Suede Into You
Here's a confession: I know I'm supposed to, but I don't like Mazzy Star, I don't like Portishead, and I don't like the Cocteau Twins. I used to, or I tried to, once upon a little baby dyke time, but decided that life is too short to badger yourself needlessly with supposed tos. If it feels like boredom and nails on chalkboard and being buried in the sand a few notes in, just let it go.
While I'm at it, the last time I tried to listen to all my old Ani DiFranco CDs (yes, CDs and yes, Ani) we were still living in the Mission in San Francisco.
It had been years and years since I'd listened to her and felt anything resembling enjoyment, but there I was, driving around and giving myself a pep talk: "Come on, you used to love this, get into it. Own it! Wait, skip this song. This one, too."
I couldn't do it.
I was so embarrassed — all alone! in my car! alone and MORTIFIED, that doesn't even make any sense — that I ripped them out of the little whatchamacallit and threw them down on the passenger side floor and never looked back. And thank goodness because that love affair didn't seem to end well for anyone, apparently, so at least I'm not alone.
Nostalgia works in curious ways. I can still look very fondly on my mom's Sade and Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley growing up, or shake my head at how I didn't appreciate her love of Fleetwood Mac nearly enough then — I'm sure one day my own daughter will feel the same way about someone she grew up listening to!
I love that for a few years as a wee teenager, I stole my mom's Beatles collection and and almost wore it out entirely, or that thanks to my stepdad and the inaugural trumpeting of the Pennsylvania Six-Five Thousand 8-track at his family's lake house in the summers, I eventually became enamored of Glenn Miller and old big band and swing music in general. Not very many people my age love hearing the Chattanooga Choo Choo, let alone own a hearty stack of vinyl from that time, but sometimes there's just nothing else I'd rather hear more.
There was another phase somewhere in the 90s when I listened to a lot of Al Green, James Brown and Marvin Gaye, also borrowed from my folks' long before any queer soul revival and certainly long before I even had an inkling I was gay. My brain can hardly process that I was listening them when I was younger than my daughter is now. WHAT IS THIS LIFE, EVEN!?
Last October, after one of our hours-long bicoastal catch-up phone calls, my mom mentioned that she'd kept track of all the shows she'd ever been to (that she remembered, anyway, she's saved a bunch of ticket stubs, too) and so I made her email me a copy.
You guys, it's amazing. Janis Joplin in Golden Gate Park, Chaka Khan at the Greek in Berkeley, Prince ("twice," she brags), Grover Washington Jr. ("met him and his wife after JVC in Concord"). Cyndi Lauper! It's like three single-spaced pages long, I keep returning to it every now and then and looking up names I'm not familiar with, unburying little treasures for fun.
Today is a snow day! It's super heavy, wet, slushy stuff, which is going to be a huge pain to clean up but sure looks pretty. We've got the blues on and the cat curled up next to us in the office. There are worse ways to spend a Friday, but let's get to the good stuff: I've got to get better pictures of this cape up. It's the perfect length, fully covers the bum without breaking up the line of the outfit at a wonky spot, and has just enough drama and movement to keep me totally smitten.