“Come Sail Away” – Styx from “Freaks and Geeks” (1999)

First of all, you need to understand how much I loathe “Come Sail Away” by Styx.  If it were a federal hate crime to discriminate against a song, I’d be doing hard time in federal prison for committing crimes against this one.

But … this song works soooooo damn well in this wonderful scene from the first episode of “Freaks and Geeks,” the greatest show in television history about teenagers … and if truth be told … kicks the a– of any of the “best” feature films ever made about teenagers.

This is a scene from the Homecoming dance, where freshman Sam Weir shows up at the dance because his crush, cheerleader Cindy Sanders, promised him a dance.  She fulfills her promise and the dance between these two always lifts my mood.  Some moments are so incredibly sweet that if you dislike them, there is something seriously wrong with you.   As awkward as Sam is here, he has bigger balls than I did at the age of 14.

“Homecoming” – Green Day


The second 9-minute plus mini-rock opera featured on Green Day’s 2004 rock opera “American Idiot.” Arguably, given the sound and thematics of this song, this should have been the last song on the album. But perversely, it was the next-to-the-last song on the album. This isn’t as mindblowingly terrific as the other mini-rock opera “Jesus of Suburbia,” but what’s here is still damn impressive. I especially like Tre Cool’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show”-style riff about 5:23 into the song, sung from the perspective of a jaded rock star… with saxophones even … For better or worse, this is a band that truly studied its rock history before composing and recording this album. I’d say it’s for the better. I love the nods to the past while raging on into the future. I love the “American Idiot” album more and more each year.