Welcome back! It’s been a crazy week around here, with lots of small adventures, but I assure you I haven’t abandoned hope on this excellent project. For one thing, I enjoy sharing music. So this project provides all the reason I need to come back. But in case you were upset that I missed a few days, here’s a few pretty pictures to prove I’ve been doing things worth documenting.
My girlfriend and I recently moved into a beautiful apartment in downtown Salt Lake City, which means the last couple months have been very much centered around trying to put our house together, and when we have time, exploring downtown. I had Saturday and Monday off, so we were able to put art on the walls, fix a few things around the house, and each day we get this stuff done, the closer we get to having a legit home. The breakfast image in the collage was our very first breakfast together in this new place. The picture of Siouxsie the Cat is her on the bookshelf that contains our extensive non-fiction music library. She seems to know that the Rolling Stone Women in Rock book mentions her namesake. Smart cat. Then there’s the cover of the latest issue of Jem and the Holograms, featuring Blaze and Pizzazz fighting for the microphone. Jem and the Holograms (IDW) is seriously one of the best comics and if you like comics and aren’t reading it, I encourage you to fix it. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up my comics from my pull shelf, and getting this cover this weekend made my day. Blaze is one of my favorite characters in the history of characters. I’m not even kidding. Finally, completing this collage, is the valiant Starbuck the Pibble, defeating Memorial Grove Park and announcing her presence as Best Dog Ever.
See? Important things have been happening.
But. Now. Onto the music! (Thank you, dear reader, for your patience!)
Day 5: A Song that Reminds you of Someone
My musical journey has never been boring. Outside of my youthful blind hatred of jazz, I’ve been fairly open to everything. It’s gone from Queen to top of the pop charts in the 90s, to Meredith Brooks and Sheryl Crow and Garbage, to Evanescence to Nightwish to…. oh goodness, the list goes on. And that is only naming a few.
In college, I went to the University of Chapel Hill and my main music player at the time was iTunes. My favorite thing about iTunes was the fact that if you made your library shareable, other people could see it. And I actually met a very good friend through this very odd medium. I had an obsession with discovering women that rocked, and at that point I was especially interested in the kickass ladies in metal. Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, and later on Arch Enemy and Otep. The friend I met through our mutual tastes introduced me to the epic world of metal, the different subgenres and bands. One especially notable band was Opeth, a kickass band from Sweden who defines epic in sound and lyrics. One very memorable experience I had with the friend that introduced me to this band: we went to a live show with them and one of Devin Townsend’s bands. Opeth was, naturally, the headliner. The show was on a February 15. Because of how late shows can run and the fact that my birthday is on February the 16th, it became one of my absolute favorite concert experiences. I also caught a towel that one of the musicians threw to the audience. And I may have kept it for some time.
This friend and I have lost touch since college, but I will always appreciate the impact he had on helping me discover new music.
Day 6: A Song that Reminds You of Somewhere
I love this question. It actually took me a second to track down this song, because the time between college and now has been…well….significant. But this actually is a fun 360 with this blog. Way back when in the days of college, I started this blog. My love of music and music discovery continued to grow. In addition to discovering riot grrrl (many years too late for the original wave) I also fell in love with the Chapel Hill/Durham music scenes. The bands were varied and supportive of each other, and as soon as I saw my first local show that had been organized at the campus, I knew I was hooked. One of the bands I couldn’t get enough of is not active in the original form I knew them (International Orange), but the musicians are active all over the place. One of the musicians in the band, Django Haskins, had another band called the Old Ceremony. In one of my classes that would provide the inspiration to launch this blog, I actually got to interview Haskins and it was without question one of my favorite experiences.
I cannot emphasize this enough. I. LOVED. THIS. BAND.
I was so grateful they were local, because it meant that they had shows over town, and whenever I could go to them, I would. I loved their jazzy, sleazy sound, and most of all, I loved this song, which I know best with The Old Ceremony, but was also done by International Orange.
When The Old Ceremony launched into this song, I would swoon.
I’m not kidding. I would fall back into the couch we’d be sitting on and close my eyes, and let the music wrap itself around me.
So this song reminds me forever of evenings spent at West End Wine Bar with good friends, red wine, and the Old Ceremony owning the small crowd with their music and showmanship.
Final note on this song: Friends, if you don’t have songs that make you swoon, fix this. Music should be loved heart, mind, and body.
Day 7: A Song that Reminds You of a Certain Event
This song was a hard one to choose. Did I choose a song from my first concert? My favorite concert? Or should I try to choose a non-concert event? What does this question want, really?
Finally, I decided on a song. This summer, Salt Lake City had its very first Rock n’ Roll Camp For Girls. Very First. We had 41 girls between the ages of 8-18 form bands, learn instruments, and at the end of the week, on a Saturday afternoon, performed in front of an audience that Kilby Court and In the Venue would’ve died for. It was packed. These girls rocked. As someone whose passions exist in the realms of feminism and music and creating opportunities for young women to step up and own their identities and passions, I volunteered. I took the week off of work and spent every day from about 7:45 am to 6:30pm at Rock Camp. My first part of the shift was general: help with check-in, snacks, miscellaneous as needed. The second part was as band manager. Instrument instruction was at the beginning of the day, and the rock camp venue was small, which meant that the vocal group ended up making their space outside, near the volunteer snack tent. On one of the days I was helping with snacks, the girls in the vocal group were learning the lyrics of the classic “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett. Because of the frequency of the chorus repetition, each girl got to solo a piece of the chorus as well as sing together. And hearing 8 girls defiantly sing this song….made it. That moment is why Joan Jett is so damned important. After the Runaways ended and Jett tried to pursue a career in music, label after label refused to work with her and she had to pave her own way. Her valiant work helped lead to moments like these. That moment at rock camp is a future of promise. And the future is fucking beautiful. That moment ruled so much that when I finally saw Joan Jett in concert for real last month, her performance of this song paled in comparison to this moment. There are few moments that will ever stand up to that moment.
Because I don’t have a video of that moment: here’s the classic track.
Whew. For just three songs there were a lot of memories. Thank you for those who read and enjoyed this entry. The mere act of writing this blog and reliving these memories has been truly enjoyable, and I hope that translates in the reading.