Monday, September 18, 2006

I Was a Teenage Poseur

My old Honda gave its final death rattle last week. Luckily I can drive my dad’s nearly-as-old Acura, the owner of this morning’s Flashdance sunroof. It is so much more fun to drive a 6-cylinder....the power! The pick-up! It’s like going from dial-up to broadband. You can’t imagine ever going back. And why would you want to?

In addition to myriad other quirks that come with driving a 17 yr old car, there is the tease of having a CD player that doesn’t work but a tape player that does. Until I can get the tape-mp3 converter doo-dad, I’ve been listening to my old cassettes. It’s notable that I even have my old tapes, considering how much shit I’ve thrown away over the years. I only had cassettes until sometime in the early 90s, so these tapes are from a very specific time frame.....the 80s, mostly. Talk about an express train to memory lane.

My favorite tape to play in the car right now is the Dogs in Space soundtrack. I first saw this movie when I was in high school and lived briefly in Vermont. I thought the movie rental selection in Bennington was SO SOPHISTICATED compared to my hometown. My friend Leigh and I decided we were going to have a “punk movie night” which is funny because although I had a nose ring (oh yeah), I was still from a very small town in Arkansas and was about as punk as a girl who only wanted to listen to depressed, synthesized dance music like The Cure and New Order could get. I wanted to look punk, not be punk, so as a primer we rented Sid and Nancy, Suburbia and Dogs in Space. I barely remember the plot of Dogs in Space (something about a Bowie concert and squatters and the requisite drug-overdose) but the music stuck with me. It was still synthesized, but darker, harder. It was my first exposure to Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and Gang of Four, who then led me to The Stooges, New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, Television, etc.

Two years later I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico on my spring break. And there, browsing in a record store, I found the soundtrack in a “10 for $10" bin. Apparently the soundtrack was never released on CD so it’s possible I might have a collector’s item on my hands. I don't think I could part with it, though. I'd be afraid of losing some of my, you know, cred.

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