365 Days of Music: Day Thirty-One

A day late, but worth the wait, my pretties.

I remember when my music tastes shifted.  Having been raised on almost everything – from opera to death metal – and later settling into the ‘popular’ music amongst classmates in hopes of earning their respect (it didn’t work, of course – a lesson for you conformists who do so to score points with the cool kids), I became disgruntled and frustrated with my music around the age of thirteen.  I was hitting pure emo teen angst years and Salt N’ Pepa had it swingin’ again, but I just didn’t find comfort in the radio.  I found comfort in the songs of my childhood but, and this is always true for me, I wanted NEW music, and lots of it.

It was the end of grade 8, and my parents had uprooted me to my 11th school right at the home stretch, pissing me off beyond comprehension.  I dropped band and switched back to vocal music when I changed schools, and discovered that the teacher in my new school basically let students bring in tapes and CDs and we sang along – and got marks for it.  Nice!  One of my classmates, a popular girl with a heart, threw in the Siamese Dream disc by The Smashing Pumpkins and flipped through her favourites, one of them being song #31.

I was blown away.  Finally, music spoke to my soul again.

My tastes shifted quickly from rap and dance to alternative, grunge and rock, and I found myself at home, my mind challenged by the melodies and lyrical poetry.  My tastes have continued to shift and grow, and dashes of dance and rap remain in the collection, but whenever I feel an urge for teen nostalgia, my alt-rock takes over my speakers.  The Smashing Pumpkins kind of blow now – Billy, what happened? – but their earlier work is classic.  This song is my favourite of all of their tracks, hands down, and I was blessed to hear it live the one and only time I’ve seen them live.  Standing in a chilly, muddy field at a rained-out festival, I closed my eyes and sang along quietly, remembering how much I longed to just be me.

I still long for that.  And when I can, I will.

Day Thirty-One:  Mayonaise – Smashing Pumpkins

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