Wednesday, July 14

Quintessential Songs of Endearment

The following is messy writing. Please forgive, but I don't have the energy or desire to clean it up....

I've been giving some thought lately about different songs that I've liked from different periods of my life, and how those songs represented more than just the music they provided.

Wondering, specifically, about those few songs that not everyone knew, but that those who should've known, knew about, and therefore offered a sort of kindred spirit vibe.

So, I've been trying to come up with some quintessential songs from different periods in my life, focusing on that one song that, if you were aware of it, would endear you to me. That is, if I met you, say in the 80's, and you were aware of a certain song, we'd be that much closer to being instant kindred spirits.

Of course, the 80's contained within it all kinds of different musical appreciations. Early on for me, it was all about punk and (on PEI) subtle anarchy. By the end of the 80's, I was on my way towards exploring the singer/songwriter side of music.

Taking it all together, I think, then, the Quinessential 80's Song of Endearment To Rob would have been: Add It Up from the Violent Femmes self-titled first album (yes, album). If you were 'in the know' about that song, then you would've been all right in my book.

I've been having trouble coming up with a 90's equivalent, I think because music in that decade wasn't as important to me, and I found myself diversifying quite a bit into all kinds of musical likes. Yet, if I had to come up with one, the Quintessential 90's Song of Endearment To Rob would have been: If I Can't Change Your Mind by Sugar If you were aware of that song, then you were practically a guaranteed member of Rob's Musical Appreciation And Therefore Cool About Other Things Too Club.


Anne said...

Scary. I was just listening to "If I Can't Change Your Mind". I also like the Femmes, but not as much as I like Sugar.

John Boylan said...

That post brings back some memories. I was about 14 back in the mid 80s when I started listening to Husker Du, Television, Talking Heads and the like. There were a few of us who were like-minded and spent too much time hanging out at Cedar's. I can remember wondering at the time if there were people around town that had listened to this type of music before us. It looks like it was you and your friends. I had a flashback to this idea a while back when I picked up a vinyl copy of Iggy Pop's The Idiot. It had a persons name on it and a Ch'town street address. I felt like I should have known the kind of person who would have owned an Iggy Pop album around here.
I can remember having huge debates about whether Bob Mould or Grant Hart was the better songwriter. In my teenage years I was in the Bob camp, but in my twenties I fell to Grant. Even though it was released in the late 80s, Grant Hart's 2541 is my wistful 90s song. It has that end of innocence kind of vibe going.