Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An 80s/90s childhood in song

Ok, so this post has been existing in my head for about a year. It has nothing to do with Austin, Texas, but everything to do with you, Reader, if you were born between the years 1980-1983.

First, some history. The very first music video ever played on MTV was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles in 1981. I propose that internet killed the (television) video star less than 20 years later. Gone are the days when MTV is watched for actual music videos (if watched at all), and teenagers are unified by songs on the radio and their counterparts on television. I truly believe my generation was the last to possess a unifying, collective musical experience through shared music videos, and to take the argument one step further - through shared radio songs. Music audiences are much more fragmented these days, and have enough agency to define and tailor their own listening sessions, rather than rely on a handful of radio stations, TV-distributed music videos, or a bricks-and-mortar music store.

Man, wine sure does make me opinionated.

Anyway, innovations like iTunes, MySpace, and Napster (remember Napster!) changed the way we consume music - permanently. Also, this isn't an original thesis. Just the long-winded intro to what is about to be a highly silly YouTube collage.

So without further ago, I present:

a childhood in song.

First grade - rollerskating rink.

I used to think this song was about a woman who couldn't wait for love; now I see it is about fixing a lamp.

Second grade - Spurs basketball games.

I believe this song dominated radio airwaves in San Antonio for the entirety of 1989.

Third grade - P.E. class. (I couldn't find the original video, but believe this one to be a highly suitable substitute).

4th grade - wondering if Boyz II Men songs were sexual or simply heartfelt; confusion ensues.

At 27, I realize I still don't have the answer.

5th-6th grade - camp talent show.

I couldn't sing, so my job in the "talent" performance was to suggestively whisper "ALL THAT SHE WANTS!" into the microphone. (To an all-girl audience, I might add). Counselors not impressed.

7th grade - Kurt Cobain dies. School dresses in black.

We cried on this day, but at 14, none of us really understood the magnitude of Nirvana. Not yet. Probably because half the grade was stoned, and the other half still secretly read Babysitters Club (i.e. me).

Eighth grade - young teen girls everywhere inspired to burn/dismember their old baby dolls, after Veruca Salt advises us on the matter.



Anonymous said...

OMG - that Good Vibrations was more than I could handle! When the guy in the back dropped his pants to reveal the blue speedo - I lost it!


Raychelle said...

oh my goodness!! Love, love, love this post. Thanks for taking me on a trip back to my childhood!!!