Generational music

As I was driving home last night, it hit me. It’s happened. I’ve become THAT person. You know. The person who gets stuck on the music of their teens and won’t leave it.

Well, okay, its not that I won’t leave it. I do like a lot some of the new music out today. And I am HUGE fan of 70s rock. Huge. And I can dig some of the 80s. But an interesting phenomenon occurs these days in my truck any time I am driving around town alone.

I am almost always tuned into 90s on 9 or Prime Country (Channel 61 on Sirius Satellite Radio). I was born in 1980. I went through my junior high and high school years in, of course, the 90s. Then, of course, college in the early 2000s. So, any rock music post-2003 is pretty much lost on me.

I mean, you know, except for your huge mainstream people that you can’t turn on entertainment news and not be blasted with their music and every make-up and break-up. I know who Lady Gaga is. I know about Katy Perry. I’m even aware of Justin Bieber. But I couldn’t name any of their music outside of their biggest hits, and even then I’d probably stare at you blankly for 5 minutes before it all clicked into place.

So all of that being said, I’ve found huge joy in reclaiming the music of the 90s. Not a trip goes by in which a great memory doesn’t come flooding back at me all due to the song playing on my radio. Especially if I happen to be on some two-lane road when maybe an early Matchbox Twenty song comes on the radio. Suddenly I’m 18 again, cruising home after band practice. Or I have Prime Country on and Bryan White sings “Sittin’ on Go” and I’m suddenly back at UIL competition waiting to compete in my News Writing event.

Music has a way of taking us back in time, and I think that’s why the phenomenon of sticking to the music of your teens occurs. I contend that those are not the “best times of life” but they are definitely the ones in which you experience the most change. You’re learning not only from the books, but you are learning about life. You’re making memories that you will NEVER experience again. You live in some element of bliss, and while you think life just couldn’t get any more stressful, looking back you realize you were never as free as you were then.

And maybe, as a song plays on the radio and you go back in time in your mind, you are able to recapture some of that freedom… even if it only lasts three minutes and its abruptly stopped by a bad commercial about consumer debt or some magic pill guaranteed to help you lose weight, gain hair and sing like an opera star. Those three minutes are like a little dose of medicine for the mind and spirit.

So forgive me if you see me cruising down the road singing “Baby Got Back” followed by  “Time Marches On” followed by “Zoot Suit Riot” (complete with arm motions trying to remember the old flag routine). It’s just me time traveling for awhile.

Show Stories — Grand Ole Opry

OpryLast night, the Grand Ole Opry returned home to the Opry house after the May floods.I watched the show on GAC along with thousands of other Country Music fans. My heart literally swelled with joy to see that stage and the circle and all those Opry greats on stage together for one huge homecoming night.

I can not wait to get to go and see all the changes and work that was done to bring it back home myself.

[Start rant.]

First off — I have to say this. I felt a deep anger when on my twitter feed I saw a hand full of people complain that its just a big tourist trap. Non-country fans even said during the flood that they were glad to see the Opry “go.”

Statements like that are ones that fall under, “If you don’t understand it… just shut up.” (TM – Me) Its up there with people who give me crap about being an Aggie. Some things are deeply personal. The Opry is deeply personal and revered by country music fans, artists and musicians. You don’t have to like it or understand it, but you need to respect that it means a LOT to people. A. LOT. And statements like those, are hurtful, spiteful, uncalled for and simply show an ignorance. So again. Just… shut up.

[End rant. ]

It’s been amazing to see the Opry  not miss a single performance post-flood. Thanks to the many venues around town that hosted the show the last five months, music fans could still see this wonderful show that brings the past, present and future of country music together in one place.

I remember the first time I got to go backstage at the Opry. I was in awe. I’d toured it with a tour group previously, but there is a different electricity in the air during the show.

I found a strange irony when I realized I was wearing the high heels I’d bought to wear to my senior prom, and they clicked on the asphalt parking long, down the sidewalk and then into the building. Ever since then, any time I’ve had the opportunity it go to the Opry (be it at the Opry House or the Ryman), I still go with a hushed respect for the history the Opry carries.

Joe Diffie on the OpryI’ve had the honor of meeting so many country greats that I know my parents and even my grandparents followed back in the day. I sometimes have to remind myself not to go all “fan girl” on them!

You can almost feel the ghosts of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Porter Wagner walking those halls along side you. You can see the excitement and nervousness of those getting ready to take the stage.You can see the awe in the eyes of the new artists taking the stage for the very first time.

Ironically, a week or two before the flood, my husband played the Opry. We stood outside the bus and watched the sky churn grey to black to green with spring storms. We prayed there were no tornadoes in the area, all the while clueless to the fact that in a few short days, the area where we stood would be deep under water.

The footage of the Opry underwater made so many people just sick to their stomachs. Tears were shed over it. The people who say things like  I  mentioned in my rant above could never understand what that stage means to so many. There’s a respect and love that comes from the Grand Ole Opry. There are no words created to accurately describe the feelings people have for it.

It was those same feelings that brought such joy last night as those curtains parted and the show began. The circle of wood from the Ryman floor back in its place. Country greats standing on that stage singing, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Because amazingly enough… the circle was never broken. The show went on to eventually come back home.

Welcome home, Opry. Welcome home.

Sending thoughts out to the University of Texas

For some reason, my mind and body decided it was time to get up after only maybe 3 hours of sleep. Yeah, I don’t get that either. However, after tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I decided it was just silly to lay there. I might as well start my day like any other normal person would do.

I am very saddened to be following this story:

I may be an Aggie, but my heart is going out to the University of Texas right now. I’m trying to follow this story via Twitter as best I can, and I hope everything comes to the best conclusion possible.

See, in general, the rivalry between TAMU and Texas is a respectful one. In general. You have your people on both sides that can be nasty about it, and they will lose sight of being respectful. But when its come to things like this, both Universities have supported one another in the past, and they will support each other in the future.

I will be following this to the end, with thanks to the invention of Twitter. I am sitting here at my desk wrapped up in my Aggie Snuggie, feeling very overwhelmed by the things I need to do. But in the same breath, I feel a sense of relief that it appears that at the moment, the University Police have things under control.

For all UT students, faculty and administration, I send thoughts and prayers.