Coming of age signifies that moment in your life when you get to make at least some of your own decisions. Granted they are not always the best decisions, but that's part of the journey. I came of age during the 1980's. The decade of big glasses, big hair, tight leather pants, bandanas and jackets with upturned collars.
One of the decisions that I was finally be able to make was what music I wanted to listen to. No longer did I have to listen to my mother's country western music in the car or on the home stereo. I had my own car, a rockin' four door Chevy Chevette, and I had my own portable tape player in my room. I bought cassette tapes of some of my favorites bands that I heard on the local rock radio station, then I made mixed tapes so I could have all my favorite songs on one.
On my mixed tapes were some of the big hair bands: Def Lepard, Motley Crue, White Snake, the Scorpions and Bon Jovi. But at heart I was a punk rocker, there were posters of Billy Idol all over my room. I would sit and listen to White Wedding and Dancing with Myself for hours.
At my own White Wedding in my coming of age season, we gave a small nod to traditional wedding songs, and were also overly kind and let my grandmother sing a special number (so glad that's on video tape, said with sarcastic voice), but we also played a ballad by a big hair Christian rock band called Styper. We may have only been eighteen and nineteen, but we knew what we wanted, and we were going to do it.
Quickly transitioning to a wife and full-time working adult, I hung up the black leather pants, and the chain belt that went with them. I threw away the hair mousse, the heavy kohl eyeliner. I folded the bandanas and tucked them into the back of a drawer. There were no longer hours on end to listen to my favorite music while doing homework. Instead it was go to work for eight hours, come home cook supper, walk the dog, do some laundry and collapse into bed exhausted. There was no music.
Music stayed nonexistent until the mid-90's and the birth of our daughter, Mallory. Like any good first time mother I wanted her to fall asleep to the sounds of lullabies. I am not blessed with a melodic voice, so I bought her a portable cassette player and found a couple wonderful lullaby tapes. The best one was by Nicolette Larson with a song on there called Mallory's song.
Parenting through the 90's brought lots of classic Disney films on VHS, mornings of Barney the Dinosaur, and The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round stuck in my head.
When Mallory outgrew Barney, music faded away again.
Late elementary school and we found something we all liked - Christian rock. We went to concerts, big outdoors festivals, listened in the car, on the computer. Eventually though we progressed, and Christian rock did not.
College years and Mallory's own coming of age. She brought home her own sounds, influenced by others. It was new and exciting indie artists like Josh Garrels, Death Cab for Cuties, The Black Keys, and Bon Iver. It was a whole new season of music again.
Over the last six years, I have drifted in and out of songs, playing some like Adele's Hello time and time again, and then leaving them completely to obsess over podcasts or audio books. But this new filmmaking adventure has brought me back to music; new artists to explore, new music sharing sites, all so I can find that perfect soundtrack for my life.
End NotesThese are some of the artists I enjoy listening to at the moment: Lord Huron, Gregory Alan Isakov, The Lumineers, Jake Bugg. Interestingly, almost all my artists have a haunting quality to their voices.
Pandora Radio is a great way to find new to you artists.
I have been using Soundstripe for the music for my films, endless choices.
My new car came with Sirius XM radio free for the first four months. I don't plan to renew once the free period is over, but I have been loving the 1940's station, and the big band sound.
I am an eclectic mix.