Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Love Music

February 15th, 2008
My family moved around a lot when I was young. No, my dad wasn’t in the military or anything, but we did relocate several times for various corporate opportunities that came up for him. Some people think that’s a hard life to have as a child, but I didn’t know anything different. And now it makes it easy for me to adapt to any environment and converse with many different people as an adult.
What’s interesting is that music was one of my only constants back then. Certain songs remind me of cities, activities, and trips. For instance, when we would roadtrip from Indiana to South Carolina in the 70s, John Denver or the Eagles would often be on the radio (if we got a radio station). I love the song Hotel California because it reminds me of beautiful mountain scenery while I relaxed in the back seat of the car. I think I love jazz because my father would play Take Five on his trumpet or listen to Herb Alpert and Chuck Mangione albums. My favorite jazz musicians are gone now, but I still lovingly listen to Grover Washington Jr and George Howard because of the appreciation I learned for it in the 70s. Additionally, my parents listened to old music like Motown groups and the Stylistics and, still a favorite, Sam Cooke. Those songs remind me of family and love.
Now I’m close to 40 years old with a husband, children and a mortgage. Interestingly, not much has changed in my taste in music. I still jump up and gyrate when XM radio plays Me So Horny by Two Live Crew. I still chill to Grover Washinton Jr’s Mister Magic. I still close my eyes and imagine the mountains when I hear the words “summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowin’ through the jasmin in my miiiiind.” I still shake my head at what I was wearing in 1985 when I hear Duran Duran’s Hungry Like The Wolf. I still get angry when kids call a DeBarge song a Biggie Smalls’ songs. I still want to head bang when I hear “… with a rebel yell, I cry more, more, more” by Billy Idol. I can listen to hours of mixed house music by artists and DJs like Lil Louie Vega or my good friend, DJ Oji. Living in Baltimore introduced me to B-more Club music, and I have wonderful flashbacks when I hear old Miss Toney songs (God rest his soul). I still throw my hands in the air when the go-go song by DJ Kool commands “put me in the water!” Visions of many dancehall parties (both in Jamaica and in the states) still come vividly to mind when I hear a Stone Love mix of old Tiger and Buju Banton songs. The combination of R&B and jazz created the wonderful genre of neo-soul, and I sometimes have to stop in my tracks to dance and sing out loud with Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Raheem Devaughn. Like Erik Sermon said in his song with Marvin Gaye - “I wish music could adopt me!” And, speaking of rap music - part of the reason I fell for my husband as a teenager was because he looked like my favorite rapper of the day, Big Daddy Kane.
(sigh) I just realized there isn’t enough time or room for me to talk about all of my favorite songs, artists and genres of music. So, I will just give a shout out to two of my favorites which were not mentioned earlier in this blog: my favorite artist of all time - Prince. And my favorite album - Keith Sweat from 1988. Wait, maybe my favorite album is any album by LL Cool J. Ugh, I don’t know… I just love music.
My iPod and Apple TV are full of classics and new jams from a variety of genres of music. My mind is full of memories associated with every song I hear. Music is as essential to my life as the water I drink every day. I couldn’t imagine my life without it (and neither could my family and friends).

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