Hello, dear reader. In case you’re wondering just who is the author behind this music blog, please allow me to introduce myself… “I’m a man of wealth and taste; I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a man’s soul and faith…”
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. For the record, I am neither The Devil nor a Rolling Stone. I’m just a gal who lives on a small farm in East Tennessee. I don’t go out much (I strive for an otaku existence as much as possible; for details please see my other blog, Otaku Haiku) but when I do emerge for anything other than necessities it usually involves music. Music festivals, concerts, symphonies, 80s club nights: music rocks my ever lovin’ world. I’m an over-educated world traveler, and music, especially sharing music with others, is one of my greatest joys in life. There are few things that I look forward to as much as sitting down and making a new mix (which kids today call playlists, but I will forever call them mixes after the old-school method of creating mixed tapes). I make mixes for traveling, mixes for presents, mixes because I notice that I have a lot of songs with the word “star” in the title, mixes because it’s Wednesday… And so in taking my cue from High Fidelity and music geeks everywhere, I thought that I would share my mixes with you, dear reader, as well as new bands that I discover, old bands that sound new, and personal connections a-plenty.
When I was a child hot pink was my favourite colour.* I even wanted a hot pink house. This was also when Full House was my favourite television show, and I was dead certain that Joey McIntyre would FALL IN LOVE WITH ME IF WE COULD ONLY MEET! Though I no longer listen to “Please Don’t Go Girl” with tears in my eyes while mouthing the lyrics like a fervent prayer to end world hunger, many, many other artists can produce this same effect that was once the domain of NKOTB. In the late 80s/early 90s I clutched a Walkman like a Bible, and I can still remember the feeling of holding down that rewind button so hard that a double triangle indentation was left on my index finger. (Because the harder you hold down the button, the faster it will rewind, right?) Then in the mid- to late 90s the magic of the CD Walkman came into my life. Instant rewind and fast forward, holy musical miracle, Batman! I went NOWHERE unless I had my CD Walkman with me. I had the plugs to hook it up in my car, and spare batteries were de rigueur for any trip longer than ten minutes. I’ll never forget how my heart dropped and shattered on a concrete floor mere seconds after my CD Walkman did the same at the beginning of my semester abroad in London, then my subsequent search along London’s back streets for an affordable replacement (which was not an easy task, paying in pounds with my American dollars). The idea of finishing a semester without music wasn’t an option.
In 2005 another musical miracle occurred: I bought my first iPod. It was expensive and white (the only colour option at that time) and in the coming years I would have friends comment that they had never seen such a chunky iPod. I didn’t exactly understand how it all worked, but I knew that a musical revolution was happening, and I wanted in. “Stella” (named after an Interpol song) would become the jelly to my peanut butter, the fries to my veggie burger, the icing on the cupcake of my life. No more choosing! I could now take all 500 of my albums with me EVERYWHERE! And the iTunes technology has been incredible. Search engines and playlists and instant downloads, oh my! Stella passed on at the close of 2007, but she was worth every penny. And my new iPod, Artemis, is still going strong (though at 1713 albums, I’ve had to shave down what can travel with me and what must be relegated to remaining in the home music library). Throughout the years and the many incarnations of music players, one thing has remained the same: these headphones still remain firmly perched atop my head, even at this very moment, piping delightful music through my ears and adding extra pleasure to every facet of life.
Music is therapy, music is love. Music is the thread that binds us together, music transcends language and cultural barriers. Music is the way that I relate to the world around me. I go so far as to imagine that my life has a soundtrack, and quite often my first thought in any given situation is, “What song would be gently swelling in the background right about now?” Chalk it up to an 80s childhood filled with fantasy films and magical books, but all I need is music for my imagination to take flight. Music is my instant connection, my empathy, my understanding. Music says what I most need to say, what I wish I could say; it comforts me during the worst times of my life, and it makes a joyful moment extraordinary.
Please feel free to tune in, join me, comment with the songs that you love, and keep the music flowing! The hot pink headphones are always on.
*I attended grad school in England, so I spell words such as “favorite” and “color” with that extra British “u.” But even before then I spelled those words the British way because I thought it was cool. So it’s an ounce of pretension and a pinch of learned habits.