Thursday, August 12, 2010

[710] radio free age-gap

I rarely listen to music. I love music. I just don't listen to it.

I have this thing about any form of entertainment, whether it be movies, music, TV, books, historical reenactments, or what have you. I have to be in exactly the right mood at a given time in order to enjoy any particular type or genre of one of these things. Since I rarely seem to know myself well enough to pinpoint exactly what musical mood I'm in, I generally opt to save myself the frustration of poking the iTunes skip button on my keyboard for 45 minutes before I hit my stride.

That said, today I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to listen to.

If you live in Southern California, you've probably seen the KTLA commercial in which Sugarcult's song Los Angeles is used over some seriously epic night time footage. I love that song, and I love Sugarcult. They bring me back to my high school days, when Ben and I used to blast their song Pretty Girl on road trips to visit Jason at Master's, or when Jess and I would sit in front of the TV watching Much Music for hours waiting to see the ever-adorable Rivers Cuomo interact with Kermit the Frog in Weezer's Keep Fishin' video. I'm not one to claim that high school was the best time of my life, or to ever want to go back and re-live it, but, a few years out, I can now appreciate that strange era of my life. And it was strange. I don't care how cool you think you were in high school. You were embarrassing. If your current self met you, you would smack you.

Right. So. Today, on my walk through Back Bay, I created the ultimate high school playlist. It was precisely what I was in the mood for, and it got me thinking about how our musical memories date us -- how they can make us feel really old or really young, depending on who we're talking to.

On Twitter last week, someone posted something along the lines of, "Hey Ya just came on! Awesome elementary school memories!" I was about ready to crack out the Geritol right there. Elementary school?? I was a senior in high school when that was released (on my 18th birthday, as it turns out), and, being just shy of 25, I don't feel that kids who were probably still eating paste at the time could possibly be old enough to be tweeting.

On the other hand, I recently heard Chumbawumba on the radio, and excitedly proclaimed to Kyo that this was my jam in middle school. At that time, Kyo was about 26. Aaaand, the pendulum swings back.

I really do love the perspective music gives us on our age, though. I'm pretty sure we spend about 75% of our lives thinking we're old. Then someone comes along and talks about buying a Dylan record or hearing Dion & the Belmonts at a sockhop, and we realize we're freaking babies. We've been here for like, ten seconds. At my age, I've only been capable of any form of rational thought for like, three years. If I play my cards right, I've still got about 2.5 more of the life I've already lived ahead of me.

There are very few things in life that give me such perspective on the slow passage of time as music. Well, music and Bonanza. But I'm saving that for a post on how I want to be Ben Cartwright when I grow up.


Jessie said...

Amazing! I like to think that even though we were young and impressionable we still knew that Chumbawumba was only acceptable in an ironic sense...even though I didn't realize that it was a song exclusively about drinking booze. Typical.

Heathir said...

I was in a workshop a year or so ago about the development of the adolescent brain. The trainer said that when teens listen to music they love, the brain releases a hormone (I believe it is specifically epinephrine, but I could be wrong) which is a form of adrenaline.

He said that people continue to love the music they liked as a teen because the body remembers the adrenaline rushes from adolescence, and even release the hormone again when you hear the music.

So you're forever biologically linked to Chumbawumba. ;)

Anonymous said...

At some point in my life I was talking to some child, a literal child not someone who had simply had the brain power of a child. Anyways said child did not know who No Doubt was. I was like "Do you know Gwen Stefani?" The kid was like "ya I love her stuff." I'm like "she would be nothing without No Doubt,"

All that to say..I know how you feel