90′s Kid Bedroom Rock Album Experience and Parental Musical Contributions

It’s comforting that almost everybody had Weezer’s blue album on their lists. It’s like going on a girlie PMS rampage, and discovering that you and all your girlfriends like yogurt with your Cheetos.

Another thing I noticed is how you can trace when somebody came of age (musically, I guess) from the Radiohead album they pegged on their lists. Brian has Pablo Honey BECAUSE HE’S OLD HAHAHAHA OLD! My clearest memory of that album was from the time they showed “Creep” on Beavis and Butt-head. I was an MTV kid, but the MTV I grew up with had Nonie and David Wu veejayjaying and played Ugly Kid Joe’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” every 2 hours. I couldn’t tell the difference between Dave Pirner and the dude from Ugly kid Joe, all I knew was that they both kinda sucked and in my head everyone who sucked was the same person; one big chimeric mass of suckage with a Hitler ‘stache.

And there was Migraine boy–BEST CARTOON EVER, then in its wake came Saw Boy and Brain Eater which wasn’t even a third as awesome. Owel doesn’t have a list (yet) but I’m pretty sure he’d put Kid A on his because Owel’s convinced he’s smarter than any of us. I’d put The Bends on mine because I was convinced that Clueless was a movie that would change the landscape of American cinema (I was ten years old for crying out loud), and high five with Peter Mot Mot with a mix of delight and crippling depression brought on by the opening riff of “My Iron Lung”.

At 10 I hadn’t discovered the magical golden delicious power of CD players yet, I was still hooked on casette tapes and was wearing the blue album thin by playing it every single night for almost a month when my brother said I could have it. In fact I could have all his tapes because tapes sucked and CDs was where it was at. Part of this collection was Sonic Youth’s Washing Machine and Jet Set, The Beastie Boys Ill Communication, Mad Season’s Above, and Rancid’s And Out Come the Wolves. This was an awesome development because the only way I could acquire new music at that age was if it was my birthday or I happened to have a hundred bucks to spare–which was never.

I didn’t have a walkman. What I had was a tape deck which I kept under my pillow at sleepy time so no one would get bothered by the noise. Once I got used to an album, it took me less and less time to doze off, until I got sick to death of the album and had to plug in a new one, then the cycle repeated itself. I ended up with a really bad neck before I even hit puberty, but my mom seemed to prefer this over my horrible sleeping habits. In fact, the whole casette player under the pillow schtick was her suggestion because she was probably willing to do anything short of pumping my veins with Benadryl just to get me to sleep before daybreak.

My mom loves music as much as I do. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t forgiven me for recording over her copy of The Talking Heads True Stories when I was a toddler (I WAS 2! THE TAPE DECK HAD SHINY BUTTONS!!!). She buys White Stripes albums and says they’re for us, then she stashes them away in her office. My dad has more trouble getting with the times and because of him we’ve never listened to the Beatles on anything but vinyl. Of course our introduction to the Beatles was with “Nowhere Man” which he said was his song, and I was all “WOW PRETTY SHINY SONG AND THEY ALL SING IN HARMONY!” without really getting what he meant. He also made us (me and my sister) listen to The Byrds’ “Turn, turn, turn” which he said was our song, or maybe it was my song, he probably gave Irene something pretty like “Circle game” or “Where have all the flowers gone?”.

Unfortunately, I never learned to like The Byrds so I never considered it my song. Maybe when I have kids and I’m miserable with my five-figure salary and my insane knowledge of the Philippine legal system, I’ll listen to it again and get what he meant.

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Author: alicesarmiento

San Juan, Metro Manila

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