Saturday, May 20, 2006
PAGent, while truly a gentleman, has an evil side, which he indulged on Thursday night by posting a quartet of music videos from the '80s. That night, as a result, rather than work on Serious Stuff like, say, blogging, I spent two and a half friggin' hours on YouTube wallowing in a serious bout of musical reminiscence. Styx, "Mr. Roboto". Yes, "Owner of a Lonely Heart". Queen/David Bowie, "Under Pressure". Phil Collins, "In the Air Tonight". Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning". Frankie Goes to Hollywood, "Relax". (OMG. I hadn't seen that music video. Um. Let's make sure the kiddos aren't anywhere nearby when playing that music video again. Like maybe when they're, oh, say, 25?) Stevie Nicks, "On the Edge of Seventeen". Taco, "Puttin' on the Ritz". Kate Bush, "Running Up That Hill". I was mesmerized. I was also emotionally swept back to my 20s (you do the math), a time of OmegaMom-On-Her-Own-In-The-Big-City. A time when me and my buds would "do" Rush Street in the wee hours of the night, bopping from bar to bar. A time of sex and drinks and rock-and-roll. (A few drugs, but I was always wary of anything stronger than a few tokes of weed, so we go with "drinks" in the place of "drugs" here.) A time when my overwhelming emotional meme was...um...romantic angst. While searching for "In the Air Tonight", I came across a clip from the premiere of Miami Vice. For those who look at it now, it may be hard to envision, but at the time it was edgy. It was très cool. It was hooked into that romantic angst I'm discussing: a glimpse into the life of a hard but idealistic policeman who lived On The Edge, and was always being lured (but never captured) by the Dark Side. I look at it now, and it seems so dated; the styles and cars and talk and what-not that were stylin' then seem somehow quaint now. All that music acted like a timewarp for me. I immediately felt that passionate rush of being a twenty-something, looking for love, looking for Meaning, having late-night gab sessions about philosophy that lasted until dawn, riding the El and the Broadway bus at 2 a.m., watching my reflection in the window, dancing in the clubs, checking out the hot dudes at the beach and at Taste of Chicago. And always, always, the key emotional memory for me is romantic depression, a kind of anomie that followed me around, or that I followed, during that period. It was, in a weird way, addictive and alluring. Scents are usually the key to emotional memory, but music also acts as a door to the limbic system. I tend to have a song that is related to specific relationships or memories; one guy was Heart's "Magic Man", another was "Lady in Red", another was the theme from Star Wars (okay, that's dorky, but there it is; it has to do with us playing cards and saying "May the fours be with you!"). These days, OmegaMom is a staid plumpish late-40s mom, whose emotional meme is trying to make it through another week with a four-year-old. I've been with OmegaDad for (gasp!) twelve and a half years. My musical themes for OmegaDad are multiple; there are Marc Cohn's "True Companion" and "Perfect Love", and there is also the Indigo Girls' "The Power of Two". (You'll note that those are songs from the '90s, and that they are (a) much mellower and (b) not about tragic or weird love, but about pretty solid and fulfilling love.) Anyway, PAGent is thinking of posting four music videos per week from the '80s. I may have to avoid his blog on those days.