As a ’90s baby and only child, I was raised in the house of a music junkie and former DJ. In high school when I mentioned that my father was a DJ during a music discussion, someone said, “Wasn’t that like everyone’s dad?” No, not at all. I wasn’t trying to brag about my father at all because he wasn’t this renown Chicago disc jockey that performed at the hottest clubs in the city, but most people’s fathers were not DJs. My dad spun and mixed records at various events- simply put, he was a DJ.
My formative years were spent playing in our basement as my father played music. Surrounded by crates of records, I never understood how my dad found anything. He’d literally be digging in the crates to pick 12-, 10-, or 7-inch records to mix the best songs, mostly from the 70’s and 80’s. These are the years I discovered Michael Jackson, Queen, Blondie, KC & the Sunshine Band, Phil Collins, Tears for Fears, Earth Wind & Fire, Depeche Mode, Elton John, Kool and the Gang, and other artist 2-3 times my age.
Many of my friends are shocked when I know so many older songs, but I remind them of my upbringing. Entering the school system introduced me to a new world of music- pop, mainly in the form of boy bands and other ex-Mickey Mouse Club members. For the next seven years or so, I’d be mainly concerned with staying “current” with the latest Top 40 songs because that’s part of fitting in with the other kids surrounding me.
Seventh and eighth grade saw a departure from purely radio tunes- I needed more, so I sought it out. Enter the internet era with sites like myspace and purevolume. Through myspace, I discovered so many new musicians in various genres, as well as musicians “discovering” me. These websites provided me with the opportunity to connect with local musicians and other music lovers in my area- some I’d go on to attend high school with. Post-myspace and purevolume, friends introduced me to new artists through mix CDs and posts on our Tumblr blogs. I also continued the ever easy connections route by listening to artists that musicians tour with, collaborate with, or simply recommend. In the instance of bands breaking up, I try to keep up with members when they go on to do other things, whether that be solo or in another group. For example, after Test Icicles broke up, Dev was the most visible member still making music, so I started listening to Lightspeed Champion (now on an indefinite hiatus), and now his current project Blood Orange (which he’s most known for at this point).
Maybe I feel this loyalty to continue supporting musicians when one endeavor ends and another begins. Maybe they are really talented, and I shouldn’t just give up on them because their original incarnation has ended and become closed-minded to change. Really, I just like music too much to turn off the stereo when something unfamiliar floats through the speakers.
Where was this post heading? I’m not too sure anymore, but I just wanted to write something to semi-introduce this blog.
Stick around for the music!