Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thank you for the music

The passing of many great musicians within a year got me thinking about how important the role of music has been in my life. We are all children of our times of course and one thing that really makes me feel my age is realizing I have no idea what my students listen to. They seem to be in to 90´s techno and then theres that odd band t-shirt stolen from the parents closet but those "new" bands or singers are totally beyond me. I asked them to name a band they listen to and I had never heard that name. Oh yeah, middle-aged I am :)

Inspiration to a new number often comes to me in a song, but music has been with me pretty much since childhood. My mum used to work for CBS so we had plenty of LP-records at home when I was a kid. The cool cover of Wild Cherry (even if I learned to love funk only a bit later), the LP-boxes with Santana and Olavi Virta... I remember putting on Baccara, staring at the gorgeous women on the cover and lip-syncing (in to a round candle!) to ´Yes Sir, I can Boogie´...


Actually, we had a bit of a Baccara-moment with Sandy this Spring when we were on a gig in Turku. She was wearing her white fan dance outfit and I was in jeans with my my new black "Kiss" pasties and I just burst in to laughter looking at us in the mirror. 


My first C-cassetes were Jackson 5, Wham! and Duran Duran - how appropriate for the times. I remember listening to Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and those Swedish pop-wonders that were featured in Frida-magazine...Herreys, Tomas Ledin (´Sensuella Isabella´ anyone?), Gyllene Tider... So I guess it started with pop but nothing really rocked my world like Bon Jovi a few years after. Seriously, 
I´m not very proud of that but what can I say? It got worse in my early teens though, when in came hair-metal bands like Skid Row, Extreme, Mötley Crüe and Guns´n´Roses. I loved Hanoi Rocks (still do!) and Aerosmith. When ever I would have a little money I ran to the record shop and am now the proud owner of LPs such as The Cult´s `Sonic Temple´, Ugly Kid Joe´s ´ As ugly as they wanna be´ and one of my all time loves Faith No More´s ´Introduce yourself´. 
The next Big Thing was -of course- Nirvana. I doubt if any of us who spent our late teens or early adulthood in the change of the 80´s and 90´s could miss grunge. Simultaneously punk came in to my life: Ramones, Pelle Miljoona, Buzzcocks, Nina Hagen, Sex Pistols, the Clash and of course later the East Bay punkers e.g Black Flag, Bad Religion, Rancid, Green Day, the Descendents, NOFX and those ska punkers such as Sublime, Operation Ivy and Skankin´ Pickle.  The list os looong and varied. 

 Close to my childhood home we had a wonderful library with a really large selection of music so I would carry home shitloads of cd´s and just listen through and copy whatever sounded good to me. That´s how I fell in love with Sonic Youth. My mother didn´t appreciate this turn though, she enjoyed my Beatles-faze much more.  Going to live gigs wherever in the world I have happened to live has been important as well. From Tavastia, Hellsinki to the Berkeley Square, Berkeley CA (RIP) I´ve been able to find great new bands just by going open mindedly to check out stuff I´ve never heard of. 

Music can in an instant bring back memories, just like smells do. I get all nostalgic with certain songs and teary-eyes with others. I might not be as eager to argue over music anymore as I was but I have some passionate NO-NO´s (Mariah Carey- I think the fillings in my teeth are popping out when she sings) as some passionate YES! (give me Mike Patton in any form. Please.) Movie music is a whole other matter, - I get goosebumps with Tarantino´s soundtracks and what would Dirty Dancing or Flashdance be without that music?!


Another category if you will is of course music videos, that whole MTV-thing that for a little while made us teens feel like we belonged to a universal culture of adolecents. This of course was when MTV still stood for Music Television and not Mindblowingly Stupid Reality Shit. 

I want to leave you with one of the most memorable videos (and songs) of those early days of my life. He still is the King and OMG I was in love with him watching those movies!!! *kiss*

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