Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Emotional Aural-scape

Rather than do the shuffle thing on my iPod, I thought I'd talk more about a couple specific songs that trigger the most intense memories and emotional whirl-a-gigs inside me.

Pet Shop Boys - "A Different Point of View": It's September 1993. I'm getting ready for school in my room and listening to Jennifer V do the morning show on WBER. The Pet Shop Boys have a new album out called Very and this is the latest song. Some people will say that your senior year in high school is the best year, but for me it was junior year. I had become friends with several people who would have an immeasurable impact on the way I viewed the world around me and what I claimed as important values for myself. All the while, I was diving into the vast world of alternative music with no intention of resurfacing into the airy world of pop.

New Order - "Regret": If I mention junior year, then I have to mention the song that makes me think of senior year. I'm in my dad's Nissan Sentra, pulling out of the parking lot for Apollo Middle School after an RPYO rehearsal when the guitars chords for this song chime out from the radio. The sky is gray with a tinge of sunlight shining through. The leaves are golden around me and I feel that sadness Autumn brings, because you know that the crisp, cool days will turn more blustery. On top of that, this is the last year before you leave home. Going to college represented not just leaving home, but leaving some of what constrained me from fully being who I knew I was and wanted to be. Was I sad? Sure. But I had no regrets.

7 comments:

PreppyGirl said...

I wore out a copy of New Order's Technique which I HAD to have after seeing them at Darien Lake with PIL and the Sugar Cubes. Good times.

Julia said...

I still can't figure out how I missed out on that show. What a line-up!

gasaholic said...

Maybe it is because I am older, but, there are very few band from the 90's and currently that I can find myself getting into. It seems as though too many of them share a cookie cutter formula, with zero originality.

Now, I will freely admit that I enjoyed bands such as Nirvana (I know, typical!) and Letters To Cleo. (I still throw on "Aurora Gory Alice" in the car from time to time.) That said, I wind up gravitating back to the things I grew up with, such as "Quadrophenia" (The original, NOT the movie soundtrack, for God's sake!) "The Last Waltz," and my long standing love of such people as Stevie Ray Vaughn and Pat Metheny.

Am I missing something regarding what is out there today? I keep hearing about Ben Folds, but have not really heard any of his stuff. People keep saying how good he is......especially Stenz....

Julia said...

I could spend several hours going into all the good music that's out there present and recent past. I enjoy Ben Folds, but recommend starting with Ben Folds Five's sophomore release "Whatever & Ever Amen." Several other bands worth listening to include The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, OK GO, and The Format.

The Stenz said...

Hmmm...I'm left thinking of your tribute on WIRQ to Kurt Cobain, and my contribution of "Weird" Al's "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Trigger Happy".
We seemed to have rather divergent music taste, though I honestly always respected yours. After pop I got lost in a world of classic rock, among other things and at the time I thought the grunge movement was highly overrated. I always liked the idea of alternative, but it too quickly becomes mainstream.
Now I look back at Nirvana and Pearl Jam and appreciate what I might have missed. I didn't want to conform to the non-conformity then, now I am more secure in knowing I am my own eclectic and eccentric mass.
It wasn't long ago I finally bought the Pet Shop Boys Discography (and I have a Cass-single of "Always On My Mind" somewhere). I like songs that take me back.
And with many years past since Angus Beef (the best band that never was) I really want to start a lounge rock band. I need to get a hold of some Richard Cheese...

gasaholic said...

I think part of what made me more critical of bands and individual artists with no originality started with my discovery of jazz as a senior in high school back in 1977. That year, two important albums (at least as far as I was concerned) came into the music world:

1. Steely Dan - "Aja"

2. Weather Report - "Heavy Weather"

The first was my gateway drug,(to jazz) the second made me something of an addict. It turned me around in terms of how I viewed music in general, and I became far more critical of works that displayed no semblance of originality.

While I still loved my rock and pop, I looked at them with a more critical eye than ever before, and began to appreciate the musicality of such artists as Prince. One year later, I saw Talking Heads at CBGB, and that really blew me into another universe as well.....

gasaholic said...

Oh, btw, I really like Pet Shop Boys as well, though at times they are a little too Eurotrashy for me.....;-)

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