I’ve never really been one for nostalgia. For the most part, the past is the past and now is now. My life so far has been split up into uneven chunks, strange islands that are often only connected by a rope bridge and I sometimes have a hard time relating to the person I was when I lived on those other islands.
I know people who have stayed in the same town or neighborhood, who have had the same favorite book since they were 17, whose taste in music had already set and gelled and hardened by 21. And this works for them. But I think my life has been more about unearthing who I am. The future and undiscovered have always seemed richer and more compelling than the past and the known, which is probably why I tend to look forward rather than backwards.
That said, I do seem to be going through a blast from the past phase in my Spotify playlist listening habits. Here are some of the Rebeccah’s youth old school tunes I’ve been listening to recently.
I was a big fan of The Cure until I was around 15. After that, Robert Smith’s emo whining got on my nerves and I didn’t listen to the band anymore for the most part. I was more into screaming Violent Femme’s lyrics into my pillow and getting accidentally kicked in the face in mosh pits at Ramones concerts (I was very, very proud that I took this in stride. No wimpy weeping for me, thank you very much!). If my emo teenage self and my punk teenage self were to meet in a ring, which one would win? It’s a harder call than you’d think. Sure, punk girl had the put on toughness, the anger, the who-gives-a-fuck vibe, but emo girl’s depressive wallowing and oh-so-deep-feelings could bring gloom into a room like nobody’s business. I guess we’ll never know which one would come out on top. Either way, I’ve rediscovered The Cure at the ripe old age of forever-35 ;).
The Ramones have been an exception to the no-nostalgia rule in that I’ve never stopped listening to the four faux brothers from Queens. Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy Gabba Gabba Hey! I’ve noticed that people have started wearing those Ramones t-shirts again which became a sort of glam fast fashion hit a few years back. I always wonder if the kids wearing them even know that the Ramones were a band and not just some cool, made up logo t-shirt that brings a bit of edge to a pair of capris and strappy sandals.
I’ve also never stopped listening to the Violent Femmes’ debut album and I still know the words to all these pillow-screaming songs. I should have my sister listen to the music and see if she’s still traumatized. Our rooms were next to each and we used to try to out blast each other’s music. She never moved past mod new wave and was none too thrilled with the Violent Femmes, Ramones and co.
Speaking of my sister, Groove Is in the Heart reminds me of the days when we went dancing at the Palladium (aka Get-Laid-ium), a now defunct club in North Beach, and the Edge in Palo Alto. They were both the world’s lamest clubs, although the Edge was even worse because, well, it was in Palo Alto. Palo Alto?!? Ugh. Yes, hardcore East Bay girl that I was I of course had to hate/look down on the South Bay (not yet known as Silicon Valley) which was pretty easy because, duh, it sucked. But, sucky or no, these were the only 18 and older clubs in the area and, truth be told, we had lots of fun there, dancing to Deee-Lite and the like. Btw, the guy in picture doing the peace symbol actually lives really close to me in Berlin now. I met him once through a friend. He was a nice guy and was wearing a kickass pair of intergalactic space craft looking boots.
I was never really directly a No Doubt fan, but a good friend of mine was really into them. I remember driving over Seven Hills Road blasting this song on the tape deck of her white, Volkswagen rabbit. It’s fun song to work out to
I was also never really a big Nirvana fan, but there music was pretty much unavoidable in the circles I moved in back in the mid-90s. I do remember thinking that there was something iconic about this band, something that would make people remember their music when other grunge bands faded away. I think it’s still true.
I dug Waterfalls and Whattaman back in the day, but secretly, because catchy R&B pop did not fit my jaded art girl image. I’m now free to openly enjoy them and both are on my work out Spotify playlist.