Monday, March 8, 2010

Parental discretion that wasn't advised

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Fiona Apple via Criminal via VH1


John, Paul, Ringo and George were regulars in my house growing up. They were present for everything: birthday's, teenage anguish and revolt, even the one December my mom decided to celebrate her heritage by putting a Menorah right next to our Christmas tree.

So it was no surprise she began acting out when I brought a new man into the house at the rightful age of 12: Kurt Cobain.

She quickly reminded me he died from drugs in which I rebutted by pointing to the Magical Mystery Tour album.

Growing up, I was into a lot of different music. Some of it was good while some of it was really, really bad. By bad, I mean someone should have changed the radio station to preserve my youth at least until I was ten.

My biggest musical influences were those around me like my older brother who introduced me to rap when I was eight. Looking back, a white kid wearing MC Hammer style fluorescent orange and green pants mouthing "Gangster's Paradise" wasn't so cool. It was the 1990s.

"Gangster's Paradise" was my stepping block into music that wasn't age appropriate. Take Fiona Apple for instance: I was ten years old singing "I've been a bad, bad girl," while watching her half naked emaciated body strewn over men in bed and rubbing on body parts in a bathtub. Most kids were watching Nickelodeon; I was watching Pop up video on VH1.

Then there was this song by Dynamite Hack called "Boyz in the Hood." My Mom and Dad thought I was in bed but really, I was in my room listening to my totally awesome Girl Talk radio waiting for the song to play on KROQ's countdown at 9:00 p.m. Oh, you bet I was walking around singing "jockin’ the bitches, slappin’ the hoes" and telling people that "I reached back like a pimp and I slapped the hoe."

(Insert Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson and Eminem here)

High School was a whirlwind of mortifying phases, but then again, it wouldn't have been High School. I went through every stage imaginable. The most noteworthy had to be that of Linkin Park. Singing--screaming--“shut up when I’m talking to you,” meant nothing to me at the time, but now explains my sudden bout of dark eyeliner and being grounded all the time.

Then came rap thanks to my surroundings; no group of friends is quite complete without the token white girl who is into hip hop (no, not me). I'm not talking about underground freestyle Brooklyn beats, I'm talking about get on the ground and make like Pamela Anderson songs such as: "How Many Licks" and "Shake it Like a Salt Shaker." The titles speak for themselves. This type of total request live music isn't really my thing, but I was like a chameleon in that adapting to my surroundings was the only way to survive.

So I shook it like a salt shaker and in the words of Naughty by Nature, I acted raw and gritty.

Where were my parents you ask? Well, my mom's affair with Black Sabbath and my Dad’s youth of Peter Frampton spoiled their hearing a bit, so when I was in my room raging against the machine, no one noticed.

10 comments :

  1. I love this post! The 90s are by far the best music, ever. I remember loving Gangsta's Paradise - I still know all the words (should I be embarrassed?) I adore Fiona Apple but my mom always said she was bad and I shouldn't like her. Too bad her negative public persona distracted so many from her stunning voice.

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  2. DOUG THE SLUG 9 at 9pm!!!!!!! I made out with my girlfriend, did homework, smoked pot, drank and did teenager shit to that, circa 1991-1996. Then Loveline was on after, long live the Poorman!!

    by they EXCELLENT POST. I like your writing alot.

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  3. I grew up with The Beatles too. I got into 90's grunge and punk rock when I was about 12. It was completely foreign to my parents and for a while the way I dressed and what I listened to freaked them out.

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  4. I was watching pop-up video, too! I think it might just be having an older sibling that makes folks like us do these things.

    PS, I like you're blog, you're being followed.

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  5. Oh yes...the 90s were ripe for all of that stuff..and for some reason, I still find it to be way better than the music now. =D

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  6. Kurt Cobain :) I was that kid too.

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  7. It's fun to look back on those early years, when you were still finding your way. My dad could never understand why, having raised me on a strict diet of Springsteen, Dylan and the Rolling Stones, I started listening to Green Day when I hit 12.

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  8. Ah Kurt Cobain, how you haunted my middle-school years.
    I was a Seattle child. Grunge was all part of the whole thing. I remember crying for a week when he died. This is a great post.

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  9. Call me a square, but I picked up my parents' love of classical music and opera....and Tom Waits. I did have a time when I was 13 or so when I listened to stuff like Linkin Park, but I think that was more puberty than anything.

    Where I parted from my parents for musical taste was while they loved the music of their childhood, the 50s and early 60s, I piggybacked backwards and got really into jazz from the 1920s-40s, though I don't know how much of that is me being a history nerd.

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  10. Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

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