"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

back when "Walkman" meant something

my friend Kathee pointed this out to me and it was just too good not to share.

this compendium of pop music is really super fantastic. i mean, you know, it might not be everyone’s bag, but for me, well, let’s just say i’m a sucker for all things nostalgic (that should be the name of a blog...) it reminds me of middle school bus rides, field trips, and track practice. really awkward middle school dances and driving in the car with my mom when she still listened to “adult contemporary” (Kiss FM and Delilah anyone!?) and hadn’t discovered NPR yet. it reminds me of playing in the orchestra in my ghetto middle school and playing the piano part in “All My Life” – the only recognizable section of the song in a really poorly arranged transcription. and it reminds me of joking around in the dorm with my college roommates, playing all the “hits” and making up dance moves like we were in an endless sleepover party, when we should have been writing term papers. *sigh* good times. it reminds me that once, popular music was a way to connect to a wider scene and to have things in common to jam to. as middle schoolers, we never intellectualized stuff ("man, the bump in that part was greeeaat." "shit, phenomenal use of autotune! cheeky!") but it was just about what was catchy, what got stuck in yr head, what was worth sitting by the radio, cassette player in hand, in order to record and keep. back when we didn't have ipods and digital music and the internet and music was made precious by the radio – back when some songs were worth sitting thru the commercial breaks for! and, i’ll admit, i still secretly jam to at least 80% of this list when i’m alone and in need of some cheer.

another really great thing about this is how easy it makes it to realize how absolutely super shitty popular music has gotten. right around 08:00-09:00 (that minute represents a mix of good and bad) things start taking a turn for the worse. but then at about 09:07, when Britney Spears comes into the mix, things are derailed completely and can never be righted again (“Wild Wild West”, “Genie in a Bottle”, “Baillamos”??!!!! these are songs i couldn’t stand even when they were “hits." oh good lord.) until right around where Outkast and Eminem emerge, things are dark and bleak and i think that maybe i should stop listening, but after a while it becomes acceptable again (eventually it gets to Lady Gaga).

i can see why i turned to indie/alt. music and never went back.

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