Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lyrical Flashback

And so came the day when my defunct car charger forced me to rediscover radio and shattered any of my straggling illusions of youth.

Recently my one and only car charger (formerly known as the 'cigarette lighter') decided to go on strike, effectively leaving me with a much narrower scope of music options. Generally I plug in my iPhone to a radio adapter that allows me to play my own music through my radio. As a result of advancing technology, I have three CD's in my car: a 'Best of Led Zeppelin' CD that only spins in the player when it damn well feels like it (uh, like every twentieth time...otherwise to my great fury it doesn't spin at all), a comedy CD that I have listened to more times than I care to admit and the third is scratched beyond repair. As a person completely incapable of sitting with my own silences, I clicked on over to the radio.

"...you got to bet on yourself now staaaar, cause that's your best bet...."

"...Paint myself in blue and red and black and gray. All of the beautiful colors are very very meaningful, Gray is my favorite color, I felt so symbolic yesterday, if I knew Picasso, I would buy myself a gray guitar and play.......Mister Jones and me...!!"

Yessssss! Thankfully my antenna picked up my old standard Radio 104.1, a bastion of amazing music in an often dreck-y sea of mainstream pop and unintelligible rap. I cheerfully sang at the top of my lungs. Lyrics that still rattled around in my head and will probably take up precious brainspace until the day I die were actually being put to proper use! Synapses fired and neurons connected, my brain a flurry of activity!

"....and every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it...well can you feel it! Well, I'm here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away....."

And then it happened. My crazy neurons demanded that a sense memory be paired with that particular lyric. All of a sudden, a swimming image was rapidly uploaded to my minds eye. Large, nearly empty 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew in my hand. My friend bouncing over to the chunky black boom box at my shoulder. A flash of MTV News from a distant sleepover of the past....oh god Kurt Loder was hideous even then....the vague recollection that the year was 1995 and Alanis was up for 'video of the year'.

1995?! Hold up. I turned 13 years old in 1995. I'm 27 now. I have known the words to that song for more than half of the time I have spent on this earth.

Kids that were born in 1995 have never seen a kick-ass, mind-blowing music video on MTV (I know, because I check and the caliber has plummetted my friends. Gone are the days of puppets and clay-mation.) Sadly, these kids have never known the joys of a cigarette lighter in a car or even a life without facebook. I'm sure they have no idea who Alanis Morrisette even IS!!! OMG, they probably don't even know who Kurt Cobain is!

Realization - I. Am. Officially. Old.

After a small pity party in my car, I slowly came to terms with my newfound knowledge. I told myself that with age comes discovery of great music. A refinement of what one will grow to embrace and invite in as a part of one's life and soul. When I was 13 I was blissfully ignorant to the greatness of Nina Simone, the Ramones, Phish and David Bowie, among others.

It heartnens me to think that there is infintely more music to discover and to be made. Maybe I'm 'old', but I am certainly not deaf. Far from foiled by the situation with my dead car charger it has encouraged me to unearth my old CD collection and stock my car with old favorites. Reliving my youth is almost more fun the second time around.

Because now I know all the lyrics.


  1. You were offically old when you referenced the "best of Led Zeppelin" CD. Strangely enough, I listened to a few Led Zep CDs myself today. That's a good thing. If it makes us old, then so be it...

    I think you are wise, not old!

    Great post...

  2. If it makes you feel any better, I don't know a lot of the lyrics to songs today either. Kids these days...

    Isn't Alanis Morrisette the one lady who played God in "Dogma?"

  3. No, no... You can't be even getting old. Because if you're old, or getting old, then I have to at least be getting old, because I'm 26. So forget that, "I'm old, " rubbish. You're not old
    . You're just knowledgeable about the world... Or, if not all of it, parts of it.

  4. I feel old when I listen to the radio, but mostly because I find myself saying, "kids these days! I can't believe this crap passes for music!".

  5. Which comedy cd? Would I like?

  6. You're not old till you hit 30. Then once you hit 30 you realize that you're not REALLY old till at least 40. I'll let you know once I hit 40 how old it feels.

  7. I'm only 20 and I think everything on mainstream media is either awful, or completely awful. Sitting in a shared office with a man who demands Radio 1 (rap, terrible pop) must be on all day nearly drives me insane.

  8. Oh Sweetheart, do not start down that road (the old road) because you'll forever be looking back saying, "God, I can't believe I thought I was old at 27...30...35....40. See how it works? I was embarrassed about being pregnant at 32 because I thought I was too old. Then I had another at 43. I thought I weighed too much at 30. Now I weigh 20 lbs more. If you start down that road, it just never stops, so roll with it, my Sistah, and appreciate it because you are still a youngster. In my eyes. And I'm still a youngster, too.

  9. I've just consumed an airplane bottle of Patron and half of a bar of dark chocolate while catching up on your blog.In my bathrobe. Pretty much awesome all around.

  10. Happy Holidays! And thanks for being so groovy!

  11. I'm two years younger than you, and I'm pretty sure that all the song lyrics I have stored in my head (against my will) are causing me to now forget where I left my keys and other important day to day things I should totally remember. (Like that I needed to renew my driver's license 3 weeks ago...)

    Oh, and put in any music from the 80s/90s and I know all the lyrics. And they even make sense now!