There was a time when the very first thing I did upon entering a room was to switch on the stereo. If I started a new job, one of my main concerns – more important than salary and vacation – was whether I was allowed to have a radio at my desk. I was plugged in long before the invention of the iPod, thanks to my then-state-of-the-art Sony Walkman, which blasted rock-and-roll to pump me up before going to my dead-end job. And of course I sang along with everything, usually at the top of my lungs.
But over the years, there was gradually less and less music in my life. Once married, there was someone else to consider when choosing whether or not to pump up the tunes in the living room. When the kids came along, Raffi and Disney replaced the more raucous offerings I favored. My present job is such that I need a level of concentration that song lyrics unfortunately interfere with. And although I went through a brief period of belting show tunes, much to my family’s dismay, my singing has now been relegated to the car and the shower.
Frankly, I miss the music.
So one of my New Year’s REVolutions is to bring more music back into my life. But there’s no revolution in listening to the same stuff I blasted in the 80s. No, I want to explore all sorts of music genres – from folk to hip hop, country to classical.
I’ve approached this a couple of different ways so far. First there was the Car Radio Experiment.
I decided that every time I got into the car, I’d randomly tune my radio to a new station on the dial and listen to whatever it had to offer for the duration of my drive. I’ve done this three times so far, and all I can say is that I’m grateful I have a short drive.
The first station I tuned into was WBAZ “Lite on the Bays” broadcasting from somewhere in the Hamptons. During my blessedly short journey, I had the opportunity to hear an interview with one of the popular, intellectually challenged female cast members of the Jersey Shore. I believe it was Snooki, but since I find them fairly interchangeable, it might have been J-Woww. The topic was her current boyfriend and why he was the perfect guy for her. One of the interview questions was whether she had ever hooked up with Paulie (one of the popular, intellectually challenged male cast members), to which she responded that she didn’t remember. Well, there it is then. By the time I reached my destination, she was attempting to explain this memory lapse while the DJ and his sidekick made snide innuendos and yukked it up. No music crossed the airwaves during my drive time.