My musical roots, or What I listen to (and what I wish I did)

My parents aren’t exactly hippies, but they were sort of stuck 30 years in the past, musically.  We listened to the oldies station constantly, and that’s all I knew.  In Renton, that meant 97.3 KBSG, I can still sing their dumb little jingle.  That’s all I knew as a child, the only radio station that got played.  At home, in the car, it didn’t matter.  If the radio was on, we were listening to oldies. That’s where I first learned to love the Beatles, a love that has continued to this day and pretty much defined me in high school.  I was ‘that kid’, the one who loved John Lennon.

I grew up thinking that oldies was the only ‘good’ music, not quality good, but morally good. It was the only music my parents approved of, thought was appropriate.  I remember when I wanted to be a little rebellious in my teenage years, when I wanted to do things my parents didn’t do, I started listening to the Classic Rock station, playing songs from the 70’s and 80’s.  Still oldies, I know, but it was music my parents didn’t listen to. I felt like I was doing something dangerous!  That’s when I fell in love with the awesome guitar work of Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Styx, and Journey.

I high school I got involved with theatre, I really took to the stage.  I love everything about theatre from acting to tech work, to directing and writing.  Hanging out with so many drama geeks, I naturally started enjoying Musicals.  Some of my favorite soundtracks are Wicked, American Idiot, Into the Woods, and Sweeney Todd.

As I’ve studied Germany, and lived in country, I tried to find good German music that I could listen to, to keep up with my language skills.  I love Die Prinzen, and what high school German student hasn’t sung along with Millionär? I love Silbermond, and Die Ärzte.  Of course, I also found some amazing German Musicals, such as Tanz der Vampire, Die Schöne und das Biest (Beauty and the Beast), and Wicked – die Hexen von Oz.

I have always loved music, I listen to the radio and my music all the time, and my biggest regret in life so far is that I didn’t take band in school and learn an instrument.  I just have no personal musical ability, unfortunately, though I love music so much.

As I mature, and get exposed to more kinds of music, I find that I wish I knew more.  I wish I had more refined tastes.  I do enjoy classical music, but since I wasn’t in band like my friends, I wasn’t as exposed to it as they were.  I am unfamiliar with many composers and works.  I feel like the yokel when I talk to these friends and they are extolling the virtues of Tchaikovsky and Schubert, and all I know is Lennon/McCartney.  I enjoy classical music, when I hear it, and I want to listen to more of it, but I just get overwhelmed with how much music there is out there.

So, what do you think?  What do you listen to?  Any suggestions for me?