Meet my dinosaur friend, Washburne. He keeps my ipod cozy and the music flowing, and was an incredible etsy find here. Remember what I said about naming inanimate objects? Friends, he is no exception.
This morning whilst running errands, Washburne and I were rockin' the tunes, sipping on a tasty Peet's beverage (me, not Wash), and I started getting incredibly nostalgic. We all have those specific songs that take us to another dimension faster than you can say, "Beam me up, Scotty!". My trigger seems to be 90's Christian music and Christmas music. This morning it was my boy, SCC, that started the trip through way back machine.
I grew up listening to a combination of oldies classics, 1940's gems, and old school Christian music. Think Beatles plus Nat King Cole plus Steven Curtis Chapman. I remember my dad dedicating special songs to my family on the radio when he worked as a DJ. The Beach Boy's "Kokomo" never sounded so good. I remember religiously reading CCM Magazine and being the resident "expert" on all Christian music related questions at the little Christian school we went to. Hey, every kid has something. My mom and I would stay up until midnight on Saturday nights to watch the only Christian music video show that aired in our area and would get soooooo upset when they'd show re-runs. We would record the Dove Awards (Christian Grammy's) every April and cheer and jeer with an intensity that could only be compared to the cheering and jeering we would dish out at WWF matches. Oh-ho-ho, that's right, friends! (Remember when PFR sang into a Styrofoam cup?! Don't even get me started!) My family would go to any and every Steven Curtis Chapman concert near us, period. And after attending enough Christian concerts, we learned to embrace two words, "Reserved Seating". Don't they sound like the unmistakable ring of pure crystal or like the gentle beating of angel's wings? Hearing the phrase "General Admission" was like a four letter word that we tried to avoid AT.ALL.COSTS. I still won't go to any concert that has those two words attached to it, much to Mr. N's chagrin. (Seriously, anyone ever go to a general admission Carmen concert? No? Consider yourself fortunate for missing that vortex of pain and despair. I still have nightmares and bouts of dry heaving.)
Christmas time was all about our sweet Chevron compilation cassette tapes. Those were the days when even the gas stations wanted to help you celebrate the sounds of the season. sigh. My brother developed an incredible Judy Collins impression from one of these tapes that he'll still share with us from time to time to our great amusement. Shout out, Judy! Being bundled in the back of my dad's Dodge Colt, driving around looking at Christmas lights, and hearing a little crooning from Bing or Nat was like breathing for us at that time of year. John Denver and the Muppets on vinyl was tradition, and it never seemed like Christmas until the music started.
I look back and realize how much things have changed. My favorite artists of the past are older now and have had to redefine their music and audience. CCM itself isn't as relevant as it used to be for whatever reason, not to mention the fact that a lot of the artists are more concerned about being an alternative for a specific "secular" band then walking their own, unique musical path. I find myself rediscovering a lot of my favorites and looking to see what they've been up to for all these years....if I still can embrace their newest endeavors like I did back then. I'm discovering new artists that are marching to their own creative drummer and finding those songs that seem to speak to my journey, rather than listening or not listening because they fall under certain labels. I'm appreciating that the classics of the past are classics for a reason, and Christmas still doesn't start for me until I hear Nat King Cole's version of "The Christmas Song". Maybe things haven't changed quite as much as I think.
It's fun to revisit such music and remember. It's nice to have moments where I'm not afraid to kick it old school and sing at the top of my lungs in a secure vehicular type environment with only a dinosaur ipod cozy to hear me. Oh that we allowed ourselves to really embrace more moments like that.
So, on this Thursday afternoon, turn up the music! Drive safely, of course, but do sing out loud! Go out and party like you're at a 1990's, reserved seating, Christian concert!