March 29, 2008

Where was I?

So, I'm going to try this new "segment" or what have you. Just a little something I've been thinking a lot about. I'm going to write about some kind of musical experience I've had in my life that sticks out or that I remember significantly and how, if at all, it relates to where I am now. Like I said, sometimes there won't be any huge relation between the two, other times it will be obvious and a few others may only make sense to a few people (regardless of if you know me or not). There may be times when I list the same artists or songs, but that's that and that's how this will work. Where I was and where I am now. Take one...

Where I was then: 6th grade, 1995-96’. We all had matching tank tops; every shade of blue that met in a ‘V’ down the center of the shirt…and it had spaghetti straps. Spaghetti straps only meant that you were some of the coolest people around in that time, you know. I was “Scary” because I had the curly hair. I didn’t mind much; she was probably my favorite anyway. Tracy was “Ginger” because she was skinny with big boobs and the most obvious reason? She had red hair. Mandy was “Baby” because she was the quietest person in our group of friends, and definitely the cutest. Jenn C. was “Posh” but to this day I can’t really explain why, other than to round out the group. The halls rung with calls of “GIRL POWER!” peace signs flew high around the jungle gym and learning dance steps whilst wearing matching outfits was the activity of choice out at recess. The British Invasion of “my time” came in the form of five women by the name of Spice. The Spice Girls “Wannabe” was the #1 hit of 1996 and every girl at Fairmount Elementary was all over it. The bouncy, harmonic, sticky pop was just what girls my age apparently needed to lift our spirits and deter us from following alternative radio, like the “down and out” Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins (which, strangely enough, I had a huge crush on Bill Corgan while I still sang songs from the Spice Girl album). Like all things too good to be true, the phase went out about as quickly as it came in. I listen to it now and I won’t deny its catchiness and quirkiness, but it really makes me laugh when I listen to the lyrics and when I vividly recall those sunny days on the playground.Where they were then...

Where I am now: When I went to trade in my Spice Girls albums, I had never intended on a delayed exchange over 10 years later and in the form of three different British women. Right now, I have my hand in a mush pot of choices ranging from the fun and flirty to the raucous and jazzy. First we had everyone’s favorite little rehab client, Amy Winehouse. While not necessarily tacky bubblegum pop, Winehouse’s sultry music and quaint dilemmas attach to us just like the Spice Girls antics did.

More fun, flirty and funky is Ms. Lily Allen with her own brand of commercial “indie-pop”. I was especially drawn to Mark Ronson’s production and use of old reggae songs to create more vivacious songs and lyrical patterns. Just like everyone else, I enjoyed hearing the snarky comments, childish setbacks and sometimes whiny approach coming from Lily. Lastly, and most recently, Kate Nash has come on to the scene to take Lily’s place, but with a more developed sound and modus operandi.

Unlike Lily, Kate plays her own instrument (piano) while singing. Even in the process of complaining Kate Nash gives the impression that she is more mature and experienced in her ways. Just like I sang along with the Spice Girls, I sing along with these three ladies. Just like I truly felt that “girl power” was and could be a true notion, I feel like these ladies have real problems that speak to all girls of our age and scene. When I sing along I have a tendency to get way too into it, clapping along, playing air drums, fingering my own imaginary piano and singing (at times screaming) along and truly feeling what these girls are feeling. Anyway, I’d much rather listen to these three beautiful British women than what the 6th grade me listened to. Do I regret being a Spice Girl in my own little world and my own little time? No, because that’s what helped bring me to where I am now. No Kate, Lily or Amy, but where the Spice Ladies are now. Top notch, ladies.

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