Friday, February 25, 2011

Memory #26: I don't want to take what you can't give...

I don't really talk about my musical tastes much, however, I do love music and it plays a huge part in my life. When I hear a song from my past, it instantly transports me back for just a moment. Some of my favorite flashbacks happen while walking around with my headphones on. It makes me feel like there's a camera filming me from somewhere behind a tree and I'm in a movie. A chick flick, of course. And I become one of those people that is smiling for no reason. The kind of person that other people stare at and wonder, "What the hell is going on in that girl's brain...weirdo."

I like all kinds of music, I can sway and bop to the soulful 60s or boogie like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (circa 1977). My ears soak in acoustic guitar like two thirsty sponges, but they also welcome more modern electronic beats that vibrate all the way down to your feet.

I can't drive my car without the radio. A 20 minute walk by myself without headphones is painful. I pretty much can't make a single piece of art in silence. And I definitely can't get myself out of a mental block without music. I've always been like that. I was raised in a musical household. My parents pumped all sorts of music through speakers that were wired all throughout the house. There was music playing, LOUD, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep (mostly radio). I couldn't imagine it any other way.

That being said, this particular memory goes back a little further because I have to set it up...

In high school, my parents subscribed to that stupidly awesome Columbia House record magazine who sent every month, without your permission, a new CD. If you didn't send it back, you had to pay for it. Genius, guys, really. At the time, I was unaware of the ploys of marketing so I always opened the package when it came. Gloria Estefan? No thanks... *throw* Rick Astley? Not so much...*frisbee* (though who'd guess that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia would make that song popular again?!) Pearl Jam's Vitalogy? Eh. I'll set this nicely on this shelf over here, but I don't really care about it...

But, no words can explain what happens to you when you hear a song and it sticks.

You could have heard the song at least a dozen times before... but for some reason, now is the right time. Weeks after opening Pearl Jam's Vitalogy album and setting it aside..."Corduroy" is pumping through the speakers in my house.

Something made me relate to those lyrics, run to my Dad's office, tear open that CD and ask for EVERY OTHER Pearl Jam CD made before that time for Christmas.

And it really started right love for Pearl Jam. Christmas Day, I began playing No Code on repeat. Kelly and I started making daily trips to Joe Nardone's and Eric's CD Mine (sadly no longer with us) to sift through old, live bootleg Pearl Jam tapes (TAPES!) that people would trade in and we could buy for practically no money.

What's funny, I found out not long after that we weren't the only ones doing this. Pearl Jam had a CRAZY fan base when I first saw them live back in 1998, and over ten years later, has even more fans...worldwide. Like people crying in the audience kind of fans.

No matter when or what they come out with next, I always know I will listen to it on repeat for weeks. I'll learn the lyrics to every song. I'll dance and jump like mad to the guitar solos. I'll twirl around to the slow songs. I will love it to death.

In my twenties, I have seen Pearl Jam perform live over 30 times. Most people's eyes bug out when they hear that, but try going to a show and asking one of the dude's waiting outside how many times HE'S seen Pearl Jam. He'll probably tell you that he follows them around the country for every tour and has lost count.

So, you see, I'm a fairly restrained fan. On the crazy scale of 1-10 I'm about a 2 in comparison. I'm in it for the music...and lucky for me that someone, some genius, invented those headphones I take with me everywhere. :)

**Per special request, here's sort of what I look like AFTER a show :)


  1. If you're a 2 than I'm a -20. Pearl Jam wrote one of the most pivotal songs of my teenagehood. And I went to a free show at Gasworks park in Seattle when I was 14, which was probably the best show I've ever been to.

    And I'd like to see an "after" picture of you!!!

  2. I'm so jealous of your Seattle-ings! I love it there :)
    And I added an "after" shot just for youuu! hahaha xoxo back

  3. Sounds like how I feel about Belle and Sebastian, except somehow, for 15 years of obsessively learning every lyric, I was never able to catch them live until this past autumn, when they played (for free!!!!) down the street from my apartment in Barcelona. I played their most recent CD nonstop the whole week leading up, and literally screamed myself hoarse at the show. Amazing.