Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good ol' music and the good ol' days

I am, hopelessly, a devotee of the bands I fell in love with circa a decade ago and, more specifically, the songs and albums they put out back then. The big names that made it - Train, Vertical Horizon, Third Eye Blind, 3 Doors Down, Tonic - and the little and/or local ones you don't hear much (or anything) from these days - Athenaeum, Caroline's Spine, Black Lab, the Clarks, Dexter Freebish, Neve, Collapsis. They had my heart then and still have it - as their songs play randomly from my iPod. 

(And don't even try to tell me my music ain't sophisticated b/c I couldn't give a hairy backside.)

According to Chris Rock, you'll always love whatever music you were listening to when you started getting . . . well, you know. (Yes, for the record, I am referencing Chris Rock, and I'm proud of it. I can't think of anyone more hilarious and on-point at the same time with the exception of Seinfeld. So there.) Since I remained a virtuous lass until I wedded my dearest, I'm going to have to tweak his statement and say that whatever music you listened to while coming of age (which sounds a lot less cool than "getting laid," admittedly) will be music you love forever. I mean, isn't there just something that gets you about the tunes you loved way back when? 

And let's broaden that out to the whole music experience. I'm totally having a nostalgic moment for the Pittsburgh music scene of my high school and college days (and I know Brad joins me in this nostalgia, although he hates - hates! - my music). 

Back in t he day, Pittsburgh used to actually be a place to see up-and-comers, and man, was it fun. My senior year of high school, I went to a bunch of shows at different clubs around town. There was Graffiti, where I saw Stroke 9 while wearing a ridiculous back-less shirt and - eeks! - no bra. There was Club Laga in Oakland, and while I can't remember who I saw there, I do remember it was about 1000 degrees. And, of course, there was my favorite, Metropol, in the Strip District.

Oh Metropol, oh the memories. Amanda and I and a bunch of our friends saw Vertical Horizon there - I can still remember the bass player's maroon, skin-tight leather pants (we spazzed out - it basically screamed sex). I'm actually pretty sure that we saw them there twice. We also saw Splender - and after the show I kissed the super hot bass player, but did not accept his invitation to join him back at his hotel room . . . . 

An 18-yr. old me looking oh-so-very-excited with Matt Scannell,
lead singer of VH 

And the number one show of all time (for me, at least): we stood in the front row, smashed against the stage, sweating and screaming and singing and otherwise freaking out as Train performed its debut album (titled, of course, Train). This was before Train was "Train" and, sadly, before Metropol (and the bustling nightlife of the Strip) was no more. 

I remember talking to the band members in front of the club after the show (yes, Patrick Monahan is really that sexy) and one of them said to me, shocked and flattered, "You knew all the words to all our songs." 

I was like, "Of course! I love you guys!" At that point, they'd released only "Free" and "Meet Virginia," glorious things that they are, and most of their fans knew only those words. But we dear high school girls had, of course, virtually memorized their cd. And it was soooooooo cool that they noticed. I've still got the $10 bill that their drummer signed and gave to me. (I was into collecting things from my various hot-guy-related quests, haha.) 

So, as I sit here listening to a song Brad and I listened to courtesy of Napster on the evening of our first date in 2001 ("Send It Up" by Vertical Horizon), I want to give a shout-out: to the bands from back in the day (and all their amazing music that was felt like the soundtrack for my life) and all the old Pittsburgh clubs that didn't make it but kicked *ss while we were lucky enough to have 'em, you oldies-but-goodies are the very, very best-est. Rock on, rock on, rock on. 


  1. This post (a la Chris Rock) is so true...the music I feel the most nostalgic for is what I was listening to as I was...ahem...coming of age :)
    Btw, I wish you the best TTC. It isn't an easy subject to "go public" with and I admire your strength.

  2. Thanks, Carrie. It's really great that people are so supportive!