Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Early Influences-- The Pop Era

I'm enjoying doing weekly music posts. Not so sure people are enjoying reading them, but hopefully cause I think I may keep them up for a while and as I've been hinting I want to talk about some bands/musical phases that I am rediscovering thanks to my Memorial Day weekend activity of uploading pretty much every CD I have that I think might be worth listening to at some point into my iTunes. Plus something about summer just makes me nostalgic. As much as I hated being a teenager, I got the summers mostly free and now I long for those days of driving around aimlessly cranking music.

Before we get into today's nostalgia. I just want to remind you all that I posted some contests last week and these contests are lower on entries than I feel that they should be.

You have the opportunity to win CDs from two bands I recently discovered, Farewell Continental and Wilson. Both are incredibly awesome and in different ways depending on how you feel like dancing and what mood you are in, so read about them here and enter the contest. It's so easy and who doesn't want free music? That contest ends in a week.

But there is another contest that ends TOMORROW. That is for Elana Johnson's new YA book, POSSESSION, which sounds incredible. So check that out and enter for it here.

Okay, Elana was interviewed for Women Who Rock Wednesday and I always ask that question about the first album and the first concert experience though I don't think I've ever answered it myself. Last week on Tuesday Tunes, I told you about my first concert experience. (In that same blog where you can win the Farewell Continental and Wilson CDs, so check it out!)

But now it is time to talk about my first album, or in my case, cassette tape. The first cassette tape I ever received as a gift was "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang. I'm not sure if the album is actually called "Celebration," but I wanted it because of that song, which was played when the Cardinals won the World Series... at least I think they won the World Series, maybe it was just the playoffs... my brother would know this better than me though at the time (6 or 7), I was a huge baseball fanatic and living in St. Louis being raised as a Cardinals fan. (And I still do root for them as my National League team, but when we moved to Chicago, I became a White Sox fan because I wanted to cheer for a team I could actually see play their games.)

Of course my question to my WWRW guests is not what was the first album ever, it's what did you BUY. For me that was this:

As you may have guessed by the watermark that is not my actual tape. I was too lazy to take a picture, but I still have it and the case is all cracked to show my love. I also had a copy of this on CD that someone burned for me at some point and I added to my iTunes in the big upload because I will always have room in my heart for Madonna, at least her albums up to and including the Immaculate Collection. After that I kinda lost interest. She's not as cool as Cyndi Lauper, I can see that now, but at 9 years old or so, Madonna was my numero uno. I ended up seeing my numero dos, Janet Jackson, in concert because Madonna was too expensive and perhaps a little too provocative, though my mom did buy me a t-shirt from the Blonde Ambition Tour to make up for it (she found this at a store, she did not go!)

My mother had no issue at all with the interracial video for "Like A Prayer" and though Mom was raised Catholic the way Madonna used religion in her songs didn't bother her either. That unzipped fly and the cone bra thing was kinda racy and I could tell that made Mom a little nervous, but since I wasn't really emulating that (I liked Madonna's look during the Lucky Star and Who's That Girl and Desperately Seeking Susan eras), she didn't take too much offense with that. This is why my love for Madonna disturbed my mother:

I remember Mom, a NICU nurse (meaning she works with a lot of premature babies, many born to teens), ranting up a storm that she felt this song glamorized teen pregnancy. I seriously recall her mockingly shouting, "I'm keeping my baby, UGH!" Despite being raised Catholic, my mom is feminist and pro-choice and I think she would rather Madonna sing a song about safe sex and considering adoption or even abortion. Though, she probably still wouldn't have liked me making up dancing and roller-skating routines to it at ten.

So there it is, my earliest musical influence and my earliest arguments with my mother about music. Of course by fifth grade, I was pretty much over pop music and discovering the rock 'n' roll that has ruled my life and my headphones ever since. I'll tell you about the bands that kicked that off next week.

But please, be honest and share with me, your childhood music loves and did your parents approve?


miaohdeux said...

I was a New Kids on the Block girl...my mom even took me to see them in concert when I was ten! Mom liked pop music, and MTV was brand new when I was very little, so we listened to a lot of Hall and Oates and Michael Jackson as well. MJ was a big influence on me because I've been dancing since I was 4 (right when Thriller came out).

It's funny because as I've gotten older I've started listening to music of my parents' generation: the Beatles, Elton John, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Beach Boys. And now my mom listens to Ke$ha. :)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

MTV was brand new when I was little too, but I didn't get cable until like 5th or 6th grade. I got really into The Beatles and classic rock immediately following the Madonna stage. So funny that your mom is into pop!

marina said...

I love Madonna! Thanks to my mother. [=
The first album I remember buying for myself was in about the forth or fifth grade and it was AFI: Sing the Sorrow. I listened to it all the time and still do (although I lost my copy long ago). Actually I got a limited edition t-shirt for the album I wore pretty much all of fifth grade but that got lost too and I've been sad and incomplete ever since. I went on a mad hunt to find one for christmas but I never did...
My mom is actually the reason I like a lot of the music I do. There was always a loving dose of Billy Idol and The Clash in our lives as well as others. That just branched out and landed me in my puck rock girl situation. It really is the most fabulous place to be too. [=

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Bean, you are way too cool!!! Love that AFI was your first album and that you had such a cool mom. Rock on, punk rock girl!

marina said...

I am pretty rad. [;
Rock on yourself, punk rock writer!