Just a soundtrack to a life

I’ve discussed the music I like to listen to; there’s a list of the posts that I’ve done in the occasional Friday Music series at the bottom of the post. In the post about Duke’s 3 Suites, Forest talked about his being a child of the 90s and how he came up with his own music.

I replied to his comment, in part, with a story of my musical background –

Believe it or not, I was brought up with, first, 60s music, and then country music when it was popular in the last decade (I actually have almost the whole Garth Brooks CD collection, and a first edition of his “Double Live” album). It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started to listen to jazz. When I was in college, I started to discover some of the bigger indie groups like The Killers. Now, and I have to give props to Snoskred for this one, I’m beginning to get my footing in rock music and actually listening to Metallica and liking it.

It is true – when I was young, the most common station that we would listen to in the car would be the oldies station (in fact, that same station, now owned by conglomerate Clear Channel, still plays older music, though they’ve expanded into the 70s and 80s, and will be going into all-Christmas mode soon). There could be no end to the argument when my Aunt would come up from Chicago and switch the radio to a radio station that is renowned for playing a particular style of music.

Then, sometime in the early 90s, we switched from that station to listening to one of the two country music stations in the area. In fact, I still remember on one of our long car trips that we used to take back then when it seemed every country station between here and Huntsville played the same song over and over again. It got to a point where we wound up, somewhere in the middle of Illinois or Kentucky, turning on a hard rock station just to avoid listening to this song.

Now, of course, being someone who remembers small details like this, I remember that the lyrics contained the words “thank the bank for the money and thank god for you”. Thanks to Scroogle, I now am reminded of the name of that song – “Thank God For You” by Sawyer Brown. Of course, there was a video of the proper version of the song on YouTube, but as with anything decent, it’s been taken down due to copyright violations. However, I think that this karaoke imitation is suitably funny to act as a stand-in.
Click here to watch (you may have noticed that I had embedded the video here before, but apparently you can’t display unembedable videos anyway…

You would think that this would have been the end of us listening to country music, but that was definitely not the case. We would stick with country for quite a few more years, even attending a Garth Brooks concert when he was at the peak of his fame (and, get this, the tickets only cost $17.50 each – and that was for a seat in the lower tear of the arena; all tickets were the same price – there was a line that went around the store because of the demand). As I had mentioned in the comment, I do have almost all of his CDs – the only real exceptions being the recently released box set, the original editions of his first six albums and the CD that he put out as the fake rockstar.

Then, an interesting thing happened – I got into High School and started to get involved in listening to jazz and a lot of classical music. It didn’t hurt the cause that for one year, I had to get to know a whole lot of operatic works back and forth, along with the stories of the operas that the songs came from. The next year, we had to know a whole bunch of jazz, along with the stories of the artists who did the songs, and the other year I participated in this particular activity, we had to do “world music” – something which I do not remember anything about, honestly.

It was also during this time that I really separated from most of the popular music (though realistically, I never had that much connection to it). Thanks to the Internet, I don’t think I really missed out all that much with music – especially since I had the opportunity to, ahem, acquire the music I’d missed out on on the net. 😉

The next major milestone in my musical development would have to be when I was in college. Sure, I was aware of the major file sharing networks of the day (Kazaa Lite anyone?), but for the most part I was still searching for older music and jazz, along with a variety of country and some songs that, when I go back through the CDs I burnt of those songs, make me wonder why in the world I ever downloaded those songs.

In 2002, after I had come back from going home in February, I was watching the Olympics from Salt Lake City, and there was a concert on the TV by the Barenaked Ladies. Amazingly, for some reason, the music clicked with me – it was good and it was fun music to listen to. It was through them that I started to get some connection with popular music, though I still didn’t totally follow the ups and downs of current music.

Then, after I left college, I started to listen to another of my local stations – one which has gone downhill quite a bit after their longtime morning team have split apart and the station decided to bring in outsiders to front their main program in the morning. Then, I was starting to listen to actual music that was, at least that I thought was, the music of “now”. There were the occasional gimmick hours – 80s played at 1 and 8 pm, and Fridays would be dedicated to the Flashback music. I liked listening to that music.

However, the biggest revolution to my listening habits has come as a result of meeting Snoskred – I’m sure she’ll say something in the comments about this, but I was really the most clueless sod when it came to musical references (and quite a lot of other references, but that’s for another day 😉 ). However, she introduced me to some of the greatest music I’d ever heard of, and I’ve even gone and discovered music on my own.

Most of the time, I am playing music from the same playlist – it’s been through a lot of different iterations (and in fact, I have a song that I need to add to it – Trees). You can check out my current Winamp playlist . Yes, it is true that I have Madonna in there, but really, that particular album is great “club” music – I would have never seen myself liking that type of music, but sometimes it’s cool to have a driving bass beat going along on the subwoofer. 🙂

If you want to keep up with what I’m listening to, you can always check out my last.fm profile and add me as a friend if you want 😉

The Friday Music Series

About the title

The title is a line from a Badly Drawn Boy song – “You Were Right”; the video of it is below.

This post is part of the Hump Day Hmm – which, this week was about music – the music of our lives, really, the soundtrack of our life. For me, this is it, and it’s still very much in formation 🙂

3 thoughts on “Just a soundtrack to a life

  1. Hey Seph, big music head myself here. I too like all types of music. Just got trough a Brad Paisley phase and recently been listening to a group called ‘The Cliks’.

    Pretty good stuff if you can get over the he/she or it thing they have going on. If you happen to youtube’em you’ll see what I mean!

    I play the guitar. I used to play lead in a heavy metal/rock band. We regularly played a few clubs of that genre in Atlanta Ga back in the early 90’s. It was tons of fun! Very little money but lots of fun and booze;-)

    To me, live music is the true test of an artist or band’s ability to really prove how good they are. Almost anyone can sound good in a studio so, playing live is the real test. I think back to the first live concert I ever saw, Robin Trower in 198?. His music was a big inspiration to me and seeing him live just blew me away. I was 13 I think.

    I’ve always been amazed how a lot of the jazz I like is all recorded live. I once had the privilege to see Maynard Ferguson(R.I.P.) live at Ga Tech. DANG, talk about passing the test! He and the group that played were absolutely flawless. It was kinda funny being the only headbanger in the seats. I wanted to get up be rowdy but there were so many well dressed people around. They seemed so out of place.

    Anyway, I discover lots of new music via pandora.com Have you seen it? Cheers, -GK

  2. Thanks for the link 🙂

    I still think I need to settle my disliking of current music. It is just as valid as music I listened too a decade ago (god I am getting old!)

    Music is a journey and learning about it is too. It is important for sanity, I find.

    Garth Brooks as a rockstar, I remember the pictures and I laughed my ass off, never heard the music though!

  3. GK – Fancy seeing you ’round here! 😀

    I’m taking a listen to the one track that they have on their site – http://www.thecliks.com – they don’t sound too bad; I might have to do a bit of digging around to take a listen to more of their music. Yeah, that whole he/she thing is kinda strange, but you listen to the music anyway, not watch it 😉 I bet you also did some playing in Athens as well, considering the knack for talent they seemed to have there for a while, eh? 🙂

    Yep, I think some of the best albums are the live albums when it comes to jazz. Really, it’s the most honest form of the music, and if you try to replicate the atmosphere in a studio (as they tried with Ellington at Newport) it just doesn’t work. However, I’m not against studio CDs 😉

    With pandora – I haven’t checked them out, but they’re worth a shot; I’ve had some suggestions from last.fm, but haven’t checked them out too much though…

    Forest – You’re welcome 🙂

    You know, I can take current music in little spurts; I don’t mind the variety you hear on the station I mentioned though – it’s pretty decent, even if it is a bit behind the cutting edge…

    And, gee, you wonder why maybe it wasn’t the most successful album for him…

    Thanks y’all! 😉

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