Tuesday, March 26, 2013


When I was maybe kindergarten age, my parents got a hand-me-down piece of furniture from some friends or family. It was a buffet or sideboard kind of a thing for the dining room, and when you lifted the top, it had a turntable and 8-track player inside it. Swanky!

I inherited my dad's old hi/fi stereo from his college days on which I played my little books on 45s: "when you hear Tinkerbell make this sound, *CHIME*, turn the page." I think I also had a little album of nursery rhyme songs and one of music from The Jungle Book. After a while of sticking strictly to my kiddie albums, it occurred to me that my parents had a bunch of BIGGER, surely BETTER albums in the secret compartment behind the sliding door on the front of the buffet. Hidden treasure, I figured.

So I snuck into the dining room one afternoon and picked through their collections looking for albums whose covers spoke to me. I picked out:

Mele Kalikimaka!

Oh, so pretty!
Probably the greatest musical influence of my life. I slept with these records in my bed. I literally loved them to death, scratched and broken.

It seems like there was a picture inside that showed him in the woods in the mountains, and I liked the feel of it.

These albums, chosen somewhat at random by a five or six-year-old, had a profound effect on me. Besides listening to my parents' classic rock radio in the car, they were my first deep experience of adult music, REAL music. I listened and listened and listened to them, danced to them, hula-hooped to them, sat in between the two satellite speakers of the hi/fi and marveled at the sound zooming back and forth on the Beatles' "Revolution 9" (and got totally freaked out). Add to this, Chipmunk Punk, which was a gift from my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Everett - perhaps a joke on their part, but it got me jumping on my bed and rocking out to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Blondie - and you have the foundation for a lot of my taste in music. (PS - please go to that Chipmunk Punk link; you can stream the whole album online. So terribly awesome-awesomely terrible! PSS - it's really New Wave, not Punk.)

So when Old Crow Medicine Show posted a link on Twitter about the upcoming release of a tribute album to John Denver on which they appear, I had to check it out. You might not think that you like John Denver, but I assure you that, secretly, you do. I highly, highly encourage you to go to NPR's First Listen web page and listen to My Morning Jacket's redo of "Leaving on a Jet Plane." A bunch of the songs are really great, including OCMS's cover of "Back Home Again," but MMJ's is really stunning. Beautiful!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.