Monday, September 21, 2009

The start of my blogging experience

Okay. I have now started this over 4 times and I think that I have finally decided what I will be writing about. I am not sure why it was difficult to stay with an idea when the title of the blog was the first idea that I had. Cacophony verses harmony. Noise verses bliss. Good verses bad.

I guess that I have a newfound obsession with music. Well, not just any music. A certain new singer's music that has touched my soul and made me find pleasure in music again. Before I tell you the singer's name, I need to give you some background on me.

First, I will tell you that I am in no way a music expert, but I do know what I like and I will try to explain that as I go along. Now a little info about me. I was born in San Antonio, Tx in the late 1950's. I was an only child and on my mother's side, the only grandchild, and only niece to two bachelor uncles. Almost everyone from mom's side was musically inclinded. Mom played the organ and drums, one uncle played the guitar, and the other uncle sang professionally, acted and played piano. Music was always part the our lives and family time. Elvis, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and too many country western singers to be named could be heard at our house and my grandparents house on any given day. We also had a player piano at my grandparents house and my uncle made sure that it was stocked with the lasted additions of every classic song on could imagine; "Here Comes Peter Cottontail", "White Christmas", "Yellow Bird" were only a few of the titles. If it was punched for a player piano, and especially if it was unusual, we owned it. I was always at the piano pumping away on the peddles (no it was not electric) and singing at the top of my lungs.

As I grew up listening to all kinds of music I started learning the lyrics to the songs. In church and elementary school I joined the choirs. Singing always made me happy and I was pretty good at it but I was too shy to sing in public by myself. In middle school I joined the band and learned to play the clarinet. In high school I became part of the marching and symphonic bands. Even more varieties of music to explore. I loved the beat, the feel, of the classical, patriotic marching music like Sousa which I don't hear marching bands play anymore. In fact I grew to love any patriotic music and was excited to learn everything I could about the music especially the lyrics. I know, I was a nerd. My husband reminds me of it weekly when some classic rock song comes on the radio and he quizes me as to who is the artist and I haven't got a clue. My husband is 5 years younger than me and finds it insane that I didn't listen to the same music that he did when I was in high school. I should know the artist because he was popular. Hello, marching band geek here.

Also growing up in San Antonio gave me many more cultural influences on my musical tastes. Just try to live in a highly Mexican culture and not enjoy the Latin beat and the beautiful way the Spanish words dance in a song. Top that with having a German heritage myself, mom's family, and you can recognize "the beer barrel polka" in 5 notes flat.

After high school I moved to Austin, Tx to attend college. Austin is a wonderfully musical city. This was the time of the "Armadillo World Headquarters" where you could see any musician you wanted for next to nothing. In addition to this, the University of Texas had a lot of great artists perform on campus. I was at concerts almost every weekend. And the acts were as varied as Barry Manilow, Boston, Natalie Cole, Jimmy Buffet, and Willie Nelson. I was priviledged to see my absolute favorite singer of the day, John Denver, in the round from the front row of the biggest venue in Austin.

Time passed, I graduated from UT, married, worked, divorced, remarried, had kids and simply grew away from my love of music. Too many other distractions to occupy the mind. I would listen to music now and then but nothing seemed special. I did follow Stevie Ray Vaughn until his tragic death and still followed Willie Nelson but most music really seemed to be more of an insult rather than something to bring joy to my heart. After I started attending church again, I started listening to Christian music. At least this had a good message and some fairly talented singers. I had no idea what was played on the Top 40 station and didn't care.

I had always been interested in talent competions and had heard about American Idol so I finally tuned in to see what it was about. Season 6 was the first time I watched more than two or three of the shows. My daughter, then 15, and I were interested when a teen, Jordin Sparks, was in the finals. Jordin went on to win that year and Idol had found two new fans.

The next installment will tell you why I love music again.