Monday, November 7, 2011

Music Saves (aka "Music for Running Dogs" part II")

Outside the Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Shannon Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Most who know me know that music is extremely important to me.

I usually have songs that randomly pop into my mind that are apropos for any given moment, and I've been known to make compilation CDs for special people in my life.

Growing up, I adopted a plethora of musical influences thanks to the wide variety of music I heard from my family. Yes, I was born in 1972 and was greatly influenced by the musical tastes of not only six older siblings, but also parents who frequently spun Janis and Rod "the bod" Stewart on the turn table. Alice Cooper, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Tom Petty, Berlin, Duran Duran: it was all in my early musical repertoire. To this day, I still know every single word to "Maggie May" and my kids caught me dancing and singing "Disco Duck" in the dining room this evening. 

I remember when MTV first aired, waiting up with my older sister, Colleen. We waited anxiously for the crackling glow of that dude landing on the moon to fill the inky darkness of my parents' living room at 11-something at night. That image will forever reverberate in my head as the beginning of musical history. At least for me. It was 1981, and the radio was still playing Nick Gilder's "Hot Child In the City," and REO Speedwagon's "Roll With the Changes."

But MTV haunted me with eerie progressive new-sounds, like Blondie's "Rapture." Who could forget Rapture? Not only was it haunting, it introduced white kids like me to this thing called rap as the first rap video aired on MTV. Wow. We watched in awe as pale, skinny Debbie Harry danced scantily-clad through a graffiti-covered urban area at night with a ballerina and a black man in a white tux, complete with top hat.

I could go on and on about musical influences of my childhood.

One thing I will forever be grateful for in my childhood is having a family who instilled in me early on an great affinity for all types of music and an appreciation for how therapeutic it can be. They fostered my own natural musical abilities from a young age, and were patient as I picked up and learned to play several noisy instruments, including the piano and my five-piece drum kit which still sits in my basement currently.

My love of music goes on today, and I am rarely without my ipod. On my ipod are several playlists entitled "Songs for Running Dogs." I thought I would share with those of you who love music as much as I do what I've been running dogs and generally rocking out to lately. You can look any of these tracks up on youtube, or by downloading a great software called Spotify free on the Internet. Enjoy!

Willie Nelson: "The Harder They Come"
The Allman Brothers: "Midnight Rider"
Wilco: "Heavy Metal Drummer"
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: "Home"
Givers: "Saw You First"
The Be Good Tanyas: "Light Enough To Travel"
The Black Keys: pretty much anything by this Akron-based band rocks my socks 
Brandi Carlile: "Dreams"
The Budos Band: "T.I.B.W.F."
Ben Harper: "Blessed to be a Witness"
Neko Case: pretty much anything by Neko is good with me
Damien Rice: "Dogs"
Tom Waits: "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"
Jane Siberry: "Hockey"
David Bowie/Queen: "Pressure"

I'll probably add another chapter to this. I could go on and on....

For now, as always...

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