Thursday, February 27, 2014

Music Fascination

For as long as I can remember, I've always had this fascination with music. Really, sounds in general. I don't know what goes on in my brain, but when I hear a good beat, tone, lyric, riff, whistle, clap, or even a scream...something happens. There's this voice in my brain that says, "Keep listening." I'm just going to throw this idea out there that it has something to do with my upbringing and a few musically defining moments.

Music has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my brothers and I had this sweet radio that could play both AM/FM, sound off an alarm to wake up for school AND tell the time! Revolutionary stuff, right? The actual cool thing about it though was that we never turned it off. It would play music all day, every day. My first memories of listening to the radio was Disney Radio. I know....kiddy stuff, but it was actually not that bad back in the late 90's. Now they only had like 5 songs they would play....and I bet I can even name them off: Eiffel 65 - I'm Blue, Hampton the Hamster - The Hampsterdance, Kenny Loggins - Christopher Robin, Baha Men - Who Let the Dogs Out, and my favorite VENGA BOYS - WE LIKE TO PARTY. Man, I loved that song. I would come home from school and wait in my room until that song would play and then proceed to dance around like a professional break dancer.
Untouchable skills
I was awesome. ANYWAY, that's what started it off. From there I remember a lot of other music that my parents would listen to. My mom likes Country and 80's pop and my dad likes Smooth Jazz, Classical, 60's/70's pop, some 80's Rock and Michael a lot of Michael Jackson (my sister says Michael Jackson is my dads "Favorite Boy!", rich). My ears got the full treatment! I would listen to my moms stuff in the summer as we drove around to our various activities and I would listen my dads stuff in his computer room and when he drove us to soccer practice. It was really a good mix of musical cement that helped to set a foundation for my fascination of music.

I just kind of thought this was the best.

Once I started liking girls, (it took me a while, I blame Pokemon) I felt the need to listen to whatever they were listening to. That meant A LOT of Backstreet Boys and 'N SYNC. They would have posters of Justin and JC taped on the side of their desks. Pictures galore of Nick Carter and Brian Littrell plastered all over their notebooks. I NEEDED TO LISTEN TO THESE GUYS!!! Sadly, my first album wasn't of a cool rock band (my second one was, but still), it was of 'N SYNC's debut album that I got as an Easter gift. I would listen to that Every.Single.Day. It was that good. I sound like a complete girl, but I wanted to know what made these guys so special! My brother got the Backstreet Boys debut album as an Easter gift as well and we would take turns putting our CD's into the chinsy boom box we had that needed something on top of it to keep the CD from popping out. To this day I still know the lyrics to most of the songs from both albums. I'm a little rusty, but hey, it's been like 15 years.

From there I built on my musical library with Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory for Christmas of that same year. Now Linkin Park is completely different from anything that I had heard up until that point in my life. I asked my parents for it because my friends were listening to it at the time, but I didn't really know what to expect...and I don't think my parents knew either. When I got it, along with a sweet new CD player, I was hooked. I think I broke my CD player because I listened to it too much and brought it with me everywhere I went. Linkin Park became my favorite band and Meteora, which was also from Linkin Park, became my favorite album of all time. I still stand by that, even though it's hard to fight for. Linkin Park has grown into something completely different than in their early years and I just don't even care for them at all. The sweet mix between Metal and Rap was SO beautiful in its beginnings. Some of their songs are very radio friendly/cheesy, especially their singles, but most of it is actually amazing.

Even Brent Rambo approves of Meteora! (whoever that kid is)
This musical period in my life would soon end though since Linkin Park became super mainstream...and who likes mainstream stuff? Apparently not me. So I moved on to other things and found a gold mine in the "70's, 80's and Today!", a.k.a. 98.7 The Peak. 98.7 was an amazing radio station in the Phoenix area that played everything I loved about music. Something about the 70's and 80's music just made sense. From the time I entered High School and until I graduated, 98.7 became the new Disney Radio. All day, 'Er day. I was in love with bands that my parents grew up with and found it hard to understand why anyone would ditch the synth. The freakin' SYNTH! Ya, I just don't get it.

Feel it baby!
Music back then just had a different feel. It actually made you feel things that most music nowadays doesn't. I can't listen to a Justin Beiber song and think, "Hey, "Never Say Never" would have been awesome at the end of a Back to the Future movie." My brain just gags itself and says, "Sorry, that does not compute." Or what if we swapped "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from The Breakfast Club with a Miley Cyrus song. Gross. I can't take it. There's just no feels in this new stuff. Sometimes I feel like a huge hipster when I shoot down some of this new stuff coming out, but I actually love a lot of new bands and songs. I just don't like a lot of what most people that hipsterish? Does it have something to do with most songs being lyrically emotionless? Probably. Lack of synth? Mos Def (cool guy). Is it the heart? Maybe. I can't really explain what it is about most songs on the radio these days, but it just doesn't sit well with me. There are definitely exceptions (songs in Just Dance are my weakness), but I find it hard to sit through an entire mainstream Taylor Swift song without cringing.

What I want to know is what happened to this stuff on the radio?

Instead we get stuff like this.

WHAT HAPPENED!!!????? Really? My ears just can't take it anymore. It's hard to find people that have the same music interests as me now because this (I'm looking at you One Direction) has happened. I've heard that they are this generations "'N SYNC" just like 'N SYNC was my generations "New Kids on the Block". You just can't compare them though. I like both New Kids on the Block and 'N SYNC, but the bands now just don't care any more. Maybe they do and I'm a horrible person for thinking that. I'm telling you though, something happened between the 70's and today and I don't like it.

I digress, what has happened has happened. I hope kids today go through a process that I went through. Being exposed to as much music as I was has made me who I am today. Those songs that I remember have influenced the music I listen to today because, weirdly enough, there's that same kind of vibe being given off. I can hear it in bands like Bombay Bicycle Club and M83. I can hear it in the soft Rogue Wave songs. I don't know if mainstream will ever become what it once was, but man do I want it fascination with music needs it.