Friday Five: High School Music

  1. What song, album, or artist, disliked by you in high school, now sounds pretty good? I can’t think of albums and artists I disliked, but I can think of ones I either didn’t pay much attention to or only listened to casually and have since become a fan of. The big ones are The Dresden Dolls/Amanda Palmer and my well-documented recent love affair with Fleetwood Mac.
  2. What specific high-school memory do you have of discovering some song, album, or artist you considered old? I never really considered things old, or I never cared. I was always into music that was older than I was, and I do owe that to my parents because they played such a range of things growing up. I also have very eclectic taste and wasn’t afraid to seek things out (my collection goes all the way back to big band. Suck it). But I didn’t actually listen to a wide variety of older music. A few moments stand out. 1) I was writing a book report and playing some pop-punk, probably Good Charlotte, and my dad was like, “Look, they’re not bad, but if you want to listen to punk, I’ll buy you real punk.” Then like that day he bought me a live Sex Pistols album and The Ramones’ greatest hits. 2) I was–and still am–in love with Moulin Rouge. I was playing the soundtrack in the car and my mom recognized more bits of “Elephant Love Medley” than I did and spotted Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” and later dug out his original version to play for me. Shortly thereafter, she bought me the Cirque du Soleil Love remasters for Christmas, and a gradual Beatles love affair started. 3) We were shopping and she heard The Cure’s “Lullaby” playing in Hot Topic (where else?). She then dug out The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me because for some reason it was the only Cure she still owned. I heard “Just Like Heaven.” It changed my life. That same event also led to her pulling out some Smiths she still had. 4) I’d heard lots of talk of this David Bowie character and bought Ziggy Stardust on a whim because I saw it and my mom said she remembered liking “Suffragette City.” 5) This time period also somehow spawned a love of Elton John, but I can’t remember how that happened. Probably my mom. Noticing a pattern?
  3. What song or album best serves as the soundtrack for your senior year of high school? (bonus challenge: answer this question with a different song or album for each year of high school!) Okay, I’m gonna aim for each year. Freshman: AFI’s Sing the Sorrow because I’m not sure I took that out of my bus CD rotation for all four years. Sophomore: Nightmare of You’s self-titled because I fell in love with it and bought it on a trip to the mall for lunch on a French field trip. Related: French educational rapper Etienne. Also Anberlin’s Never Take Friendship Personal because I played the shit out of that. Junior: “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor because it was her one big hit and I heard it a lot in the morning when I did my daily music-channel rotation while I got ready, AKA tossed my hair up, put on my uniform, and put as much makeup on as I could in 10 or so minutes. Senior: AFI’s Decemberunderground because Gemma made us copies when it leaked and I ran the mandatory mile in gym class listening to it. The entire Rent movie soundtrack/Broadway cast recording because my group of friends loved it. Sang it in frustration in the back of the limo after a drama-filled Christmas dance, where the boy I was pining after (Ian) showed up with another girl after telling me he wasn’t going then texted me all about how he thought he loved her. He was either an idiot or an asshole. We also sang “Seasons of Love” for chamber, which brings me to my other pick: “Build Me Up Buttercup.” As for all four years, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” because Marion and I requested it at basically every dance and everyone would get in a big circle and sing it.
  4. What’s a song, album, or artist from your high-school years you loved then (and might still love) but have great difficulty listening to now, and what’s the reason? This is tough because strangely, I’m not the type of person that tens to tie music to a specific event. Some songs and albums are capable of bringing back memories, but it doesn’t happen by default when I hear them. I could also take this to mean because of musical reasons, but even then, that’s tough because if I still have it, I still like it and if I don’t have it, it’s gonna take some effort to remember it.
  5. What song, album, or artist from your high-school years, seemingly forgotten nowadays, do you still listen to with fondness? Probably a large percentage of what I used to listen to then. The All-American Rejects is probably the most notable. Fuck y’all, those songs are catchy as hell.

As always, from The Friday Five.


2 thoughts on “Friday Five: High School Music

  1. “I was writing a book report and playing some pop-punk, probably Good Charlotte, and my dad was like, “Look, they’re not bad, but if you want to listen to punk, I’ll buy you real punk.” Then like that day he bought me a live Sex Pistols album and The Ramones’ greatest hits.”

    This is the nicest thing I think I’ve ever read about your dad. It may be the nicest thing I’ve ever read about anyone’s dad.

    And your mom is cool. She and I must be pretty close in age. It was “Let’s Go to Bed” that did it for me with the Cure. I was in eighth grade, and “Let me take your hand; I’m shakin’ like milk” just boggled my brain as a lyric. It kinda still does.

    1. It’s definitely one of my dad’s rare golden moments.

      My mom likes to quote–and me, my brother, and cousins like to say to her–that line from “Mean Girls” that goes, “I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.” Musically, my parents are both mostly cool, although these days if it’s not classic rock, my dad doesn’t like it. We go to rock concerts as a family for older bands we all like.

      I also used to tease my mom because she liked all the stereotypical goth music. Depeche Mode is another one I got into because of her. Her true reputation, though, is for loving Prince and Fleetwood Mac, but especially Stevie Nicks.

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