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Why I Still Listen to Bad 80’s and 90’s Pop Music March 16, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in Uncategorized.
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The man in the office next to mine at work plays his radio all day long – let’s call him George just to make writing this post easier. I suppose the volume would be a smidge too loud for some people, but since I generally like the music on the station he plays, it doesn’t bother me. It’s mostly an oldies/light fm style station – the kind of music I grew up listening to in my mom’s station wagon as a kid.

George is a bit older than I am; to be generous, I would call him a solid middle-ager, and I am entertained all day listening to him impart wisdom to his younger co-workers about “classic” movies, tv and music (and actually quite a few other topics as well, but I’m already getting off track).

Today, I overheard a conversation he was having with one of his older co-workers, a woman around the same age as my parents. They were in his office and a song came on the radio – I don’t remember which, but it might have been the Beatles, or some contemporary of theirs. The woman commented that whenever she hears songs from her youth, they remind her of things. For example, the Beatles’ Hey Jude was popular while she was learning to drive, and even now, every time she hears Hey Jude, she remembers what it felt like when she was learning to drive.

From joannamkay's flickr stream under Creative Commons.

The conversation then turned to “kids today” and whether they have the same experience? I had to chuckle (very quietly) as they decided that the “music kids listen to these days” can’t evoke the same emotion, you “can’t even understand what they are saying half the time”.

Obviously, this would be less amusing to me if I agreed. I may not be a “kid” anymore by George’s definition, but I definitely did and still do form associations to songs. Ask anyone I went to college with how annoying it was every time I heard a “GAP song” (those songs played on the store intercom on an infinite loop while I worked retail during high school). Even now when I hear those songs, I feel the urge to start folding tables of sweaters and polo-shirts.

Songs that were popular when I was a teenager remind me of all kinds of things when I hear them now, from high school friends, to my first summer with a car, to driving to off-campus lunch.

OK – so, I know George and friend are wrong. Here’s my example, when I hear Aerosmith‘s Livin’ on the Edge, I remember my first time away at summer camp, when one of my new friends let me borrow a mix tape, and Aerosmith was my new favorite band! Now, tell me how you know George is wrong!

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Comments»

1. pupfiction - March 17, 2010

Counting Crows’ Big Yellow Taxi played for a number of summers over and over and over again at the restaurant I worked at and I will forever associate it now with being overworked, overheated, and the smell of seafood!


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