June 11, 2009

Musical Youth

I used to like real music.

This is a revelation, because the last 20 years have turned me into a soccer mom. I know this because iTunes keeps trying to sell me something called the Soccer Mom Mix. It's embarrassing - I do have some musical pride. But it is, sadly, true. My iPod draws rather predictably from American Idol and the soundtrack to Grey's Anatomy, with a handful of tunes picked out by my kids. Soccer mom, to a T.

But it wasn't always this way. In the early '80s, I spent my summers hanging out at embassies in small, over-populated Asian nations with expat kids from all over the world. We danced our feet raw on the weekends. Met a lot of new music that way - especially British music. Developed a taste for punk, new wave, synthpop - a half-step before the stuff really hit in the States. The Clash, Bronski Beat, Yaz, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode. Even the older, post-punky U2. I've got all these and more on vinyl somewhere in my basement.

I love my iPod. But I do miss my vinyl.

Tonight I went to a Psychedelic Furs concert. Had to be prodded into going. Was very worried that I liked them, back in the day, just because they were British and sorta punky and that was my thing. Figured that my new soccer-mom ears would hate them.

Not so. Apparently I had some taste. Many people - generally those who didn't live through it - think of the '80s and hear Wham! and Whitney Houston in their heads. But there was, in fact, good music back then. And these guys were among those making it. There is no official Furs web site ... but "Ghost In You" on YouTube is one of their more recognizable tunes (slightly dated, with the heavy synthesizer, but still so pretty, and the lyrics resonate for me at the moment).

Now, forgive me if I've gotten some of the terms and timelines wrong. It's been a looooong time since I paid any attention to this stuff, and we all know that babies eat brain cells.

Which actually brings me to my point: another one of those lessons learned in limbo (see "Call Me Couscous" for the first one).

Lesson 2: Remember who you are. Or were.

I lost my music to my kids and the chaos of life and a not-yet-ex who was, quite simply, more into music than I was. I tended to follow his tastes rather than form my own.

My music was just a little tiny bit of my soul. But it was mine, and if you give up enough little tiny bits, you find you've lost a great, big bit somewhere along the way.

It is, fortunately, never too late to get it back.

I know, I forgot the food. Again. It's there - we had dinner at the venue - onion rings with a spicy jalapeno mayo, a fair-to-middlin' entree salad, and a flavorful, richly brewed stout with a hint of vanilla. But the music, and the lesson, were far more important.

No comments:

Post a Comment