03/19/2001 Entry: "Seminal Songs"
This is all his fault. So this is partly a list of the songs that were important to me at various ages, some commentary on my life at those times, some places where I cheated and listed alternates. Because in my head it's far easier to assign songs to people and events, not years; so some years have more songs because more happened. This list is also not inclusive. I'm sure I've missed a ton of songs that kept me alive for weeks that are lost to the mists of memory now. So here they are...
Age 4: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, B.J. Thomas
I would frequently be called upon to perform this, as I knew all the words and had a decent singing voice for a toddler. It amused the adults. I learned early the value of this.
I'll skip a few years....
Age 9: Treat Me Right, Pat Benetar
In Retrospect, My parents should have known.
Age 10 : Only Time Will Tell, Asia
I only mention because my 6th grade crush -- the one that you never realize that's what it was until years later; the one in some ways you never get over -- this was his favorite song the summer we were hanging out.
Age 11: Crimson and Clover, Joan Jett
This should explain a lot. I could play this one on the piano.
Age 12: Mr. Roboto, Styx
I really wanted to be the Modren Man. Plus I had a synthesizer and could play
Age 13: This is the House, Eurythmics
First year Spanish. I played the hell out of this album. I still do.
Age 14: Take Me With U, Prince
My parents recently dug up a videotape of me playing this on stage. Not to mention I saw Purple Rain with my father. Both events caused me to blush from embarrassment.
Age 15: Screen Kiss, Thomas Dolby
I was a virgin who couldn't drive. This was a much more private sing, as Thom and I moaned our suicidal unfocussed angst together on the bus for Speech and Debate trips. The more public ones were "Erotic City" by Prince and Berlin's "Sex (I'm A)".
Age 16: Asleep, The Smiths
I did not have a happy time as a teenager. This was solace to the little mozzie/baby goth.
Age 17: The Caterpillar, The Cure
"Recording a tape from Kathy in chamber Chorale -- she has the funny blonde haircut -- of The Cure and Depeche Mode. I hope those names ring a bell." Please don't laugh at the little me.
Age 18: You Are My World, The Communards
I went to college and very quickly came out of the closet. Boys singing love songs to other boys! This was my favorite. This was what I wanted. And I was prepared to fight for it. And fight I would.
These are hard years to define as I started listening to a lot of different stuff, as evidenced here: Alternate Choice: Run Letter, Throwing Muses. The first band I didn't understand. Third Alternate: "Can You Feel It", Mister Fingers. Fourth Alternate: "Let's Go", Eurythmics.
Age 19: 52 Girls, B-52's
I was late to New Wave, but I was taking camp by storm. Another alternate: What I Am, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. This was the touchy-feely first year as an Residence Assistant (and part of the evil second year too.)
Age 20: Leather and Mother, Tori Amos
It's hard to pick one song off the album. Our little coffehouse cabal shared them all in some ways. But when we met Tori after her intimate little show -- god I was dressed horribly -- she signed my leather hat "Yum", adding "You know what that means" to me with a wink. I managed to not immediately die with joy at that moment. Alternate song was "Devil Bunnies", My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult.
Age 21: Electric Shock, Deee-lite
Again, another album that I played the hell out of. This album has at least three ex boyfriends in it -- the heroin addict, the instant boyfriend, and the really big long-distance crush. But this song was all mine, and it felt like my glory year in clubland. This song still makes me feel gloriously urban, even if I'm no longer hip, young, or thin.
It should be noted that for my 21st birthday, the song dedicated for me was "Too Drunk to Fuck", Dead Kennedys.
Note also that the really big crush ended with "Never Be Mine", Kate Bush. Because sometimes what you want most is what is not right for you.
Age 22: Take A Chance On Me, Erasure.
Sure, that'll do. A messy year. I was long overdue to leave. And once our little drug culture ran thin, I left.
Age 23: This Must be the Place (Naive Mix), Talking Heads
First serious boyfriend. His song for me was by Blue Nile, but the track is lost to me now. On a less serious vibe, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy", Revolting Cocks was the song at Fiend, the gay punk club I went to each week to slam dance and cruise horny, sweaty punk fags. Life was good. it might also be noted that someone else noted, I danced extra hard to "Orgasm Addict", The Buzzcocks. I'll not draw conclusions based on this.
Age 24: 100 Ways To Be A Good Girl, Skunk Anansie
I remember this smart activist voice. I hadn't been able to speak with it in a long time, but that's the voice.
Age 25: Long Snake Moan, PJ Harvey
This was not just my go out and get laid anthem. This was a person I really wanted to be -- some combination of power granted from the divine and black leather intimidation.
Age 26: Blue, Elastica
I got this from the evil ex roommate towards the end, as she was selling stuff. This was a work song for a while. I also think of the Golden Gate Park Windmills when I hear it, for reasons I won't go into.
Age 27: Alarm Call, Björk
Good morning. Do you still like your life?
Age 28: Eternity, Imperial Teen
I may have met someone to say it to.
Age 29: Love's Theme, Pizzicato Five
Happy End of the World.
Age 30: Am I Loud Enough?, Bis
It's a little early to tell yet, but this has been my power song for the past months.