Welcome to “Music and Art Monday”, the posts where I distract myself from heavy and/or dull topics and write something actually interesting.
In these posts I hope to focus on one band or painter a week and tell you a bit about what I like about them.
This week I’ll discuss a bit of my background with music and next week with art.
Music has always been playing in the background of my life. Growing up my parents always had music on in the car or at home. There was rock (Elvis to be precise), the Statler Brothers, New Orleans jazz, soul, 80’s country (Oak Ridge Boys etc), the Monkeys, Herman’s Hermits, and other oldies. The first concert I remember attending was a country concert though I could not tell you who.
When I got my first tiny transistor radio at five or six years of age I kept it tuned to the local oldies station every time I was in my bedroom. I gained a great love for Motown and Mersey Beat bands. Pretty much any pop song from the 50’s to the early 70’s could be heard in my room at that time.
When I wasn’t listening to my own radio I was listening to whatever my siblings had on. 80’s hair bands like Def Leppard, Metallica, and Bon Jovi, pop stuff like New Kids on The Block, and early pop rap like M. C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice were always on. All the 90’s music phases went through our house. This was back when MTV played actual music, and along with most of the songs I have a pretty clear memory of most of the videos.
At some point in the decade, my sister got really into hippie music, with a huge emphasis on The Beatles, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane.
Around the age of 12, I got really philosophical and started listening to Jewel and Bob Dylan because: poetry. I bought my first two cds around that age, “Beatles For Sale” and Jewel’s “Pieces of You”. Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumper” was the third. I played each one until the laser burned holes in them (not really, but I am sure my parents had quite enough of “You Will Save Your Soul).
I amassed quite a collection of vinyl in my early teen years. Cheap thrift store selections meant that nothing was off limits. Stemming from my love of Jewelry and Dylan, much of what I bought at the time was folk. My friend dragged me to a John Prine concert and afterwards I had to buy every album I could find of his.
Around the time I discovered girls I was introduced to David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Alice Cooper. I’d listen to just about anything to impress girls, those three actually stuck.
Most of high school was spent listening to Cake, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie ad nauseum at my friend’s house. There are innumerable singles that also have a special place in my heart from that time.
In college I discovered free sampler CDs at the local record store and just like my earlier experience with thrift store vinyl everything from rock to pop to rap and folk were blasting through my ears for those four years.
Ever since then, my musical tastes are all over the place. From all of these roots I have not found a genre that I did not like at least something from. Thanks to Weird Al I can even add polka to that list. Hopefully this broad interest will keep me supplied with many posts in the future. Maybe I can even get some of you to listen to the more obscure bands that only I seem to listen to.
Then I won’t feel so weird.