I’ve always loved music. But also, I’ve always felt lost to it. Like I can’t keep up on what’s being produced. Instead, I find myself swimming in a sea of wtf. I know I could find music I love, songs or whole albums that inspire me. But honestly, it takes a lot of time.
In my personal opinion, music falls into one of those triangle diagrams. There are three big things, but you can only pick two. The way I see it, music, movies/TV, and books are all vying for the win, only in my case, books and TV/movies actually wins.
I could talk books for hours. I easily read 60 or 70 books in a year. I think my count as of today is something like 43 or 44 books read so far this year. I could write whole posts about the various reasons why you should stop what you’re doing and pick up a book. We could talk about how studies show reading builds empathy and how children who grew up reading Harry Potter, for example, are more likely to care about humans as a whole instead of fractionizing them into classes where some are better than others. We could talk about how a study was done in the last year or so-ish years proved that listening to an audiobook is no different than reading a book. Your brain processes the information in the same way. So, listing to books counts. I could go on like this forever. My friends are sick of it. Trust me. I’ll give you their phone numbers and you can ask them yourself.
My entire life, I’ve been an avid movie goer. I don’t watch as much TV or see as many films as I’d like in recent years. In fact, it often takes me two nights to get through a movie. It’s more about the allocation of time then it is about my enjoyment of it. But I’d still rather research what new movies or shows are coming out then what new music is out there.
Now you’re giving me the “You’re crazy,” look. I know. It’s okay. I’m okay with it. I can own who I am.
I accepted at a young age, I’d have to rely on other people for my music listening habits. My first cassette tape was a mix and my favorite song was by Joan Jet. This should have set me up to be a musical goddess. I recognize that. My parents had me young and they were teenagers themselves in the 80s. So, I grew up listening to a LOT of 80s music. I’m still a huge fan. I have always been and still am terrible with names don’t ask me who my favorites are. But I know the lyrics to easily 70% of the rock or hit songs of the 80s. It’s a gift wasted on me.
In the sixth grade, one of my friends had the Hanson CD and she would listen to it on the bus ride home. I would sit next to her and we’d share her headphones. What was this MMMbop?! I’d told her about Guns and Roses but she only stared blankly. I tried humming a few bars, but she just handed me the headphones and said, “I don’t know what you listen to Miranda, but this is what I call good music.” Needless to say, I did go through a Hanson faze. It was like a door being opened to another realm. One where there were teenage boys singing and not old men wearing leather. There was this kid I went to school with from like 3rd to 7th grade with, his name was Dylan. I’ve run into him over the years, no less than 3 times. He always looks at me, tilts his head to the side and says, “I know you. You’re one of the girls who liked Hanson. Right?” I roll my eyes, “Why is it I can remember your name Dylan, but you only remember that in the 6th grade I liked Hanson for a blip. We went to school together for years dude.” He always just shrugs. I guess I’m not that memorable.
By the time I reached seventh grade, my theatre classes enveloped me into a world of musicals which I never really quite left. I love them and would happily listen to soundtrack after soundtrack if I didn’t think my friends would stab their ears out when I was driving. Lucky for me, only one has tried jumping out of the car.
Sometime around 8th grade, I was introduced to Toy Box by my foster sister. This is also when I was introduced to heavy metal bands for the first time. I still have a spot on my phone for some great musicians who scream. She was punk-rock-goth and here was this Danish pop band that would make her bounce around. I was fascinated. It was many years later that I learned about some of their music videos. The band is Aqua-esk only no one I knew had heard of them, so that made them better. For the first time, I was introducing a “cool” new band. I spent an entire summer between 8th grade and 9th grades going from music store to music store looking for their imported album. It was impossible to find. But when I finally did, Glory. I still have their music on my computer today. (Here are links to a couple: Best Friend, Tarzan, Sailor Song) In case you’re wondering as I write this, both bands are playing in the background. Some crazy YouTube mix. I’ll be popping around all afternoon with these songs stuck in my head… I can’t decide if it’s better or worse than having Labyrinth quotes/songs in my head for two days straight.
As you’re starting to see, my history with music is a bit scatterbrained? I never gave up on trying to get my friends to listen to Meatloaf or Alice Cooper or John Mellencamp (he’s my go-to karaoke artist). Sometime that same summer, my foster sister and I used to play a game we called Radio DJ. We would set up a blank tape in my parent’s old jumbo all in one record, tape, and CD player. We would pretend to be Radio DJ’s and whatever song we put on, we’d take turns singing to with the microphone. I came across one of these tapes a few years ago. Let’s just say that this singular unlabeled tape is beyond special to me. It has us singing and laughing and we killed the 80s/90s rock scene. Just sayin’.
Let’s fast forward to 16 when I had my first car and finally had control of the radio. This meant no more soft rock station that my parents listened to. I could listen to whatever I wanted. I fell in love with classical music. I listened to an insane amount of whatever had a strong piano or cello front man. I am still a sucker for a good cellist. I’ve always wanted to learn to play cello, guitar, and piano. I did actually know how to play piano as a young girl but it’s one of those lose it or use it scenario. I didn’t and forgot. Last winter I was gifted an amazing keyboard. I practice whenever I get the chance. I can muddle through a few songs with one hand lol. Someday I’d like to muddle through a few songs with two hands. #goals
It wasn’t a far hop from classical to Sinatra and many of the other big names of the 50s and 60s. Sinatra was my love though. It took me roughly 9 years to track down a swing album which was only produced on record containing my all-time favorite Sinatra song on it. It came out the following year on CD.
In my twenties, I went through a 90s folk stage. I listened to a lot Red House Painters & Sun Kill Moon. This would lead me to artists like Daniel Johnston, Bob Dylan, and one of my personal favorites The Smiths. Every one of them really was introduced to me by a friend who worked at a record store. Most of my physical records are from this point in my life.
Lately, I’ve been on a cover kick. I found these albums… okay, a friend of mine showed me these albums called “Punk Goes Pop” where various punk rock and metal bands cover all kinds of pop music. They also have an 80s tribute album that I’m particularly fond of.
I don’t think I know exactly where I was going with this particular post. I’ve been sort of toying with the idea of writing about music for a while. I do love it, for the record. But I’d rather spend my day reading about books or just reading. In fact, I can spend a whole day adding stuff to my Netflix watch list without ever actually watching a movie. Somewhere in there, it’s about storytelling I’m sure. It’s also why I’m so fond of musicals as a whole and any album that tells a story. I guess I’m just a sucker for a good story in any capacity.