Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Made a Playlist

I made an awesome playlist recently, to chronicle my youth in Bowling Green the best way I could. Well, I think it's awesome. I tried to take all the songs that made me think about my youth and put them into one list... and needless to say, it's pretty random. From NKOTB to the Fresh Prince to Weezer to my love of musicals... I think it gives the unknowing listener a very personal glimpse into who I was as a kid/teenager/young adult living in a small southern town. After listening to it for the first time, I started to think about who my influences were as far as who introduced me to certain artists and albums. I realized that at least half of everything I listened to from Jr. High on I began listening to at my best friend's house as we "borrowed" most of her older brother's albums when he was conveniently out of the house, or in the car when he was driving us around town and needed to drown us out. ( I still have no idea why he would want to drown us out. We were/are awesome.)

Pre-Jr. High I think a lot of what I listened to was what my parents were into. I kept the giant German wardrobe thingy that they kept their records and turntable in( thanks for moving that, Craig and Geoff:)). Lots of Simon and Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot, Don McClean, James Taylor, Billy Joel, John Denver... and then of course you have the commonplace pre-teen jams by folks like Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, etc... I still remember calling the radio station to request a song so I could record it. Oh, and buying "singles" so I didn't have to buy the whole album.

Big hitters on the list: R.E.M., They Might Be Giants, 10,000 Maniacs, Indigo Girls... These are the bands I hope my son discovers in 10 years or so and asks me " hey mom, did you ever listen to( fill in the blank)." I will proudly shout "YES!" and fervently dig up my antiquated cassette tapes and Cds, and we will spend a weekend soaking in the somewhat angst-ish musical tastes mommy preferred when she was "young".  ( Geoff will have his own weekend in which they listen to Jane's Addiction. I will be out of town that weekend.)

Some of these songs just scream " teenage Laura in age-appropriate boy crisis", and I think it's hilarious. I can still see myself listening to some of these tunes, sitting in my room, wondering how in the world artists such as the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Edie Brickell, the Indigo Girls, and Tori Amos could have written songs that were about MY EXACT SITUATION.

And then there's Steve Winwood.

I love Mr. Winwood. Born from earlier roots of Traffic and Blind Faith, this guy is one of my favorite artists. I saw him play with Ricky Skaggs and KY Thunder in Telluride years ago, and their onstage collaboration of " That's The Way it Is" ( which is STILL not on an album yet :/) was probably THE highlight of my live music sojourn thus far. But his song " Back in the High Life" will forever remind me of living in Bowling Green. I'm pretty sure WKU did a campaign for the college (primarily focusing on the athletic department)that featured this song in a commercial on both the TV and radio... and every time I hear it, I'm transported back. Back to my mom/dad's car, the mall, basketball/football games, Halloween, Christmas, Bowling Green in general. I'm transported back to all of it, into a nice little slide show in my brain.

A good friend of mine also put together a "BG" playlist recently, and although his memories were more focused on Jr. High on, it's funny how many of the same songs/artists we both included without consulting one another beforehand.  It's obvious my friends were very influential on who and what I listened to, and for this I am very thankful. Music makes my life, and this playlist has certainly helped me to remember it fondly.