January 16, 2012

Sharing guilty pleasures


What leaps to mind? Amazing online resource that keeps you connected, or platform for narcissistic over-sharing of every detail in your life. The answer is different for everyone. There are a few people in my feed that share even the most banal detail of their day, while others I don't "hear" from for months. Some link to endless articles, while others use Facebook primarily for sharing photos. 

I have found myself occasionally defending Facebook. It is a bit of a time suck, but it keeps me in closer contact with distant friends. Things get posted there that aren't big enough events to warrant a phone call or email, but that would probably be mentioned if I was over for dinner. Since those small events sometimes make for the greatest stories, Facebook helps keep me close. No one would have called or emailed about the snow storm in Seattle this week, but I I loved seeing all the photos of their kids playing in the winter wonderland. 

Through Facebook, Twitter and blogs, our society has (voluntarily) shifted its idea of what should be kept private, but Facebook has been getting its tendrils deeper and deeper into our business. Many sites encourage (and some require) that you use a Facebook sign-in to use their site. Suddenly what you read, watch and listen to is in the Facebook database, and may just pop up in your feed.

If someone thinks a article or song is worth sharing, it is easy enough for them to do. But I am increasingly seeing things like "John Smith just read this article on XYZ". It appears that Facebook and the news website are looking over your shoulder with a megaphone in hand. Do I really want Spotify to let everyone know that I chose to listen to Vanilla Ice today?

Which brings me to what I listened to on Friday - I am choosing to share my guilty pleasure. Podcasts have been pushing music off my car stereo for a couple of years now, but the Friday night drive home from work has been reserved for music. No playlists, just whole albums so I can listen to those deeper cuts I haven't heard in forever.

I don't remember why this album popped into my head on Friday, but it was one of the first that I ever bought. I came a little late to music. I can remember some introductory presentation in seventh grade that asked what my favorite band was. I didn't have one. I said the Rolling Stones, and then someone asked if I was going to the concert in a couple of months. I mumbled my way out of the corner, but I felt like a huge nerd. 

Probably the first album I listened to was the one left in the car by my older brother. It was "Love Drive" by the Scorpions. I played it over and over as I drove in my first set of (borrowed) wheels. And music finally grabbed me. A short time later, thanks to BMG records and their "13 albums for a penny" marketing strategy, I finally had some more music. I don't remember all the cassette tapes (showing my age) that came in that first batch, but I know the album I listened to on Friday was one of them. 

The album was "Standing Hampton" by Sammy Hagar. I hadn't listened to it in years, but I knew most every word to all ten songs. The lyrics are stored in that teenage portion of the brain that doesn't ever seem to be overwritten. There are some good ol' rockers including "Only One Way to Rock" and "Heavy Metal" that garnered airplay, as well as "Can't Get Loose" that grabbed at my teenage psyche. The album finishes with a good cover of "Piece of my Heart" that Janis Joplin made famous. 

The album didn't qualify as a guilty pleasure back then, but the fact that I have followed Sammy Hagar through Van Halen, good and bad solo records, and now to Chickenfoot probably does. But Friday night with the volume cranked, I didn't much care who saw me singing along. Whatever music you listened to as a teen still grabs you like nothing else can.

When I got home, I mentioned to Matt a different song that had been stuck in my head for a few days. Soon we were both belting out the chorus to "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and the Bandit. Okay, that was a little embarrassing. I may have over-shared.

1 comment:

Me said...

Thanks for the flashback of BMG and Van Hagar. Also, the other day while scrolling iTunes I couldn't help but click on the preview for Ice Ice Baby :)