with Zelda BellaDonna

Zelda fronts the Saskatoon punk noir band Zelda BellaDonna and the Deadly Nightshades. They’re putting the finishing touches on a full length album, she says, and have a show July 12 at Amigos with The Radiant. /Gregory Beatty

“Blister in the Sun”
The Violent Femmes | Violent Femmes (1983)

This was the first song I was taught on guitar at my super-strict Catholic high school. Needless to say, playing a song about things we were told would make baby Jesus cry sparked joy in my rebellious teenage heart. It’s what started my long love affair with The Violent Femmes, and innuendos.

“Black Velvet”
Alannah Myles | Alannah Myles (1989)

You know what goes great with some pinot grigio and women in their 30s? This song. If this starts playing and the person next to me starts belting along with it, we are instantly best friends — and the more words you know, the deeper our friendship grows.

“I Wanna Holler (But the Town’s Too Small)”
The Detroit Cobras | Baby (2004)

Fun fact: I used to have the worst anxiety. Anytime I had to drive somewhere, I’d sing along to this song at the top of my lungs. It was cathartic and helped me cope with any anxiety-ridden situation I was about to walk into (a.k.a. anything outside of my house). Now my anxiety is fun, flirty, and only mildly medicated, and I’d like to think that’s in part to badass bitches like the Detroit Cobras and the courage they gave me through their music.

Lynyrd Skynyrd  | (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-’nérd ‘Skin-’nérd) (1973)

First off, it’s a classic, let’s not waste time disputing that. Why is it special to me? Well, this is what we played at my grandpa’s funeral as we spread his ashes on a windy day in an open field. Basically, what I’m saying is this song always reminds me of the first and hopefully last time I tasted human ashes. RIP Grandpa.

“You Look Like Trouble (But I Guess I Do Too)”
Lise LeBlanc | Highways, Heartaches, and Time Well Wasted (2004)

This song got me through a lot of really weird [stuff].

“Great Night (feat. Shovels and Rope)”

Listen, the world can be a heavy place and sometimes you just need a break. That’s what this song is to me — the anthem to forgetting it all, rippin’ it up, and having a great night.