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Saturday, October 09, 2004

If you want to relive your prom

MSN has a list of hit songs year by year from the 70's until now so that you too can remember the crap that was actually popular when you were in high school instead of what you would like to remember liking. It is a sobering list indeed. I remember not dancing a whole lot at my senior prom, and this list of artists is probably why:

Seal, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, TLC, Hootie & the Blowfish, Monica, Sheryl Crow, Des'ree, Brandy, Sophie B. Hawkins, Soul for Real, Natalie Merchant, Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan, Diana King, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Del Amitri, U2, D'Angelo, Blackstreet, Blessed Union of Souls, Van Halen, Soul Asylum, Firehouse, Crystal Waters, Immature, Vanessa Williams, Jade, Bon Jovi, The Real McCoy, Subway, Sheryl Crow, Groove Theory, Jodeci, Elton John, Corona, Jamie Walters, Melissa Etheridge, Collective Soul, Martin Page.

I don't own a single one of those c.d.'s listed. No wonder I was such an outcast in high school.

That being said, let me now praise the woman who recorded one of my favorite discs back then--Kim Deal, who was with The Breeders then. Of course, she's probably better-known for being in The Pixies, who I also was a fan of, but they never played any of their songs at high school dances, so there.

"Cannonball" was probably one of the few actually good songs they would play on the radio and at high school dances when I was a junior and senior in high school. In small intolerant West Texas, that song had the power to turn brother against brother, lover against lover, because most people had never heard anything as weird as that. Obviously, I liked it, but more than that the song taught me a valuable lesson when I found myself one day watching the video at the house of a boy I was seeing and he said that he thought it was weird and I realized it would never work out. Lesson: I cannot date anyone with bad taste in music.

A few months later at a dance the song came on a handful of kids, myself included, got up and danced our asses off all by ourselves. Memory is likely playing a trick on me here but I like to think that was when I realized that there was no way in hell that there was any revolution in pop music where "alternative" would rule the airwaves. No, weird music would always be the refuge of weird people. Luckily, there were other weirdos, so I wasn't completely alone.

I saw the Pixies play last month, and I realized I hadn't seen Kim Deal in concert since then, 10 years ago. I was thrilled that her high, sweet voice hadn't seemed to change a bit. And of course her bass playing was just as great as I could have hoped. And then they played "Velouria", a song that was on my favorite mix tape in high school and therefore sucked me right back into time. There's no music quite like that of your adolescence, which of course is why someone wrote this lame list at MSN. This post is a big thank you to Kim Deal for being one of those people who made it possible for me to have better memories than I might otherwise have.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

*sigh*
OK, so I'm officially old now. The MSN list doesn't go back to my high school years. Actually, it doesn't even go back to my college years...
*sigh*

10/09/2004

 
Blogger Earnest said...

A weird thing for me is that I remember hating many of those songs in high school (my high school senior year was '96)and college, and I was solidly in the camp of those who had considered themselves fans of "alternative music" a couple years earlier. By a couple years ago, though, I'd begun to embrace the songs I'd loved to hate. I can even listen to those early Matchbox 20 songs, now, without cringing.

I wasn't a big consumer of music (I didn't have a part-time job in high school), but The Breeders (with Sonic Youth and Digable Planets) were among the first tapes I ever bought. Those Deals really did bring me a lot of joy.

10/09/2004

 
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