Monday, October 31, 2011
In case you haven't realized, I have a very eclectic taste in music. I think this is because I have a lot of people who have influenced my taste in music. Obviously growing up, my parents shaped my early taste in music. My dad listens mainly to classical music which is one of the reasons I love Beethoven so much. However, whenever he is driving he listens to NPR. Any time I hear the trumpet fanfare for All Things Considered, I immediately remember my dad picking me up from school. My mom introduced me to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Willie Nelson, which I think is a good foundation for anyone. These artists have influenced so many modern musicians, you can't really appreciate music without having at least a passing acquaintance with them. Up until middle school, I only listened to oldies. I still love This Diamond Ring by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Poison Ivy by The Coasters, and Windy by The Association. I could go on. The other major influence in my musical education was my sister. She introduced me to Green Day's Dookie and Weezer's Blue Album. Even today when my sister and I get together, we compare bands we are listening to. We don't always listen to the same stuff, but we are aware of each others likes and dislikes so we can usually accurately judge what to recommend. In middle school, I moved on to classic rock and became obsessed with Pink Floyd, The Doors, and Hendrix. To be fair I still am in love with these artists. I was convinced that there was nothing good about the music of the time. To be fair, it was the mid to late 90's so I wasn't far off. In high school I started listening to Dave Matthews and techno. But this is also when I began to really search out new music. Of course it was made easier by the fact that MTV still played music videos. There was also IMF and Fuse. This is when I found out about bands like The Super Furry Animals, The Dandy Warhols, Radiohead, and Gorillaz. Senior year in high school was when I began listening to punk rock. It was a little difficult to find stuff mainly because my friends didn't listen to it or really seem interested. Obviously I knew about The Clash and The Ramones, but my knowledge was very limited. Then I went to college. I think that, at least for me, college is a place to find out who you really are. In high school, you are surrounded by people who live near you, but do not necessarily have the same interests as you. For example, I grew up in East Texas which is a strong hold for right wing conservatism. I on the other hand am a fairly liberal person. In college, you are surrounded by people who made a conscious effort to go to a particular school. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by people who were like minded and as intelligent as me (I know that sounds really arrogant, but it is true, remember, I grew up in East Texas). I also found people who were into the same type of music as me. I was introduced to Tom Waits by a group of older students who adopted me my freshman year, Jump, Little Children by a friend down the hall in my dorm and tons of other new music that pretty much blew my mind. It was also in college that I met another of my major musical influences. We got to talking when I started singing along to a Streets song that she put on a mix for a party. We had met before and had several mutual friends (kinda hard not to at such a small school) but this was the first time we actually talked. From that point on we shared music whenever possible. It got to a point where we were always trying to find bands that the other had never heard of. She usually did better than me. Every once in a while I hear from her and she has a new band for me to check out. After college, I moved away from these friends I had made, and had to fend for myself when it came to finding new music. Granted, every once in a while I would meet up with them and we would swap music, but it wasn't the same. I've gotten better, and of course I have made new friends who share my love of music. One of my favorite things to do at a party is to sit by the stereo and pick the music that is playing. It makes my night when someone sings along to one of the more obscure songs I pick, or compliments my taste in music.