Thursday, September 25, 2008

Child of the 70s, Teen of the 80s...

Musical taste is interesting. I started thinking about this after Suzanne did a blog on her musical tastes. The things I like are pretty varied and I'm always open to new music. I think music keeps us young in a lot of ways. Although I really love a lot of classical music, especially Bach and a lot of the Baroque period music, have a soft spot for R&B, enjoy listening to Jazz, occasionally opera, and even some of the silly pop music Jordan likes (some of those Hilary Duff songs are catchy) - I thought in this post I would focus more specifically on the thread of my music likes since I really started to notice music when I was about Jordan's age.

Before that - my parents mostly listened to Elvis. And when I finally got a stereo my mother bought me about 7 Elvis 8-tracks. I asked for a Beatles record and instead she got me some instrumental "Chet Atkins plays the Beatles", my mother used to always say "they have some good music, but they really need to cut their hair!" so the first music I had in my own room that I really had anything to do with was when I asked for an Andy Gibb 8-track for Christmas when I was in 6th grade. It was that whole Saturday Night Fever Disco Era and to this day a disco song will put me in a darn good mood. Disco is rollerskating at the skating rink on a Saturday night, it is pink satin jackets and white jeans with rainbows on the butt.

From there I graduated to Michael Jackson. I had the Off the Wall 8-track and by the time Thriller came out I had it on Cassette Tape (technology!). Michael Jackson is my junior year of high school, driving around in Kari's parents Mark VIII while eating ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins while yelling out the window at boys. It is doing my homework on the floor of my bedroom while laying on my thick plush lime green carpet, planning outfits for the next day of school.

Madonna is busting down the road real fast in Alicia's Thunderbird to grab frozen yogurt for lunch and get back before the bell rings at school. Prince is packing to go away for the summer in West Yellowstone, blasting out the windows of Alicia's car, once again, never having to worry about a high school bell or being late and trying to dodge the vice principal.

Depeche Mode is meeting Kirk, my early years of college, eyeliner, fake pearls and hot pink tartan print pants. The Clash and the Violent Femmes are Provo, rides on scooters, and watching boys skateboard.

The Cure is being engaged, Salt Lake, Cosmic Aeroplane, and the smell of used bookstores. It's happiness.

Nirvana is the 90s, law school for Kirk, flannel shirts when I'm home from work and taking care of my little blond toddler who seems to like Kurt Cobain as much as I do.

I think at some point we listen to the music of our youth over and over again because it represents something important to us. It keeps us young and makes us feel old at the same time.

These days I have new bands I like, bands like Badly Drawn Boy and Spoon and Aqualung. Explosions in the Sky when I'm missing Holden. If I think about what these new bands have in common it's probably the idea that if you could take Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain and The Cure and Earth Wind & Fire and put them in a bag and shake them up - you would get some of the melodic folk punk that I like to listen to these days. Days when I am a mom at home alone a lot, enjoying the peace and quiet while I study and try to finish classes faster than my College Freshman son so that I can at least graduate from college before he does. And I like knowing he's in Idaho, studying too, and listening to Explosions in the Sky like I am.


Cynthia said...

8-track tapes? that cracks me up. I never had an 8-track, but I think there was one in one of the cars our family had in high school.
Michael Jackson's off the wall was a huge favorite of mine just as I was leaving high school and going off to college. I have to tell my kids that Michael Jackson really was cool at one time. good times, good times.
During high school, it was all disco fever. It's funny what certain memories will surface when songs come on the radio. As an adult, I don't listen to much music in the house, although the radio is always on in the car, but I'm not drawn to many specific artists. I am suddenly longing for an ipod, so maybe I need to start defining some favorites so I can fill an ipod.
I think you are just enough younger than me that all the music you like was during my childbearing, toddler, sesame street years. I seem to have missed a chunk of music appreciation in the mid 80's.

I am Boymom said...

My dad had an 8 track and I always had to listen to country. When I was in Jr High, I went to my first concert to see Shaun Cassidy. In high school I really loved the Go-Gos, B-52s (Rock Lobster) and a mix of 80's stuff, A little bit of Pink Floyd, Van Halen. I have always loved classical music...can't do most jazz. I haven't really stayed up on the musical scene for a long time now. I would have never pegged you for a Nirvana woman.

Bandanamom said...

I love having an ipod, I don't use it as much as my kids or even my husband use theirs, but sometimes, I really like having it. I have a hard time studying at home alone. I don't know why. It's just easy for me to get distracted so music helps. But sometimes I just pack up and go sit in a public place like a restaurant, and study with my headphones on. It helps.

It's easier to stay on top of music when we're younger that's for sure. But I like discovering new bands that I like. Sometimes I'll be watching a movie or a tv show - even a commercial, and I'll have to go spend some time on the internet trying to figure out who the band is or the song or whatever.

Geri - I know, I don't really seem like a Nirvana kind of girl but I totally cried when Kurt Cobain died. I've obsessively read every book ever written about him and/or his death, and watched the Gus Van Sant movie based on his life (or actually the last few hours of his life) with breathless wonderment and appreciation. (But determined later that it's a really bad movie to recommend to other people and they will hate you for's like 2 hours and almost no talking at all...I thought it was genius though). A lot of my musical tastes slightly embarrass me. Like some Michael Jackson love that I can't quite seem to shake when "Remember the Time" comes on. Or old school Jackson's like "ABC". Loved the B-52's as well! Rock Lobster is one of my fave 80s songs. Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees. Devo! I adore Stevie Wonder. I love the Smiths and by extension Morrisey (who I should have blogged about because I later realized I spent most of my Junior year in college listening to them exclusively - heck I was even making my own home-made tshirts of Morrisey) Yaz. Tears for Fears. and then I'll suddenly want to listen to Harry Connick Jr. It makes no sense at all. The only music I really don't like is country (I don't know...reminds me too much of the actual country, which is where I grew up and dreamt of leaving everyday until I finally did)


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