Something I haven’t ever really written much about here on Life of Ando, but is something that I enjoy very much and is ever present in my life is music. Growing up, my dad always was playing music around the house. It was mostly a combination of Henry Mancini, John Williams, and the best of 1980’s Christian contemporary. Glad, Sandi Patty, Steve Green and the like. In those days most things involving drums and a bass guitar were still considered anathema to much of the evangelical Christian crowd. At least in public. So even now I have at least a sentimental appreciation for music of that ilk, though much of it is actually very good.
As reached the junior high years, my own musical tastes began to develop. When I was about eleven or twelve, my aunts brother gave me a Beach Boys tape, which I of course thought was pretty cool. My dad found out about it and didn’t think it was quite as cool. The Beach Boys probably seem like a pretty benign group, and they are for the most part, but being a pre-teen, I think my dad was concerned about some of the lyrics. Compared to pretty much anything found on the public airwaves these days, anything the Beach Boys did is pretty tame. But there are mentions of “making it” and themes of boy/girl type stuff that I suppose could infulence an impressionable eleven year old. Dad and I listened to the tape together and talked about it, and the verdict was I couldn’t have it. Was this a little overkill on my parents part? Maybe, but I was no worse for it and don’t remember being too upset. If anything its nice to know my parents were more concerned about my moral well-being, then with being chums all the time and letting me have and listen to whatever I wanted. It’s a shame more parents aren’t willing to take the same course. Of course, I did catch my dad at least once listening to the very tape he forbade me to have. The perks of parenthood, I suppose.
The next little dustup, if it could even be called that, came on the last day of school my junior year. I had bought a couple of albums by two the hottest groups of the 90’s grunge era, Soundgarden’s Superunkown and Nirvana’s Nevermind. I knew my parents would not approve of such things being played out in the open in their home, so I stole secret listens on my discman in bed, extended bathroom sessions, or in the car. That last day of junior year, my mom had been kind enough to clean my room for me when she happened upon the contraband discs. When I got home from school, dad brought them out, said “uh-uh” and that was that. I may have been the easiest seventeen year-old to raise in the history of seventeen year-olds. I’m sure most seven-teen year olds would have raved about privacy violations, and teens rights, and freedom to make my own choices, but I shrugged, said “eh”, and went about my business. So, yeah, mom and dad, you owe me (and my birthday is coming up, ahem, ahem).
I wasn’t a big CD buyer in those days as it was tricky to find something that I liked and that had the approval of my parents. Being the type to want to avoid confrontation at all costs, when I did buy something it was usually something harmless, and often times crappy. I will admit that one of my first purchases was that of a Mariah Carey. There, I said it. Mock away. For the record, I do not currently own any Mariah Carey or any Mariah Carey like music.
But most of my music listening in those junior and senior high school days was to the sounds of another era. I became the world’s most knowledgable teenager on all things oldies. I think it was the combination of tacit approval from the rents and that I genuinely think that on the whole, music from that era is just better. I still got in plenty of listens to the hot hits of the day, despite my oddness I did leave the house occasionally, but even alone in the car the radio dial more often than not drifted toward the oldies stations.
As I hit college and beyond, my musical tastes have remained, varied and a little offbeat. From The Beatles, to ska, to bluegrass, to indie, to movie scores, to Behtoven, my MP3 player is a hodge-podge of just about everything. (Do you ever notice when someone is asked what type of music they like, especially on places like their Myspace, about 85% say something like, “Everything except rap and country.” This seems to be the trendy thing to say.) I’m kind of streaky listener these days, being really into something for a while, a band or a genre, and then getting sick of it and looking for something else. But I’ve almost always got something on. To give you a little taste of the musical Ando, I’ve semi-randomly picked about ten songs that I’ve put in the blue Box on the lefthand sidebar. I tried to grab a broad cross-section of my library to give you full effect. I’ll try to change it once a week or so to keep things interesting. I’ve also got a few more musical posts up my sleeve, so stayed tuned.
The Beatles – Nowhere Man
Weird Al Yankovic – Yoda
Five Iron Frenzy – Every New Day
Flogging Molly – The Wanderlust
Me First and the Gimmee Gimmee’s – Runaway
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part I
The Ventures – Telstar
Peter Bjorn and John – Young Folks
Johnny Cash – I Won’t Back Down
Enno Morricone – Ecstasy of Gold