It got me thinking. What things - songs, movies, books, gifts, moments, etc. - have meant something to me at some time. Music is always an easy one. Movies too because I only have a few really favorite movies. Books are hard. Really hard. But I have many that always stick to my brain like gum on hair. Moments is really really really hard, more so because I haven't had too many of them, including the "he asked me to marry him this way" story, the "we got married here and it was darn special" story, the "when I realized I was pregnant, I did this" story, or the "I knew I loved him when" story. I'll explain that in another post because I have to go into some detail about our relationship (the husband and mine, but who else do you marry or have kids with? Well, I guess anyone can get married to anyone at this point, depends on where you live, and anyone can have a kid with anyone, depends on the adoption agency, locale, etc., so yeah, I suppose the clarification does mean something).
Okay. So I'll start with music since that's the easiest for me.
The band that changed my life: The Clash. I was a freshman in High School the first time I listened to The Clash. That was way back in 1989, and yes, many years after The Clash became The Clash.
I honestly can't remember where I first heard them, but I have to assume it was on the radio. I was a bit of a geek although was trying really hard not to be, and I would go to the library A LOT. And guess what you could check out at the library circa 1989? Records. Yes, vinyl. And yes, I'm old enough to know what a record is (I really loathe when older people assume I don't know what a record is, that's just so asinine and stupid), and yes my husband and I have a huge record collection, and yes I know you can make bowls out of them if you're brave enough to put one in the oven.
Okay, so I went to the library and checked out some Clash records and played them over and over and over and over. Seriously. And then I went to Berkeley and bought all The Clash's tapes (Yes, I know what a tape is....). The Clash seriously woke me up to a whole other side of music I didn't know existed.
Don't get me wrong, I listened to music before then, was a huge fan of The Cure and Duran Duran and OMD and New Order, and would stay up on Friday and Saturday nights to watch Night Tracks on TBS so I could watch videos, which were so new and shiny and smelled great. I used to tape the radio using one of those huge, hunking tape recorders from the 80's, by listening for that song to come on, and then I would quickly click the record button. The tapes never really sounded great, but what was one to do without the fantastic music technology we have today?
I would sit and look at my parent's records for hours (okay, maybe like 20 minutes because I was just a wee one and didn't have a long attention span). My dad was always playing music in the house and of course, in the car. I know so many bands and songs from the 60's and 70's because of my dad. What I loved the most (and this could very well be a favorite moment) was when he would be working on the house or in the backyard or in the garage, and he'd blast music so he could hear it above the din of his work and his two girls squealing and causing general girly ruckus. Yes, that is a favorite moment.
I still remember the first records I received for Christmas: Weird Al Yankovic (stop laughing, I liked the guy, okay?) and Duran Duran. I think I had 4 Duran Duran records and the one Weird Al record, and I tell you, I thought I was the poop. Years later I added OMD and New Order to my collection. I still remember going to the Tower Records and picking them out and using my gift certificate to pay for them. How proud I was.
So yes, I was completely aware of music, but it was the music I grew up with and limited to my parent's taste in music (which, at times, is quite questionable, sorry mom and dad). Now everybody go and do the Safety Dance!
But when I first started listening to The Clash...oh boy oh boy. It's like reading Sweet Valley High for years and then realizing Robert Cormier exists or J.D. Salinger or S.E. Hinton or Paul Zindel or Lois Duncan. (By the way, I just read in Newsweek that Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese was on Palin's hit list. Booooo, Palin!) I realized there was this thing called punk music out there. From the 70's and 80's. I realized a band can be diverse in its sound and still be awesome. I realized what I had been listening too was great in its own right, but if bands like The Clash existed, and I just realized it in 1989, then what else was out there??
So my tastes pretty much expanded from that point on.
Other bands that have influenced me in one way or another and I consider my top 10 all time favorites, please, if you dump me off on a desert isle, give me my iPod with these bands on it so I can die in happiness (assuming I have no survival skills, which, I'm afraid, I really don't, even with watching Survivor twice a year for a bazillion years):
- Wilco (Wilco's concerts fall into my most favorite concerts and moments.)
- Death Cab For Cutie
- David Bowie (the day I bought the David Bowie tape box set was the happiest day of my life and cost me a fortune!)
- Bon Iver
- Einsturzende Neubauten
- Sage Francis
- Jose Gonzalez
- Postal Service
- Blonde Redhead
- Rogue Wave
- Throw Me the Statue
- Bloc Party
- Miss TK and The Revenge
- Sigur Ros
- Heather Duby
- French Kicks
- Beta Band
- The Shins
- Nicolai Dunger
- Andrew Bird
- Lali Puna
My most favorite songs of all time include:
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
If You Were Here - Thompson Twins
The Sweetest Thing - U2
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left - Andrew Bird
She's a Jar - Wilco
Everything is Its Right Place - Radiohead
A Lack of Color - Death Cab For Cutie
Sea Lion - Sage Francis
Airline to Heaven - Wilco
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart - Wilco
Conquering Kids - Throw Me the Statue
Okay. I'm done boring all you readers. Maybe I just made the soundtrack to my life as it stands today.
I'll write about books next. So many books, so little time.