Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Music of My Youth

Lately I have been feeling nostalgic for my college years. No, I haven't been thinking fondly of my days of a theater major who wore a uniform of overalls and one "female" sign earring. No, I haven't been missing dating gay men because they love Bernadette Peters as much as I do. And I definitely haven't been waxing rhapsodic for the deepest days of my depression before I was placed on the proper medications. My nostalgia has been all about the music. I have spent days going back through CDs, and downloading songs from iTunes that were on mix tapes from boyfriends. Ryan and I have danced around the house for hours singing along to music we forgot we loved, and have had a glorious time doing it. Oh, and I have had a few musical revelations...

1. Tracy Chapman Dates Jerks Seriously, name one song where she is not singing abou
t a guy she should be getting a restraining order against. "Fast Car"? "For My Lover"? "You're the One"? All of them could be used as theme songs for a domestic violence hot line. Even her one truly romantic song "For You" has overtones of dysfunction. She sings about no longer being the "master" of her emotions. So, then who is? Probably the manipulative jerk who is going to sleep with her sister and then steal her El Camino.

2. Lisa Loeb Is Vastly Underrated If "Stay" is the only song of hers you have ever heard, then I actually kind of pity you a little bit. Loeb is a brilliant singer and songwriter who should have been as famous, if not more so, than Sarah McLaughlin or any of the other Lilith Fair ladies. How can you not love someone who writes the lyric "the time between meeting and finally leaving is sometimes called falling in love."

3. Sarah McLaughlin Is Not As Good As I Remember As I've said before, I was depressed in college. I was also really into being artistic. I remember loving McLaughlin more than anything, and listening to her music at full volume as I drove my 1985 Volvo through the streets of Salt Lake. Of course, these were also the days I wanted nothing more than to play Ophelia and I loved velvet. Those days are gone, and so is my affinity for Sarah McLaughlin.

4. Suzanna Vega Is A Feminist Barry White She might be best known for song about a kid getting the shit kicked out of him, but Vega also wrote some great "I want you now" music. If you don't believe me just listen to "99.9 Fahrenheit" or "Caramel." You and your significant other can thank me later.

5. You Cannot Be Grumpy Listening to the Song "These Are Days" Even if you are in the worst mood ever, put on that classic from 10,000 Maniacs and just try to be grumpy. Not even I can do it, and I am very good at holding onto a bad mood. Go ahead, try it. Put on that song. I'll wait.

I know that many of you are now considering calling Ryan to tell him he married a lesbian. First of all, get bent. Second, this isn't all the music I liked, or like. It is just represents a very specific time of my life, when I was young and not as jaded. Maybe tomorrow I'll be pining for the music I used to listen to when I was in my 20's and living in Washington. After all there's nothing like a little death metal in the morning. Am I right? Yeah, I am.

14 comments:

Amanda said...

mind me to reciprocate on the mix discs - I have Lisa Loeb's covers of "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves" and "Goodbye to Romance", which are phenomenal!!!

These days I listen to the music from my college days and laugh. It should have hurt to be that dark & spooky!!!

Amanda said...

By the way, Paula Cole also dated jerks. Possibly the same ones Tracy Chapman dated.

Sandi said...

I was a nanny in Atlanta in 1989. I was obsessed with 10,000 maniac's. I love their music. They seriously got my through a damn rough time in my depressing life.

I think if we did call Ryan and tell him he was married to a lesbian, it would make his day.

Jerrod said...

"first of all, get bent."

i love it.

i also have a tiny crush on Lisa Loeb. it might be the creativity she has or the talent. but i think it's the glasses.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

Listening to Natalie Merchant sing is like shoving bamboo shoots under your fingernails. That's how much I love 10,000 Maniacs.

For me, college was when I discovered the Sneaker Pimps, Modest Mouse, and Eels. Ahh, good times!

Jules said...

That was definitely the Girl Time. I remember it fondly!

Gina said...

I love Lisa Loeb, too, and I love that she randomly pops us on the kid channels now singing kid songs.

I'll be singing These are the Days all damn day now. But it's OK, because I like it and at least I won't be grumpy.

melistress said...

I still think Sarah's music is awesome...but only her old music, the music she made when she was young and experiencing the pain that the world throws at you. Those songs were gut wrenching, soulful and spiritual. The new songs? Not so much. She sucks when she is content.

Amy Jane said...

also, I wouldn't worry at all about Ryan... as I recall, he introduced me to a great deal of "lesbian music" (and we now know how THAT turned out!)

Little Girl Big Glasses said...

"the manipulative jerk who is going to sleep with her sister and then steal her El Camino."

Hahahahahahahahahahaha...

Yellow Trash Diaries said...

Who are you trying to fool? I happen to know for a fact that your iPod is filled up with MC Hammer and Salt 'n' Peppa.

Okay, actually I like Salt 'n'Peppa.

MomZombie said...

I agree with you about Sarah McLaughlin. I was so into her and now, not so much. Also, don't care about any of my Cowboy Junkies tapes.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I love Lisa Loeb.

I mean, not only is she smoking effing hot (can I say that on here? I just did), but she also has a nice voice. And I like her songs. I bought her kids cd because of the kids. What a convenient cover up they are!!!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Oh, and I totally did just fire up These Are Days. Mostly because I love that song. I'm playing the MTV Unplugged version. Awesome.