When I was younger, I was a pretty regular gig goer; I’ve seen some bands more times than I’m able to remember, I loved going to music festivals, accumulated a decent CD collection and I still have a selection of mix tapes made by my best friend at the time. Music was really important to me.
After university, whilst living in York, I set up an arts organisation with a group of friends, and we arranged gigs that showcased a mix of comedy, poetry and music acts. I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time listening to demos from local singers and bands, it was through the forum that J and I got together. At the time he was a singer and was also quite consumed by music, and his CD collection easily rivalled mine (in fact, his wins hands down). Music was really important to us as a couple, and we spent lots of time listening to it and going to gigs.
On New Year’s Eve we were chatting with our friends about the merits, or lack of, of the beautiful Icelandic pixie Bjork (I am definitely in the ‘love her’ camp) and this afternoon, 6music has aired a show about how Baduizm, Erykah Badu’s debut album, is 20 years old (a CD I loved and played a lot at the time). These two, completely unrelated things made me realise that I never purposefully listen to music anymore. I always have the radio on, and can’t function without it; I sing along to lots of the songs and have discovered lots of new artists I like, but there’s not much better than when an old, well-loved song comes on the radio and you can have a good dance around the kitchen, amazed that you can remember every single word of a song not heard for almost 20 years. However, I can barely remember the last time I picked a CD out of one of our, ridiculously overfilled, CD towers and put it on. Well, actually, it was yesterday, but that’s because I’ve decided I’m going to start listening to music again, but before that, it must have been years.
I used to have an iPod that I’d listen to every now and again, but when it finally packed in I never bothered to find a way to replace it (to be honest, by the end of its life it was only being used to listen to The Archers Omnibus anyway). I don’t have music on my phone, and I don’t really understand this whole streaming thing. So all I do is listen to the radio. But there is something reassuringly nostalgic about putting on a CD that was the musical accompaniment of your youth (maybe I’m having a musical midlife crisis) and so I’ve decided that the CDs are going to be dusted off and played again. So far, I’ve reacquainted myself with Baduizm and Homogenic (as the two artists that started this whole thought process off, I thought it only right), I’ve just finished listening to Elephant by The White Stripes – one that takes me way back to when J and I got together, as we listened to it all the time, and am now trying to stop dancing to Glow by Reef, which is a near impossible act, but a slow track has given me chance to sit down again (a good job as I was starting to get a little light headed with the excitement of it all).
I’m not sure what the kids are going to think about mummy rediscovering her rock and roll roots, and I’ll probably hold off introducing them to Korn and the Beastie Boys for a while, but I’ve decided it’s about time we started to take their musical education a bit more seriously. And besides, I need some dance partners who are as bad at it as I am (though this may actually be doing them a disservice).