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Saturday, May 14, 2011
Know what sucks? Facebook's "notes" function. I had a completely rad post started, and then... well, I don't know what happened, but, fuck. I was on a roll, man! The words were coming, not as fast as they used to, but, fast enough. I actually had time to edit my thoughts, which is unusual for a blog post. I'll use the autocorrect for spelling, but that's about it.

So, I was writing about music, and how it changed my life.

Let's get the dredger out and bring up some uncomfortable memories, shall we?

Let's go back to high school, to begin with.

I remember seeing how many times I could get called "faggot" in one day. I remember blueballs. I remember heady nights in the McDonald's parking lot. I remember passion -- the passion of youth, the idea that, dammit, you could change the world just by being a smartass.

I remember when rock and roll changed my life.

I don't remember when, exactly, my soul was bought and paid for by rocknroll, but it was, sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Do you remember rock and roll radio? Do you remember radio?

I miss radio. I miss (and missed, truth be told) when DJs picked their own playlists based on what they liked, and what was good, dammit. Not based on market share or target demographics, but on good music. "Here's something I found, and I want to share it with you. Do you like it? I hope you do, because I think it's awesome." That's how I ran my radio show during four years of college, and, when I got into the "real world", well, man. I didn't like it. And depression ain't pretty.

Many years ago, 104.1 The Point out of Lincoln, NE, had a show on Sunday nights called "The Cutting Edge". This was before "alternative" music. This was before Warped and Lollapalloza. This was before mallpunk and emo, this was after punk and New Wave, this was concurrent with shoegaze. This was the heyday of The Cure, Siouxie and The Banshees, Jane's Addiction, R.E.M., The Happy Mondays, The Lemonheads, The Violent Femmes, this was just before Matthew Sweet dropped "Girlfriend", this was a WONDERFUL time for music. And I was there.

In 8th grade.

I, unlike some of you, didn't have a cool older sibling or cousin to hip me to this stuff -- I had to discover it on my own. I'm glad that I did. I have an amazing bullshit detector when it comes to music.

I was never one of the "cool" kids. I was never hated outright (as far as I know), but... well, I'm probably preaching to the choir at this point. I was in choir and orchestra in Junior High (that's right -- I'm so old I predate Middle School), Forensics, Show Choir (Limited Ability reprazent!) and Orchestra in High School.

I played the violin. I wish I still had mine (it imploded and broke my heart, but that's a story for another day). My teacher was Steve Lawlor. He was very creative guy, and encouraged this creativity for concerts. Heard a song that you want to play? Let's make it happen.

My friend David Norris and another student, Mark Byars (if I recall correctly) were going to perform a song called "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by a band that I had never heard of. They Might Be Giants.

Dave loaned me a cassette of theirs, called, oddly enough, "They Might Be Giants".

I never looked back.

I had never heard anything like them before. Yes, it was pop, but it wasn't Top-40. I didn't appreciate The Beatles or The Beach Boys at this point in my life (having a deaf father has its drawbacks), but, I knew that THIS was SOMETHING.

I think I am done writing now, because I really have nothing else to say, apart from, dammit, I love They Might Be Giants, and always will.

Comments by: YACCS