This series continues to talk about some of the things I don’t usually write about here. My point is to find the words...and let the rest just fall into place.
There is a running joke in the movie The Runaway Bride where Julia Roberts’ character doesn’t actually know how she likes her eggs. She just eats them the way that her significant other eats them and has absolutely no opinion of her own preference. Then, towards the end, there is a scene where she stands with plates and plates of eggs, searching for how she likes her eggs.
This is exactly how I feel about music.
It’s an odd thing. Here I am, twenty something in a culture where generations are molded by the music they listen to. I could walk into any high school, college, bar, group of people and have groups identify themselves by the music they love or hate. What music you listen to seems to define what kind of person you are and what group you belong to.
Now this may seem like a weird subject to talk about in a series that is about disclosing...
But here’s the thing.
I HATE it when someone asks me what type of music I listen to, who my favorite group is, what is on repeat on my ipod. And more than that, I don’t ever tell people that because it seems so uncool.
I grew up listening to the music my Mom listened to--a nice blend of 90s country and soft rock. I know the words to every Faith Hill and Colin Raye song. At one point I think we had every album Celine Dion put out and my sister and I can still recite the words to The Bodyguard soundtrack (the good times of Whitney Houston…)
My Dad on the other hand was a die hard rock fan. Smashing Pumpkins, U2, The Stones, Queen...when he would drive that is what was on the radio.
By the time high school rolled around I played in the world of top forty. Nothing too scandalous, but sure, I like to think I wasn’t totally out of it.
Then, my siblings started driving and I was in the car with them. I didn’t care what was on the radio so it became their preferences. Years past and top forty became slightly passe and we moved to alternative rock and local bands. While Bobby’s musical taste is expansive, Laura’s is mindblowing. Girlfriend knows her stuff and listens to true alternative and indie. They are great about making me mixes and recommending artists. Et VOILA! I have a random assortment of music on my own.
But about two years ago I sat there looking at my iTunes account realizing that it was the most random grouping of songs. I wanted it to resemble more of what I liked. And then it dawned on me, I have absolutely no idea.
A couple of days ago someone said to me, “We can put music on, but I have no idea what you like…”
The hard truth is that I’m not attached to music the way most people are. Top forty doesn’t feel like I’m selling my soul to the industry. Country music isn’t about tractors and living in the south. Rap isn’t totally offensive. The Beatles are great because they are THE BEATLES and that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything else about them. I have more Taylor Swift on my ipod than I’d like to admit, but she’s great to run to and that’s really what I use my ipod for. When I get into a car I am never the one to DJ. It’s just not my thing.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not slowing getting in touch with some favorites. And believe it or not, some of them even my sister hasn’t heard of--a feat that makes me so very proud.
What kind of music do I like?
I lean towards strong female lead singers. Adele, Lorde, Jessie Ware, Sara Bareilles. I like a little indie: The Civil Wars, Lord Huron, The Lone Bellow. I am totally in love with slow music that you want in your head all day (and that’s not whiny): Michael Kiwanuka I could listen to all day. I totally have a soft spot songs you’ll find on the radio, there is always a time and place for Beyonce and Katy Perry, and yes, even Taylor Swift.
Yes, there are ton more on my Spotify and iTunes account. (I didn’t even touch on Maroon 5, Mumford and Sons, or Justin Timberlake…)
At 25 I’m starting to navigate the neverending black hole that is music. I’m trying to keep my cool and understand the vast deepness of the genre, and find my place within it. I want to be able to rattle off favorites and songs and blow your mind with my underground taste. And, it’s very likely that won’t happen. It’s more likely that I’ll have you laughing at the fact I know the words to that song on the radio, whatever that song is, and sing along in the grocery store. But what I want is a playlist to turn on at midnight when it’s just me in my room, when the day has been long and hard and so good, when I sit on the floor, legs outstretched, back against my bed, I can close my eyes and hum along. I want music that fits my life. That’s slow and steady and filled with lyrics that mean something. With a special place for music you just have to chair dance along to, for just when the moment calls for it.