As a teenager I used to think that everyone listened to the same music I did—Depeche Mode, Erasure, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, etc. For a brief period I even got into Nine Inch Nails until I realized they were pretty dark and evil so I traded that CD to the Bishop’s son for my Depeche Mode “Violater” CD. But I digress. If everyone didn’t listen to that kind of music than at least others had at least heard of these bands, right? I was all wrong. I am still reminded how obscure my music taste must be.
Let me start at the beginning. When I was 15 I was at a stake dance in Hacienda Heights, CA and there was a cowboy kid there who asked my friend Laurie if she knew how to fox trot? Fox trot, what? We also noticed he was wearing cowboy boots. What kid in southern California wears cowboy boots unless he seriously wants to get beat up? So naturally we made fun of “Cowboy Roy” as we affectionately called him. And no, Laurie wouldn’t dance with him—get real.
And when I was 16 and went on a trip to Oregon (see previous blog of me in Oregon with HUGE hair.) I met these other teenage boys in Grants Pass, Oregon and I immediately began talking about Depeche Mode and Oingo Boingo? “Oingo what?”,they said. Excuse me? You’ve never heard of Depeche Mode and Oingo Boingo? Savages!
Fast forward to now—2005. I am picking up my friends Allison and Jenn in the car the other day and in the CD player is one of my compilation CDs made by my sweet sister Carolyn called “Hit’s of the 80s and 90s, volume 6”, and what’s playing is Suzanne Vega—Blood Makes Noise. A classic--“Blood Makes Noise…..It’s a ringing in your ears.” Both Allison and Jenn had never heard this song and thought I was weird and maybe somewhat evil for listening to a song that said the word “blood” in it. Maybe they would approve of her song “99.9 F°”. After all, that song is about science, right? Temperature, heat, etc.
Yesterday I was driving in my oh so cool mini van to Nathan’s soccer game and the current CD in the car was the best of Siouxsie and the Banshees. I quickly fast forwarded to “Peek A Boo”. That’s educational for my kids right? Hallie, my 18 month old, loves to play peek-a-boo at home so why not play it in the car right? I kept looking in my rear view mirror at her, covering and uncovering my eyes at just the moments when Siouxsie would shout out “Peek-A-Boo!!!”. Then I realize that doing that while driving could cause problems. That’s a great song, though. The whole backwards-accordion thing really makes that song too, don’t you think? I am happy to indoctrinate my kids with my music—someday my kids will tell their friends that they know “classic alternative”. Ugh. Just the way I told my friends that I knew “classic rock” because my dad listened to Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimmy Hendrix, etc. When I talked to my dad about his love of drug-addicted rockers he defends himself and says, “I didn’t know any of that then!!” Too funny. I guess him being in Vietnam and all kept him away from all the gossip. Anyway…..
Then I met my husband Paul and realized that if I listened to weird music, then he definitely listened to weird music. He liked the majorly (yes that’s a word) unknown stuff from the 80s—Ultravox, Trash Can Sinatras, Joy Division. He said he never liked Duran Duran because they were too popular. Well, excuse me for not being enough avant garde for him! (I am sure I spelled that wrong.) My mainstream taste was such a turn off to him. Whatever. When we were dating and in that I-Can’t-Bear-To-Be-Away-From-You phase we were away from each other for a whole 6 weeks while I completed a Spring term at BYU and he went home to work in an ice cream factory in East L.A. (Paul should write a blog about that experience—seeing the projects get raided by SWAT teams, etc.)
Anyway, once I returned home for the summer he had made a cute compilation-poem of his favorite songs that expressed his undying love for me. Songs like, “Blue Jean” by David Bowie. “One day I'm gonna write a poem in a letter; One day I'm gonna get that faculty together; Remember that everybody has to wait in line; Blue Jean-look out world you know I've got mine; She got Latin roots; She got everything.” Oh yea, he was whooped for this “Latin” girl.
So now that I am in my 30s I realize that I am holding on to the music of my youth and not really loving the new alternative music that comes out anymore. (Although Depeche Mode’s new hit is pretty good. Good grief, how old are they now? They’re taking a cue from the Stones I guess.) I take pride in the fact that Ilene’s favorite song is “Magic Moments” by Erasure and Nathan learned to count, or at least had fun counting, while dancing to XTC “Senses Working Overtime”. Everything can be a teaching moment.