All blogs are, at some level, an exercise in megalomania; please forgive this latest lapse.
I was thinking today about my favorite bands at different points in my life, and thought it might be fun (and potentially embarrassing) to put together a complete anthology.
Age 8: Elvis Presley- This is the first I can remember caring enough about music to have a favorite. We listened to a lot of oldies, particularly on hand-picked mix tapes my mom made for my brother and me. For some reason that I can't quite recall, I picked "The Pelvis" as my favorite.
Age 10: Weird Al Yankovic- First introduced to me by my cousins. What self-respecting boy of the 80s didn't love "Eat It" or "Smells Like Nirvana"?! Bonus points for still being relevant (could that possibly be the right word?) fifteen years later while I was teaching high school and heard my students singing "White and Nerdy".
Age 12: Aerosmith- I think the first CD I ever bought was "Big Ones." Sang the heck out of "Dream On" at the 8th grade end-of-year karaoke.
Age 14: Garth Brooks- I gone country for a short time, and can still sing every word to every song.
Age 16: Eric Clapton/Tom Petty- I was fortunate enough to see both of these guys in concert during my formative teenage years. At the first concert I saw some guy strip completely naked and thousands of middle-aged yuppies scream "Cocaine!" At the second I got the only contact high of my life thanks to TP's rendition of "You Don't Know How It Feels" (Let's get to the point, let's roll another joint...)
Age 18: Counting Crows- When asked, these guys are still my favorite band. Between Adam Duritz and Van Gogh, I'm totally convinced of the whole tortured artist thing.
Age 20: Michael McLean and/or W. Smith- Admittedly, pickings were pretty slim on the mission.
Age 22: Guster- Totally underrated among karate-chopping bongo-based bands. "Lost and Gone Forever" is definitely in my personal top 10 albums of all-time.
Age 24: U2- I love you too.
Age 26: Tracy Chapman- Seriously. Not only does she allow me to get in contact with my inner urban black woman, but she also makes great Tetris background music. Seriously. The first five or six times I heard Tracy sing, I wasn't sure if I was listening to a man or woman. Seriously. (This IS getting embarrassing.)
Age 28: Queen- My taste in music has become increasingly eclectic, but if forced to choose a favorite, I would probably have to go with a band who glues me to the stereo every time. Bonus points for being an immensely cover-able, especially by choirs. "Get on your bikes and ride!"
In honor of the Christmas season, I put together a playlist of my favorites singing Christmas songs. It made me question either 1) my taste in music or 2) the wisdom in artists recording Christmas songs. Enjoy (but I recommend skipping the first three songs)!