Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Musical Journey

What, no smorgasbord? Sorry folks, I didn't get to it yesterday. I'd like to say I had better things to do, but mostly I was obsessively worrying about things I cannot change and writing papers.

However, my fluffy music post of Thursday seemed to be a nice compromise for those tired of hearing about Idaho legislative matters. And surprisingly it elicited a few responses. The first being to listen to the soundtrack from Once, which I have and now love. The second and third being Dean Martin related.

To begin with let me say, I have absolutely nothing against Dean Martin. Just as I have nothing against Pink Floyd. It is just that neither are in my daily play list nor a huge part of my CD collection. I have the recently released Dean Martin collection and Saucer Full of Secrets, The Wall, and Relics by Pink Floyd. On the average I have listed to one of those four once a year. I am not ruling out any possibilities, but I don't think I'm going to wake up tomorrow with the sudden desire for a Dean Martin overdose.

Perhaps further explanation is needed. My grandparents love Dean Martin. I love my grandparents. Therefore, when I was younger and living with them I listened to what they listened to without complaint. I have had my fill of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash, Gene Autry and Anne Murray for one lifetime. The one hold over and love I developed during this period was for Ray Charles.

My musical journey really began there.

I now have a 300-disc CD player, somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 CDs, 3,000 songs on my computer, and an iPod shuffle so I can be sure to at least listen to some of all that music fairly randomly. Without the computer and the shuffle, I would listen to ten or so CDs only. Ten of my favorites that I can never get sick of.

Once I left the confinement of my grandparents' music selection, I didn't start out well. They were cassettes and they weren't good ones. Blackhawk, TLC, Guns n' Roses, Michael Jackson, and Joan Osborne. Don't even ask how I arrived at the decision that any of those belonged together, much less were any good.

I kind of ran with Joan Osborne. Moved on to Joni Mitchell (who I still love), Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucinda Williams, and Emmylou Harris. Thankfully I never felt the need to listen to Dolly Parton!

Some time during junior high I discovered pop music. Boy bands, especially. I still like boy bands and I'm not afraid to admit that. Bubblegum pop, I think that's what those in the know call it. I expanded from there to include top 40 stuff and way too much country.

It must of been during the eighth grade year that I got Meredith Brooks banned from the house. That story I won't tell here, but even now when I listen to Meredith Brooks I feel like I'm being sneaky about it.

Once I hit high school my taste in music became much broader and sophisticated. I mean really, how had my life ever been worth living without Pearl Jam in it? I'm pretty sure my blogger profile lists my favorite artists--Pearl Jam is one of them, though I don't listen to them much these days. Eddie Vedder's voice soothes me and scares the living hell out of me in the same breath.

Around this time the music scene was flooded with really good bands. Lifehouse, Coldplay, Matchbox 20, The Wallflowers, Train, and a dozen others that I love. All of this was added to music I'd already discovered and fallen in love with--Springsteen, The Who, Dire Straits, Roy Orbison, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, etc.

My brother had quite a bit of influence on me when it came to this period of our lives. Today there is no way in hell I would take his advice on music. I'd be forced to listen to Justin Timberlake and some guy who goes by T-Pain. Ah, to be fifteen again.

Once I hit college I'd really become fond of Seven Mary Three, Collective Soul, and the Counting Crows.

The list continues to grow, but there are always those artists that I think were really introduced to me by Joan Osborne--Jewel, Lucinda Williams, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meredith Brooks, Joni Mitchell.

But no matter where my musical journey takes me, I will always have the standbys. The music I grew to love because the two people I loved were listening. I will forever listen to Ray Charles. I might throw on Charlie Parker because it was what my grandparents gave me to get me to learn the sax. And maybe one day I'll put on "Sioux City Sue" and think of times that were much simpler than today.

1 comment:

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Tara, no disrespect mean ma'am, but have you really given "Dean Martin: Forever Cool," our Dino's latest album, a real Dinolisten...it is packed with many of today's up and comin' artists who love makin' music with our great man...more and more of today's youth are gettin' Martin and diggin' his hip sound. Your grandparents may be oldsters, but they sound very wise and hip to where it is at. Sooner our later our Dino will get you!