Dookie” because I was hanging out with a bunch of punks and it was the cool thing to have the “old stuff”. I fell into this record at peak teen angst so it became my heart and fucking soul. I dragged my feet to “Christie Road” on long walks home from school and daydreamed that I was 2000 miles away and somewhere Billie Joe was pining away for this little teen chola. This record changed my life by introducing me to a world of sound that wasn’t either horribly overproduced OR horribly PUNX. I’d never heard love songs that weren’t overly dramatic power ballads and just casual songs about day to day bullshit. So many records like this came out in the 90’s that made making music something accessible to normal-not-famous humans. This was my first look at punk as probably the most welcoming genre there is.
Misfits – Walk Among Us
Every note on this catchy as hell record will be forever emblazoned in my brain. I can sing along to every song word for word even if I haven’t heard it in years and I know so many other folks can do the same. These are literally baby punk nursery rhymes and this record was my introduction to the whole Misfits/Samhain/Danzig phenomenon. The cute 50’s rock n roll vibes caught my attention like a stranger dangling candy and I got sucked right into the darkness. Chanting these ghoulish anthems for so long has left me with a taste for the macabre that will last me my entire life.
City Mouse is punk rock singer-songwriter Miski Dee from California, USA. She has her music available for streaming on her Bandcamp page and on Spotify.