Thursday, September 30, 2010

Musical Influences

I'm always kind of jealous when someone talks about the music they heard around the house growing up. When I discovered Fleetwood Mac's Rumours a couple years ago, I couldn't believe I had never heard the whole album before and my friend Steve told me that his parents used to listen to it constantly when he was a kid.

The only thing I really remember hearing in my parents' house was Christmas music and kids music. I only recall my parents owning three records, but they were all stellar: one was a live Johnny Cash (either Folsom Prison or San Quentin ), then Sesame Street Fever, and then this great Christian kids record called The Music Machine. Old Herbert the Snail taught me a lesson I never forgot when he sang "have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start worry." He's right, you know.

Speaking of the Music Machine, I totally want one if this is really how it works:

♫Music machine, music machine
Like no other gadget that you've ever seen
Whatever you want to sing about,
Put something in it and a song comes out!♫

I wish they still had those albums, but when they moved to a different house when I was in college, the records ended up in the attic and got all melty.

In retrospect, it would have been cool if my parents had really been into the Beatles or something, but neither my mom or my dad has ever really been into music at all. My early musical education came from my older brothers. When I got my first radio for Christmas in fifth grade one of my older brothers made me a list of what stations I should listen to, advising me to avoid 102.5 KEZK because it was "mushy Mom music." As I got older, he schooled me in the music he liked, particularly the Go-Go's and the Who.

Another older brother really liked U2 and the Pixies. My oldest brother went from liking country (when country was cool -- Devil Went Down to Georgia era), to strangely enough, rap. He had this tape called Rap's Greatest Hits that my little brothers and I thought was just about the best thing ever. Oh my gosh, what an amazing tape!

It wasn't until I was in college and had a boyfriend that was into cool music that I started to understand the scope and breadth of music. Ever since then, I've been a bit of a music nut. I can't actually have intelligent conversations with Music Snobs because my opinions tend to be gushy but non-descript like "Oh my gosh, what an amazing band/song/album! I love those guys!" Plus I don't understand why there have to be a million different genres and 90% of them have to be '"something"-core'. You'll never hear me describe a band as "If Band A and Band B Got Drunk in an Alley and Had A Three-Way With Band C." That's just not me.

Anyway, yeah, musical influences. I turned out just fine even though my parents weren't/aren't huge music fans. They may not have taught me anything about music, but they did teach me countless priceless life lessons. Seems like a pretty good trade-off.


  1. I loved all those records. I think the Mitch Mitchell Christmas record is floating around.


  3. That youtube link is NOT the original Music Machine song. Don't taint our childhood memories with imposters Ben!