Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's A Groove Thang

I have a very complex, love-hate relationship with music, more specifically, the nature of the business of music and what it takes to "get over" these days. Sort of echoes my take on that last post. Sometimes thinking about it all just makes my heart feel, well, heavy.

My relationship with music runs deep and wide. It's complicated. It has been my joy, my passion, my escape and my blood. Perhaps also my curse.

Both my parents were classical musicians. From the time I could toddle I was singing. Supposedly I walked up to a piano in 1st grade or something and played through Silent Night with chords having never had a lesson before in my life. I studied cello and played in string quartets, youth orchestras, sang in choirs, ventured into show tunes for a brief foray into musical theater, then got my first record deal doing techno dance-pop in the mid-80s before going on a quest to find my own singer-songwriter thing. My musical influences were all over the map. I was diverse. Where my own tunes were concerned, I eventually evolved into more of a rootsy, pop-rock sounding chick, but that was then.

Cut to now. I haven't been very interested in making my own style of music much lately. Not post-kid. Not post-9/11. Not post-remind me why I'm going broke banging my head upon a closed door being just another chick-singer in a sea of chick singers kind of thing. The fire seemed to have drained out of me. For a long time I would just as soon listen to silence. Seemed like a luxury post-kid.

In defense of my tuning out, LA is well-known for its bad radio, repetitive formulaic playlists and celebrity talk. Talk, talk, talk. Hey, I have enough talk going on between what's been banging around my brain and my non-stop preschooler. I don't need more mindless chatter about who's doing who, who's about to come out with what, or what bullshit someone else is getting rich hawking…

Spare me the drive-time radio crap and stupidity. There's not enough room to squeeze much more into my already full and under-slept brain. I don't need it.

What I DO need is groove. Music that makes me feel gooood. Especially this morning.

This morning, on the way to the preschool, what I need is to wake up! I need some Tunes because that cup of coffee I chugged on my way out the door just isn't cutting it.

Part of the problem is that darn CD changer in the trunk. I know they put them back there so they won't get stolen, but it's just that I never seem to remember to actually go back there and change it out. For 6 months now, those same 6 CDs have been sitting there. 6 months! I can't listen to them anymore! Yet every morning it's the same. I still pile into the car with my daughter, despite my only 4 or 5 hrs of sleep, and have to get it up to get her across town to school.

Today I was particularly groggy.

Looking for inspiration, anything, I start flipping around the dial, er, bandwidth, seeking something other than drive-time sketches, commercials or talk radio. But no one is playing music. No one. Come on! Work with me here, people. I need something. I need a lift. I need more than that mindless chatter.

Miraculously, yet quite by accident, I stumble across Hot 92 Jamz…mega-old school and today's R&B.

(He, he.)


Then, after a few beats, it occurs to me…I feel good…I have a smile on my face…

I am actually…

(wait for it…)

…startin' to feel HAPPY!

I am gettin' a groove on to Earth Wind & Fire's Shining Star. You gotta feel happy hearing that. Even Sienna is listening. "Shining star for you to see, what your life can truly be…"

Then, Atomic Dog starts up. Ooh, "bow wow wow, yippee yo yippee yay, bow wow, yippee yo yippee yay!" P-Funk, can ya believe it. How long has that been?

The Dazz Band's Let It Whip gets to whippin'….whip it all night! C'mon…you gotta be happy now!

Just thinking about Rick James and Give It To Me Baby makes me laugh out loud.

"Mommy, what are you laughing about?"

"Oh, nothing. Just some songs from when I was a kid."

It occurs to me that what we need is to dance. DANCE. I used to dance. No, I used to dance non-stop for hours. No one ever dances anymore. Not in my world. Not any more. Not since music became just about making money.


Groove, people.

Shallow, pointless lyrics all intent on you gettin' a groove on. Party over here.

Shakin' my thang in the carseat, I bookmark my new groovin' station. I don't care if it's before 9 am folks, I feel good. And that is a new kind of alright.

As I'm driving around town doing errands and listening today, I let out one righteous shit-eatin' grin from ear to those ass-grinding grooves and visions of my lily-white bubble butt bumping and grinding my way through my past, fill me with joy…

Prince: I Wanna Be Your Lover.
Earth, Wind & Fire: Let's Groove Tonight.
Cameo: Word Up…"Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care, glide by the people as they start to look and stare…"

I am fully laughing at the thought of codpieces and sculpted hair. Is anyone with me here? Word Up!

Then they hit me with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes: If You Don't Know Me By Now. Wow, now that's a song!

See… Life IS a buffet…something for everyone…room for all types of grooves and personalities.

We really should dance more. And laugh more too.

"How ya gonna do it if you really don't want to dance, by standing on the wall, get your back up off the wall... Get down on it, get down on it, come on and get down on it, if you really want it…"
-Kool & The Gang

I'm a non-partisan music lover.

"whoa, whoa, you got the best of my love, whoa, whoa, you got the best of my love…"
- The Emotions

I'm not cool...I'm Old School.

(…at least for today…that is, until another mood strikes.)


holly said...

running to the CD player to climb aboard the MotherShip ... my groove is waken and shaken ...

Michelle O'Neil said...

Shake it, but don't break it.

Eyes on the road.

: )