My mom’s not really a music person. When she drives her mini-van (dubbed the swagger wagon by me, the republic gunship by my brothers) she prefers to listen to sports radio in order to keep up with her favorite team, the Texas Rangers.
My dad, on the other hand, loves to turn on the surround sound and blast music whenever my mom’s not in the house. He plays a couple standards to entertain my brothers– Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and the Imperial March from the Empire Strikes Back Soundtrack (sensing a trend yet?), but his own taste veers back to his oddly-spent childhood. His year spent in England when he was 13 years old has left irreparable scars on him, causing him to listen to obscure ska bands like The Specials and constantly do a weird running-man/ski dance move which was apparently how people danced back in “the day”.
I basically grew up with no music in my childhood, unless you count the Music Man soundtrack which I still know word for word. I find this depressing, but an unavoidable fact. I wasn’t really allowed to listen to the Spice Girls or Britney or N’Sync, which I still find embarrassing when all the people in a room start singing along to a song I’ve never heard in my life but everyone else knows all the words to.
But I remember the moment when I started listening to music. It started with a mixtape burned onto a green cd, covered with the loopy scrawl of one of my best friends titled “Angela’s CD of AWESOME!!!!”, subtitled “we’re just two wild and craaaaazy guys”.
Those songs can bring me back to the kid I was four years ago. I remember distinctly hearing Reptilia by The Strokes for the first time, accompanied by their video that electrified me, nose practically pressed to the computer screen.
My own musical taste is hard for me to define, though I have no trouble criticizing other people’s. The closest I can come to defining my own musical taste, after all my phases– loving British soul/pop, folk, Top 40, Sufjan, Beach Boys, MGMT; detesting Arcade Fire and Radiohead– and many drives in the car with the windows rolled down and music at top volume, I can only say that it’s whatever I like.
I have to say, I don’t know why I like The Beach Boys and The Strokes equally as much. But I do. I guess that’s just what happens when your mom loves baseball and your dad loves ska. You grow up confused.