Friday, September 22, 2006

Evolution of music for me

Music is pretty neat. I'm sure you will agree with me. As I pick up kids on my football team every day, I can hear the music they're listening on their mp3 players on the way. Not clearly, but I know it's hip hop. I guess that is what all the kids listen to these days. It frustrates me because I want them to learn to be open-minded about music, but then I immediately catch myself and remember I was JUST LIKE THEM when I was their age.

Being that Alene is gone for 2.5 days, I was going to try to stay busy and tile the back room, but I'm too tired to do it. However, my fingers aren't, so I found myself checking my itunes playlists and found my music interests vary. Not that I'm surprized, but it got me thinking about my list of "hip hop", music and how it's likely really out-dated or considered "old school" to the kids I coach. I mean, I have some Kanye West, some Jermain Dupree, and some Black eyed peas, but other than that, I'm still lost as to who is cool these days regarding hip hop.

I'll start with the oldest music I remember: Africa by Toto.

Yes, I said AFRICA by TOTO. No, this wasn't a favorite song, it's just the oldest song I can remember. I remember waking up to it on my alarm clock when I was like 5 years old. The song just kind of stuck with me. I think I had a dream about a girl I had a crush on (yes, when I was 5). We were running and holding hands. I wasn't sure how you go about kissing then, so it wasn't the same kind of dreams we get when we become teenagers :-).

OK, up next, Run DMC. Since I love music a ton and my genre's have changed so much, I started writing a short movie script about my musical interest. It started off with RUN DMC (I forgot about Toto at the time of writing, which was a couple of years ago). I remember the first time I was drawn in, it was seeing the RUN DMC/Aerosmith video "walk this way". I thought it was amazing and RUN DMC was the first tape I bought (and being that I had never purchased a tape before, I had no idea artists had multiple tapes and I purchased the wrong tape, which did not have walk this way on it).

Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill tape was my next favorite. I was in 4th grade and listened to various forms of rap back then.

I went through a short phase of liking the song "living on a prayer" by Bon Jovi, which started my interest in Rock music.

My friend Bear got me into Metal. We listened to Guns N Roses, Motley Crew, Poison, Iron Maiden, etc. I became a white trash rocker for a while.

I soon dumped that scene around 7th grade for the Rap scene again. See, I grew up in a rural area, some would call the country, so Rap wasn't necessarily the music of choice. It was ususally what was popular on the radio, or country music. My dad listened to Country and tried to get me to like it so much, but that wouldn't happen for a long time. I took up the Digital Underground, Young MC, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli, and Biz Markee scene. Good times. Got into a little Gangster Rap by this time as well and also the political stuff like Public Enemy, which made me realize that Music wasn't just fun, it was stuff that could make you think about issues going on.

All through high school I REFUSED to listen to anything but Hip Hop and I prided myself on listening to stuff that nobody where I lived knew about. I would try to pick up the Bay Area radio station 106.1 KMEL, which was a great hip hop station 3.5 hours away from where I lived. In high school I took a liking to creative types of hip hop, as well as the stuff that was popular like Dr. Dre, Snoop, Notorious BIG, Tupac, etc. The stuff I was quite proud of listening to when others would say "who is this?" are groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Souls of Mischief, Digable Planets, The Pharcyde, etc.

After high school I started to realize that it was OK to listen to other stuff. I began to explore country music believe it or not. Now, I didn't go all Cowboy, no worries there, but I took a liking to the more laid back, and almost purity the music spoke of. It was honest and had good intentions. It was a hard working man's type of music (that was, until most of it became what it is today: pure crap). I was first into Garth Brooks (who wasn't?) and his "the hits" album. Still like it to this day. I started to explore a lot of the other artists of the 80's and early to late 90's. I eventually came to the conclusion that I REALLY liked Dwight Yokam and his style. It was classic and twangy, but the artist himself was more of a rock-star type and not the typical red-neck type you see. He got his start playing in honky tonk bars in LA and stuff like that, along side acts like DK, X, and Los Lobos. Pretty cool. Still, his style, his voice, everything sounds so old and I dig it. I respect other classic artists like Clint Black, George Strait (this dude is pure), John Michael Montgomery, and Chris Ledoux (RIP).

Country was on my list now, then I started to get into some music that relaxed me and I found that with........Yanni. Yes "Live at the acropolis", "PBS Special", "Long hair, porn stached" musical composer Yanni. I'm not too shy to say I really like his music. I get made fun of by others, but I know deep down they're all just too prideful to actually give it a try to or to admit they like it.

From Yanni, I began to explore classical composers and have a fond spot for the popular dudes like Mozart (especially after seeing Amadeus, which I know is not entirely factual, but still gave me a cool look at what he was like; he would have been a punk rocker if he lived these days). I also like Beethoven, Pachalbel, Bach, and the others.

Then around the same time I explored Rock music. Again, this all happened around when I was 19 years old. The first kind of Rock music I remember liking was the Ramones (OK, Punk music). My brother Russ was really into the Punk scene, back when I was in my hip hop scene, so as you can imagine, I made fun of him at the time. You can guess how dumb I felt when I looked back on my mis-deeds and realized how dumb I must have looked in his eyes. I probably looked like Jamie Kennedy's character "B-Rad" or Brad, in that movie Malibu's most wanted". Anyway, I listened to varoius music on the local alternative station in Monterey, CD93. It was cool.

Then I attended a Young Single Adults party for my church one evening and found these two dudes sitting with a guitar and singing a cool song I had heard on the radio recently. It was the song "Semi Charmed life" by the band Third Eye Blind. I immediately ran and bought the album and started liking Rock music. From there, I went through all sorts of phases of favorite rock music.

I took a quick liking to Chicago. And again, everyone laughs at me (especialy Alene, bless her soul). What people don't realize is that Chicago has had various phases, much like we have with our own tastes in music. Their music from the 70's ROCKED. When Terry Kath died (their lead guitarist and the moust soulful voice I've ever heard), another style of Chicago emerged when they changed their lineup to replace him. They then became that cheesy band we all know with the 30 some-odd wedding songs or "power ballads". I still cherrish them.

I got into Barenaked Ladies as well. LOVED their music for it being really fun/funny at times, and very serious and emotional at other times.

It was on a trip to visit my family in CA that an obsession with a band spurned. I was riding in the truck with my sister Amanda and she was trying to play the Weezer album "Pinkerton" to me, but the only weezer song I knew of was "Buddy Holly" as I remember their music video and thinking it was neat. I quickly pulled her Pinkerton album out (what was I thinking???) and popped in her blue album, which had buddy holly. The opening to the first song on that album (My name is jonus) struck a chord in my mind that had me HOOKED from the beginning. I was almost crying that I had missed out on about 6 years of this music (it was around 2000 when I first heard it). I immediately went out and bought the blue album and devoured it from first song, to the last. In fact, it ended up that the Buddy Holly song was my LEAST favorite song on the album. Songs like Say it ain't so, Jonus, In the Garage, and Only in Dreams were my favorites. I then met my good buddy Tim on a BYU football road trip. We had an immediate bond when we both found out we were passionate about Weezer. He advised me to give Pinkerton a try and to really listen to Rivers (lead singer) and how much he exposes himself, his thoughts, insecurities, etc. in that album. I did, and it quickly became my favorite. I've liked all their other albums since, but not as much as the first two. Tim and I came to the realization that their later albums "were what they were" in that they were what you would expect from a band that was progressing in different ways.

So Weezer is on top of my list, but I still have a few other bands that I've grown passionate about. Modest Mouse is the most underrated band in my opinion. Eagles of Death Metal are great if you're looking to just worship at the church of rock. The white stripes are great rock too. Smashing Pumpkins rock. So does Mellowdrone. I also took on listening to a lot of the great classic rock bands like Zepplin, The Who, Iggy Pop, Jimmy, etc.

Anyway, I also learned to appreciate smaller, local talent as well. Alene is my muse of sorts for finding cool music. Most of the time the stuff she finds is small-time, then get's bigger in a few months. She's got cool style. Tim has also been one I rely on for music that may not be quite popular yet, but on their way.

There is so much great music out there and it's exciting to think of what will come next. I love that I have so many genre's to listen to and I hope everyone will be open to listening to other things. One thing I remember fondly was an interview that hard-core rapper (now actor) Ice-T was doing. He said something about always being opened to other genre's of music. He said he even listened to Country (this was when I was deep into my hip-hop style) and it totally shocked me. I was almost upset thinking that the dude had sold out. He hadn't sold himself out and I WAS selling myself out by not being more open-minded.

Playlist I'm listening to right now? Country: George Strait and "I get carried away".

1 comment:

  1. amanda the great1:33 PM

    i'm so glad you remembered about that time in the truck listening to weezer. i showed you. we owe it all to matt fischer. he showed it to me. i also remember seeing walk this way for the 1st time. i remember you being amazed by it