When I was young (like, really young,) my parents took me to my first concert, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, when they played the Ozark Rodeo. (I know, I know.) The Daredevils were my parents FAVORITE band in college and I wasn't sure really what to expect. What I got was a lot of drunk old hippies. Mostly. But I have this memory of standing in the grandstands as they started playing "It'll Shine When It Shines." Slowly the entire outdoor arena started flickering, little bic lighters glowing in the darkness (hey they didn't have cell phone cameras to flash around obnoxiously in the 90's) and the entire arena started singing along. It gave me chills even then. Those, I believe, are the moments that we as musicians or just lovers of music live for. The collective experience of a great song, of glowing lights, of an entire room living in that moment. The time when you share a song or a video with others and they just get it. Goosebumps man, goosebumps.
I was listening to music basically coming out of the womb and really never stopped. It's in my blood. (Seriously, during my last surgery the surgeon told me i totally freaked her out b/c I started singing while I was still under in the middle of the procedure. Freeeaky.) I recently read an article written by Questlove about the 27 records of his youth, the moments he was in, the memories they brought him, and I couldn't stop thinking about my own. Below I've listed some of my defining memories, moments, or records that just make me think of a time, a place, a person from my pre to late teens. It's pretty comical to remember the (sometimes embarrassing,) records I loved, but hey I was young. I would LOVE to hear about yours.
1993: Alan Jackson :: A Lot About Living (& A Little Bout Love)
Country music and I have been through the ringer throughout my youth. Growing up in Missouri there's really no escaping it, but it can be certain that in 1993, it certainly wasn't cool. As a decidedly uncool child, naturally, I loved it, and Chattahoochee was my jam. (I even had the music video taped on a VHS.) Did I understand how dirty the song was? Absolutely not. (It get's hotter than a hoochie coochie. Hello inappropriate.)
1994: Meatloaf :: Bat Out of Hell Delux Edition
I'm hanging out with my older and much cooler cousin & his girlfriend watching the pop-up video for I Would Do Anything for Love. Do you remember how effing creepy this video was??? So weird. So awesome. So much hair.
1995: Boys II Men II :: & TLC Crazy Sexy Cool
95 was a big year in the Fears family with the purchase of our first CD player, and my newest birthday gifts, the Boys 2 Men & TLC albums. I would grab a hairbrush, my one pair of silky pajamas, and an oscillating fan and sing in the mirror to Creep. Then my mom heard Red Light Special and I was grounded.
1996: Bush :: Razorblade Suitcase
Okay I'm gonna set the scene for y'all. MTV Spring Break Cancun is literally in the middle of a hurricane & Bush is supposed to play on this crazy lit up outdoor stage that has to be a massive electrical issue due to the pouring rain. The band doesn't come out. They're about to cancel the show. Then Gavin come out, plugs in, and plays Glycerine as the rain literally pours down. (Was it the best decision to be hooked up to electronics in a hurricane? Likely no. But so badass.)
1997: Lynyrd Skynyrd :: Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd)
I've always been a super nostalgic kid, so naturally, when I found my parents stash of vinyl from their college years I immediately claimed it all, pulled out the old record player and jammed. Say what you will about Free bird, but listening to it pop and crack through old speakers and a needle is magic.
1998: Usher :: My Way
Nostalgia overload. I got my first kiss in the 8th grade school dance while stiff armed, sweaty palmed slow dancing to Usher's Nice & Slow with my 1st boyfriend. (Which looking back, was probably an inappropriate song to be playing at a jr. high dance. Just saying.) Every time I hear this song my heart beats a little faster.
1998: Lauryn Hill :: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Yeah I have two 98's so what. I had to, because THIS album seriously changed my world. It crushed me. I couldn't listen to one song without having to listen to the entire thing straight through. And I still do.
1999 :: Cruel Intentions Soundtrack: Colorblind
Okay okay, I know it's a soundtrack, but really, aren't those the modern day mixtapes of our generation? I was totally obsessed with this movie, with Ryan Phillippe, and in the process, fell in love with this Counting Crows track. I seriously wish that my first time could have been this beautiful. Yeah.
2000: Eva Cassidy :: Live at Blues Alley
Around my freshman year of high school, I started getting really into vocal jazz and the blues and a friend suggested that I check out Eva. Afterwards I literally dug through every blues CD I could find in my home just to attempt to get more. She was a treasure. Listen to her version of T-Bone Walker's Stormy Monday and try to disagree.
2001: Nirvana :: Nevermind
The summer before my junior year I dated this guy who was totally obsessed with Kurt Cobain. I'd pick him up after I got off of work at the city pool and we'd jam out and talk for hours (or make out in the high school parking lot. Whichever came first.)
2002: Ben Harper :: Fight For Your Mind
2002 was a year for light experimentation for me...which basically means it was a year I decided to smoke a lot of weed with my guy friends from school. There used to be this old house that we'd all go to on Friday nights and listen to music and get high... and there wasn't a single night where Burn One Down didn't play.
2003: The White Stripes :: Elephant
The summer after I graduated HS I worked at a local waterpark as a lifeguard with a bunch of college kids. I had a massive crush on one particular guy who was in a band, and one day he hands me this CD he'd burned of his band playing and the White Stripes. I listed to Ball & Biscuit on repeat with the windows down for weeks. I'm not really sure if I ever actually got to the guy's band music... Jack White is now my boyfriend.