Saturday, 14 November 2015

My Life Needs Music

I've been wanting to craft up a post about music for a while now.  I'm just not sure how to start or what, really, to say.  Let me give it a try.

I love music.  I have for as long as I can remember.  I learned to play piano around age 4 and I did Royal Conservatory up to grade 8, which got me a high school credit.  How cool!

I still try to play, but truthfully I don't make the time much anymore (which goes for all my hobbies right now: knitting and crochet; "real" gardening - not just pulling a few weeds and watering when I absolutely have to; I wanted to learn to paint but didn't get past buying some paper and paints; and I'm sure there are more hobbies I had that I haven't done in so long I've forgotten!)

Music I still fit in, mostly because it can be a very passive pastime.  I put on the radio, and I use my phone and headphones when I walk from the car to (and from) work every day.  That gets me maybe 30 minutes of music a day, once you remove the commercials and talking from the radio shows in the morning.

There was a time when I had my finger on the pulse of current music trends.  In highschool and university I prided myself on knowing all the "cool" bands as well as the more obscure, but still great, other bands that toured around our area.  I would go to concerts all the time - so much so I'd try to schedule classes around the late nights I knew were concerts nights at the nearby bars.  That didn't really work out that well, but I tried!

Being a Canadian I got a lot of my music information from MuchMusic.  That was back in the days when they played more music videos and much less "shows."  Now they've gone back to videos an hour at a time randomly through the day, but there was a point where I'm sure they didn't play more than an hour of videos a week.  Anyway, I digress - but the network had great VJs and writers who managed to get all the good "music news" out to the public and had bands in the studio all the time.  It was worth watching if you were a music junkie, like me.

In the 90s and early 2000s I knew so much music news.  And my parents loved rock, so right from the beginning it was "classic rock" and "80s rock" (from the radio at the time) all the time in my household.  Of course my sister and I went through the "pop" phase, and I don't know if I ever fully left it behind.  I like so much varied music that I find it hard to pinpoint a favourite genre.  I'll listen to most anything, but less of the twangy old country music, and I have a low tolerance for old-fashioned rap. Personally, I feel that music genres do not exist the way they used to.  I know a lot of artists "cross-over" but I believe that us fans just like things in a broader scope that it's hard to classify artists in one genre anyway.

My favourite bands are from the 90s and early 2000s, and they're mainly Canadian Rock.  I can't define them any more than that.  And finally they are resurging.  The I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace, Moist, The Tea Party, Wide Mouth Mason era bands are either touring again, or releasing new singles.  I'm returning to a happy place these days.  I saw Hawksley Workman here in Kingston earlier this year, for free, in the pouring rain.  No one was brave enough to come with me, so I said "to hell with everyone!" and went myself.  There was a small showing of people for the concert, but the rain stopped, the stars came out, and the show was fabulous!

Later this past summer Big Sugar came for a free concert as well.  It rained a smidge for that one, but they're cooler (or just more popular!) than Hawksley Workman and there was a huge turnout for that show.  I still got to be in the very front though!

The biggest thing I miss right now is the time I used to have to just absorb music.  I remember buying a new cd, taking it home, fighting with the wrapper (because those pull tabs never worked!) and then lovingly placing the disk in the player in my room.  I would just lay on my bed absorbing the new tunes, reading along to the lyrics if the band provided them in the liner, or just mellowing out to the tunes.  I would listen over and over until I had the song order memorized, and most of words (and all of choruses) learned well enough to get me by until I could just lay around some more and listen.

Those days are long gone.  Now I know the words to the choruses of the songs on the radio, but sometimes (okay, most times) I don't even know who the artists are.  It's a sad decline in my life.  Almost as bad as my loss of reading time (the post about that is here) but I still try.  Concerts are few and far between, but when I do get to go I totally soak it in - even if it's in the arena setting, and not the up-close-and-personal bar scene (because I physically can't stay up that late anymore and then function at 6:30am for the kids!)

I know all is not lost - I still make a little time for music - but I will never be as tuned in to the music scene as I was when I was younger.  I don't even know when I bought a cd last, and I'm so resistant to buying "albums" digitally.  I like to hold these things in my hands - cds, books, movies and so on.

Share your feelings with me - who are your favourite bands or artists?  Do you still make the time for hobbies that you enjoyed when you were younger?  Are your kids "coming around" to your tastes in music, movies, books etc?  I'm desperately curious to hear how other parents deal with the loss of what made you "you" in your younger years.  Or have you managed to hold onto everything you loved, and enjoy it the same?  Let me know in the comments!


  1. Great post! Glad to hear that you are still interested in music after having to listen to so much of it when you were a kid. Keep listening as much as you can. Play music for the kids and hopefully they will learn to enjoy it as much as you do. As you (and the kids) get older you will eventually have more time for your hobbies. Hang in there kiddo!

    1. Thanks! I try to play the music I like all the time, but Emma has learned how to change the radio to CD and then put on something she wants to hear (Aqua is still "in" for her right now!) They do get rock in the car most of the time though. :D

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