Monday, November 8, 2010

1996, the year music stopped

Everyone has a soundtrack to their life, don't they? I was driving along Route 4 today, singing along to some Indigo Girls, and thought, do I listen to anything that was recorded after 1996?

When I was growing up, my father was an avid reader of Rolling Stone and was largely a classic rock fan.  I can pinpoint every house or apartment we lived in to a Bruce Springsteen album.  Born to Run was the yellow apartment, Darkness on the Edge of Night and The River was the brick house, Born in the USA was the blue house on Delaware Ave, Tunnel of Love was the Cinnaminson house.

He was also ahead of the curve in finding new stuff to listen to before it hit the radio.  In 1985, we moved to Scotland for a while, and I remember my father saying at dinner one night, "I found this really awesome band.  They are called U2." Lo and behold a few years later in the States...

Then, one day in his late thirties, my father stopped listening to anything on the radio.  Like a switch had been turned off.  He started researching classical music, and old-time jazz and big band stuff. This phase has lasted for about 20 years now.

And now?  In my mid-thirties?  I have stopped listening to the radio.  I, who used to mentally make playlists of songs that would be playing if my life had a soundtrack, have reached radio silence.

I used to listen to music all the time.  My teens were the hair band years.  I loved Poison, Winger, Nelson (cringe), Metallica, anything male that had more hairspray and eyeliner than I did.  At one point I had a floor to ceiling poster of Poison, where I think all of the band members were wearing leather pants and vests without tshirts underneath. And lots of hairspray and eyeliner.  My grandmother, upon seeing the poster, remarked that those women presumably made enough money to buy a razor and shave under their arms.

My college years were pretty heavy on the rap. Cypress Hill, Naughty By Nature, Tribe Called Quest, Tupac,, actually, this is still all on my ipod. Nothing like rocking some N.W.A. with the windows down when you pick up your kindergartener in the minivan.

I went through a brief Sara McLoughlin and Dave Matthews band phase, and while I still think they are awesome musically, it just reminds me of an intensely miserable time in my life and therefore never listen to it.

Then there were the commuting years...I've lost years of my life commuting long distances.  Those were the NPR years.

Currently my ipod is packed with music recorded prior to 1996.  Lots of Springsteen, lots of old school rap.  I keep hearing the names Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend...I could not identify a top 40 song  if it jumped up and bit me on the ass.  (Do they even still have the top 40?? Is Casey Kasem still around?)

However, in the last few months, the ONLY song playing on my ipod is the Muppet show theme song. Peter requests it over and over and over and over and over and over.  Considering that its about 24 seconds long, and a few weeks ago we listened to it from Exit 14 to Exit 9 (oh, say half-hour-ish, give or take), I'm ready for something new.

Anyone have some suggestions?  Is there anything on the radio that a culturally out-of-touch, nearing middle age, mother of three might like and could listen to with her children in the car without having to bleep or explain awkward things like what a hit from a bong is, or N.W.A. stands for?

Lastly, today Jen Lancaster (who appears to have the same musical taste as I do) over on Jennsylvania posted this awesome mash-up of Eazy-E and Johnny Cash.  It so rocks.  If only I had the technological savvy to figure out how to get onto my ipod. (Hint, hint, Mister.)


  1. Oh, I still love new music and always fill my ipod with it. I'm 31 so I totally went through all that hair band stuff, DMB and Sarah, etc....OH and TORI of course, can't forget her. But these days I like a real mix of stuff, this was a fun post!

  2. I listen to EVERYTHING!!! Do you use Pandora? That's a great way to get to know other musicians. I happen to LOVE Kings of Leon....LOVE them....if you're interested, I can get a little list of 30-something music for ya ;)

  3. My husband is like you! He loves old music and has a hard time finding new stuff he digs! : )

  4. I definitely gravitate toward older music. I can't handle most of the pop today.

  5. Finally got around to responding! I listen to Pandora A LOT. Type in any one of these and you'll be able to customize your station. I think all of these have staying power, definitely not one hit wonders (which I also like ;)

    Kings of Leon (obviously;)
    Kanye West
    Black Eyed Peas
    Justin Timberlake
    The Modest Mouse
    Ingrid Michaelson
    Alexi Murdoch
    The Temper Trap
    The Roots



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