Riding down the road in the backseat of my stepmother's pick-up truck. Fairly new, the stereo system can rattle the loose pavement we speed down. My father takes the advantage to blast Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde; in awe of the musical power of the latter and Randy Rhoads. It is the stuff on which I was raised. I know all of the words Ozzy has ever muttered, and can successfully mimic the pinch harmonics and slides elegantly used in each bridge and lead break. My father was who got me into music. I may not be an extremist amongst audiophiles, but what I have studied, I have studied well. However, creativity never sleeps and there are still numerous discographies to be had, and lyrics to learn.
These trips to the store, on family outings, to visit with friends, they all went by so quickly because of music. Whatever the choice of artist, from AC/DC to Yellowcard--bluegrass to screamo/alternative. Whether Shanna and I decided it was a good day for The Bridges or Eisley or my father thought it was time to dig up Dio, music has always been part of my life. I remember when my mother made me endlessly listen to the sounds of Boston and Duran Duran. Until this day, I still hate those bands. But she did help me respect Celine Dion's vocal ability and actually be able to enjoy Reba McEntire and Nickel Creek, although I was very reluctant at first. Saturday trips to Walmart killed my will to fight it when she caught me tapping my fingers to the rhythm of "The Fox and the Hound." If I had not given in, I would never understand how beautiful "Doubting Thomas" really is.
Through teenage angst and the creation of the portable CD player, I was able to branch out on my own. While I may have helped single-handedly bring down a small fraction of the music industry, burned CD's were my best friends. I explored my tastes by indulging in the more popular at the time: Avril Lavigne, Good Charlotte and My Chemical Romance. I grew a little--lyrically and physically--and moved into Fear Before the March of Flames, Bjork, Alexisonfire and The Almost. They were an odd combination of sounds, but I was trying to find what fit me. I know now these sounds of my pre-teenage years will stay with me for the sake of memories, but they are not what suit me today.
My favorites of now cannot be narrowed down sufficiently; I listen depending on my mood. But the more popular indie and folk sounds definitely have a playlist of their own. The Sugarplastic and The Shaggs are guilty pleasures. I mostly turn to their "revolutionary sounds" when I need a good laugh. I am sure many who have some shallow understanding of why The Shaggs made any sort of impact might gasp in horror. But just as I will respect The Beatles but always hate "Yellow Submarine," this is one more thing I suppose I will have to grin and bear as others snicker at my inability to grasp the complexities of such things. I am an audiophile in my own right just as I am a writer. As the music industry moves into digitalizing everything once sacred and vinyl, my iPod will soothe me as I travel far distances by foot or by car. I can count on Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Paramore or even Chris Tomlin to connect with me when the conversation next to me lags, or I would much rather drown out the world than pretend I am having a good time.