Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Memoir Of Music In The Car

My family used to take long car rides back when I was between the ages of four and eight. We'd pack up the car with my suitcase, my parents duffel bags, and my little sister Rachel's pink camo rolling case. The four of us would drive for hours to places such as Vermont and Pennsylvania. Now that I think about it, we didn't go to a large variety of places. We'd visit my cousins and grandparents and my mom's best friend, Gretchen. You'd be surprised at how many songs could for into two hours. How many albums. My Dad is always a fan of Bob Dillan and The Gourds and I'd be forced to listen to them on the tapes of our old car.
The Coolest Guy On Earth
It wasn't until a couple years later that we actually caught up with everyone and traded our cassette player in the station wagon for a CD player. When we finally got the shiny mechanism I saw hope for not having to listen to my Dad's favorite musician. But just as we caught up with the CD player, my Dad caught up with converting his tapes to CDs. My parents would sing along to the words to the songs and I'd put on my best five year old pouty face to guilt my Mom and Dad into shutting off their music and replacing it with my crappy kid's singers. 
The transition from listening to kid's singers to actual music was rather fast. One night when I couldn't sleep and I tiptoed down to the living room in my old home, I saw a man in the most bad-ass leather jacket jamming out with a guitar. An alarm rang inside my head telling me that this man was the coolest guy on earth. No joke. I begged my Dad to make a CD of him so we could listen to this singer in the car. Relived that he'd get a break from my crappy kids music, he agreed and created one so I could listen to the biggest bad ass on the planet. This guy was Bruce Springsteen or as pronounced it "Bruce Springstee". Although I have seen some pretty awesome people out there, I still stand by the fact that Bruce is the king of cool. 
I Will Not Be Afraid Of Women
My next big phase was Dar Williams. I am not exactly sure how I got into her but I found it mind blowing that she was a female singer due to the fact that I'd been listening to men for most of my life. Dar was automatically one of my favorite singers. I must have had a things for bad asses for I absolutely loved the angst in "As Cool As I Am". I am telling you, if you've never seen six year old Annie performing that song with an attitude that could kill, you've missed out big time. My family mostly listened to "Mortal City" even though once in a while, we'd pop in "The Honesty Room". This was my soundtrack to life. Later on, I took up a great liking to "When I Was Boy" for the magical vibe and the mentioning of my favorite Disney character, Peter Pan. I found "February" funny for the idea of throwing some body's keys in the water was just silly. I guess my six year old brain didn't really get the story line. What little kid does?
Even though I just broke my three year record of not listening to Bruce about ten minutes ago, the lyrics clicked with me and I was instantly singing along. I still got it.  I don't bother plan on checking out his newer albums. I want to keep my image of Bruce as the best person ever and if I don't like the recent songs, I could single handily ruin my six through eight year old life.  Then comes Dar. My god. I remember feelings like the most angst filled six year old jamming out to my (still) favorite song: "As Cool As I Am". You'd be surprised that I still know all the words. Last year, when I went to my second year at camp, one of my counselors sang us "The BabySitters' Here" and my excitement  took me over. The next day we had a camp wide singing of "Iowa". That right there is my jam. 

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