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Blog — "Red Hot Chili Peppers"

Throwing It Back Old School-- Elementary Style

Heidi Shenk "Midnight Oil" "music" "Red Hot Chili Peppers"

I listen to music while I'm doing just about everything-- while I work, while I cook, while I teach, while I travel. The other day I was doing just such while working on some designs I had in mind. I decided to change things up a bit and thought I'd put the good ol' iPod on shuffle. Mind you, I have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of songs on that thing. Some stuff that's on there I forget about. I've actually come to a point where I have to make the horrible decision of what to take off of the iPod when I want to add something new! Ugh!

Anyway, as I sat there working, some very interesting things that I am slightly ashamed of happened to come on. And to make it even more embarrassing for myself (I tend to make fun of myself a lot, so it's ok, you can laugh) I began singing along to these songs word for word at top notch volume. The scary part-- I honestly hadn't heard some of these songs in such a long time that I don't even know how my mind was able to remember the words from that far back! When I'm talking a long time ago, I'm talking like first and second grade. This was 1990-1992 for me, so you know, 20 years ago.

2nd grade. (Sorry about the crappy scanned photo.)

Funny thing, first grade was an important year in music for me. It's when I was first introduced to my forever favorite band Midnight Oil. I'd run around the house singing King of the Mountain (check it out below) at the top of my lungs. I also started that lifelong relationship with the Red Hot Chili Peppers that I wrote about earlier this week. And then of course there were all of those other artists that should remain nameless or semi-nameless due to the embarrassment factor. But I'll be nice and share with you anyway.

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Any of that sound familiar to you? What did you listen to when you were in elementary school?

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Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

Heidi Shenk "music monday" "music" "Red Hot Chili Peppers"

I generally don't delve into mainstream music a whole lot. There's a reason for it-- a lot of it is pretty crappy. I think about what comes on the Top 40 radio stations these days and it makes me wonder what happened to good music. The good news is that there are still radio stations out there that care about playing stuff that's quality music. I fight this battle on a nearly day to day basis with my students. I try to tell them that actually the music they listen to is bad quality and just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good. Some get it, but the majority never will.

Yet here I am, talking about mainstream music. Not to say that all mainstream music is bad. It's not. You have to be a good enough critic to pick and choose-- you have to be a music nerd. Yes. I am a music nerd. I can't listen to a song without noticing all of that music theory mumbo jumbo-- you know like chord progressions, key changes, changes in time? No? You don't know what I'm talking about? Ok. That's cool. I'm used to that.

So let's talk about something that we all know a little about-- the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now I'm talkin' 'bout my generation! (Can't you tell I'm a Who fan too). I'm sorry, but if you want to ask any late twenty-something, this band defines our generation. Maybe Foo Fighters too, but I was born and bred with this band. Me-- born in 1983. RHCP-- born in 1984. Me-- 27 years old. RHCP-- 26 years old. See? We could practically be best friends, or dating (not that I'd want to get into that scene with a bunch of guys that like to play naked on stage except for a sock, you know, in the right area). But let's just say, we've been through a lot, RHCP and me.

Here's a little trip down memory lane.

1984 - True Men Don't Kill Coyotes
1985 - Yertle the Turtle
1987 - Me & My Friends
1989 - Good Time Boys
1991 - My Lovely Man
1995 - One Big Mob
1999 - Around the World
2002 - Minor Thing
2006 - Charlie
2006 - Storm In a Teacup
I get to choose 2 from Stadium Arcadium since it's basically 2 albums. :)
And now why, friends, do I get to go all RHCP crazy today? Because their new single, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie is out today. I've been patiently waiting for the RHCP saga to continue, but it continues without John Frusciante. Hmmm... he brought the funk. But there was something to say for Dave Navarro during One Hot Minute. Plus, dig a little deeper, pre Mother's Milk and you can't complain about Hillel Slovak either. We shall see on August 30th when the rest of the album comes out. Until then, there will be a Chili Peppers loop going on my iTunes.

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