This morning we drove down to spend the day with Phillip's parents - ALERT! The Home Goods is not open yet! WOE! - and we were listening to the radio, as we do, and a Matchbox 20 song came on and a thought occurred to me: 99% of the music that was popular when we were in college is TERRIBLE.
I was SUUUUUPER into music in college (1997-2001), but I was listening to the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams and Sinead O'Connor and 10,000 Maniacs and learning to play Ani DiFranco songs on the guitar (I can still play 'Both Hands') and basically if you were a woman who accompanied her self-written angsty songs with angsty guitar, I bought your album. Bonus points if you were a lesbian. My dorm room was its own little Lilith Fair AND I HAVE NO SHAME.
Phillip, like all the other musically-inclined guys I knew in college, was into Dave Matthews. (Also a whole bunch of other people, but Music Phillip Listened To When I First Met Him could be an entire week-long series of posts and then he might leave me because I might not properly genuflect before Sting.)
But the stuff on the radio? UGH!
So we're having this conversation in the car and I'm having these flashbacks to my sophomore year dorm and my beautiful, gleaming, absolutely ginormous bookshelf stereo that I bought with my very own money, of which I was incredibly proud, about which all the musically-inclined guys I knew laughed because it was a Magnavox. What's wrong with Magnavox I ask you! For the record, I am still not an electronics brand name snob and my Magnavox worked JUST FINE thankyouverymuch. ANYHOW.
I remember where that monstrosity sat on my little desk area and I remember the first time I heard Britney Spears and thinking WHAT IS THAT HORRIBLE SOUND. Britney, however, endured, and now I actually have a little spot soft for her and her Southern crazy.
Then there was other stuff. Like Sugar Ray. And Blink 182. And The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. And Smashmouth. And stuff NO ONE WANTS TO LISTEN TO ANYMORE. Ugh, remember that Marcy Playground song? HAAAAAATE.
I didn't really like it THEN either.
Phillip, whose favorite thing to do is Be Contrary, tried to come up with songs that we loved/are still good/endured, but I don't feel he did a particularly good job. The best he could do (for me) was N*SYNC. Who I love. I don't care what you say. One of my favorite things was when all the freshman boys in my roommate's Asian American bible study group memorized the Bye Bye Bye dance and performed in the lounge.
Then we started talking about music from HIGH SCHOOL and, well, I'm not sure how I feel about music from the mid-late nineties. I was barely aware of the whole grunge scene and I didn't like much of what I heard anyway. But sometimes I'll turn on the radio and hear the live version of the Stone Temple Pilots' 'Plush' and DUDE, that is a good song. Mostly I remember what kind of music all the boys I liked were listening to and then I have to go back and time and shoot myself for being such a pushover. But besides the grunge stuff we have the R&B scene and what woman in her early thirties does not have a junior high or high school dance memory involving BoyzIIMen? HMMM? GOOD STUFF, LADIES.
I remember a girl in high school saying she liked Green Day and all I knew about Green Day is that you were Edgy if you liked that music. Sort of like how I remember a girl in college saying she liked Coldplay, back before most people had ever heard of Coldplay, and all I knew about Coldplay was that you were Cooler Than Thou if you liked them.
Gah, this post has no thesis. No wait. The thesis is: there is no popular music from my college years that I am excited to force my children to listen to when they are older and embarrassed by me. HOW DISAPPOINTING.
Also, I really like a lot of the music on the radio NOW. Maybe this makes me cool? Like I love that new Payphone song, possibly because I am in love with Adam Levine, but Phillip is all NO ONE EVEN KNOWS WHAT A PAYPHONE IS ANYMORE. (He's jealous.)
I've sort of traded my angsty lady music for upbeat dancey stuff, music I can run to, music that sounds good when you're driving, music that makes washing the dishes a little less tedious. I call it my teenager music. I don't know what half of it is (and there was the one time I almost died because I found out the song I thought was sung by a girl was actually Justin Bieber) but I love it and Pandora means I can have it on whenever I want. There used to be a time when I religiously purchased every new Indigo Girls cd, but I haven't listened to them in years. Perhaps because I'm no longer an angsty college student but a tired, busy, (and yes, also angsty) SAHM who doesn't have time for all that harmonized self-reflection anymore. Give me Usher!
(But I'll always love you, Dar! Anyone want to drive down to Portland on Saturday and see her show? No? You don't have a babysitter? DAMMIT.)