Music has always been a HUGE part of my life. I am the daughter of a musician and my mother was a photographer for Stan Kenton, a Jazz musician back in the day. So to say I’ve been influenced by music and art is an understatement. And I think it’s safe to say I really do love all types of music. For most of us, music is sometimes a touchy subject, along with religion and politics, probably because it sparks debate and most often a jab at someone’s taste. I try to be conscious of this but I’m guilty of musical judgement so to make the game even, here is a slice of my music in retrospect. Feel free to judge me, all you want. I can take the heat.
NO, I’m not cool, I never got into Motorhead or even heard of The Sex Pistols til I was well out of high school. My first concert was Blues Traveler. I never played in a band nor do I know how to play an instrument. I don’t know all the lyrics to the album, Doggystyle, or claim I know anything about Tupac aside from a few songs. I didn’t get heavy into punk music or know every Beatles song by heart. That doesn’t mean I don’t love The Ramones or the Clash and if asked to choose Beatles or Stones, I’ll never understand why I have to decide! I was raised on pop music, 80’s metal (thanks to my brother), Grunge (thanks to my 1st boyfriend), and everything from Hawaiian music to 70’s Rock and Roll and I hope that will continue to expand. I don’t know why I like some cheesey songs (Outa my head by Ashlee Simpson or Toxic by Britney Spears) and I can’t tell you why one of my favorite bands is Silverchair, actually I could, but it’d probably annoy you. BUT I do know this: I will never find a better way to feel normal than through listening to music.
And through feeling normal, I can say that music is a time machine. It can frame special moments in my life and encompass certain feelings. For example Sublime and Social Distortion will always remind me of California in college. And the reason I listen to hip hop to this day is due to a skater I dated in high school that was obsessed with Tribe Called Quest which parlayed me into Beastie Boys, Gang Starr and The Roots. And then although I hardly revisit these albums, The Grateful Dead, Phish, and Bob Marley all have a slice of the inner hippie in me and remind me of smoking my first joint in the woods with my best friends. The Dirrty Projectors and Lady Gaga along with Santigold and MGMT’s Electric Feel will forever remind me of New York City subways, dancing at INC lounge, and walking around Union Square photo stalking people. And Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana will always remind me of MTV, middle school, and my adorable skater boyfriend, Andy, who was my first kiss.
I don’t know why I like what I like, nor do I feel the need to justify it. BUT what I can tell you is how I felt after hearing It Smells Like Teen Spirit for the first time: Normal. If that doesn’t make sense, I don’t know what more I can say.