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Auto-tuning: an Audiobiography

Auto-tuning: an Audiobiography

or [Sounds] Like Home to Me.

I loved this idea from Erin's recent blog, and wanted to piggy-blog off of what she'd done.

I’d say that most songs that are more than five years old remind me of a specific time and place, so it’s difficult to just pick a few. I could go on and on and on…but here are some that really stick out:

On the Road Again – Willie Nelson

My dad’s van. An experience in itself. A 1978 Ford Econoline with the back seat removed…leaving the front two (captain’s!) chairs, one bench…and lots of empty, open space for children of the pre-seatbelt-law era. Great times for my brother and I playing board games in the back, smashing matchbox cars with random tools lying about…and then the older stories of the PLAYPEN being set up back there. Glorious! Daddy’s van had an 8-track deck, so he owned this converter thing that let us play tapes, but you could only fast forward, not rewind. When I was around the 3rd grade, I started bringing my (battery-operated) boom box to sit on the huge center console to play tapes. Until my own tape-owning days, this van ran exclusively on The Highwaymen…you know, Willie, Waylon & the boys.

Another Time and Another Place – Sandi Patti and Wayne Watson

Growing up, we listened to Sandi Patti so often in my mom’s car (first a silver hatchback Toyota Corolla, then a gray Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, then a white Lincoln Continental) that when I closed my eyes and imagined Sandi singing, she was just like my mom. Beach colored clothes – high on the teals, peaches and seafoams, blonde bob, smelled like Shalimar by Guerlain and Clinique finishing powder. Excellent posture. And I’m sure, if I asked, a high nwam keystroke speed. Warm and comforting.

 I love this song. Love it.

Allentown – Billy Joel

Sure it’s about baby boomers in industrial PA, but to me, this song says Nashville. Specifically the corner of Church and Franklin in Brentwood (there across from Maryland Farms). I don’t know why, it just does. I went to daycare down there when I was little, so I’m sure it’s related somehow. Also, the Cutlass Ciera.

Please Do Not Go – Violent Femmes

Third grade. Sitting in my brother’s room, watching him work on his homework and being distracting. Making interview tapes. Ed (the brother), turning the volume down during all the bad words/lines on this album. This song, specifically, was a favorite for about four or five years. I remember us singing this as a duet in the living room at the Upper Kingston house… seventh grade?

OPP – Naughty By Nature

Still Upper Kingston house. Sixth grade? Swapping rooms with my bro several times…one room was bigger, but the other had two walls of windows. Jumping around to this and (what else?) Jump Around.

This One’s for the Children – New Kids on the Block

Elementary school free days in PE at Moulton Elementary School. We could all bring tapes from home to play over the speakers in our [Butler building] gym. I would write out the lyrics to songs the New Kids sang on the Hangin’ Tough Live video by listening to and pausing the video every couple of seconds to get the words just right. Candy Lackey’s house and slumber parties. She lived on a farm which was endlessly entertaining since I lived in “the city” (of 3,000 people). “Swimming” in a feed trough her dad would fill up with water. Jumping on the trampoline. Me, Candy, Tina Bennett and someone else (Jesse Sharp? Laura Lee?) singing this song on the third grade field trip to Bear Creek. (I Google searched for an image to pair with this one, and was disappointed when I didn't immediately get a screen capture of that girl with the bigA snake.)

Stop that Train – Vanilla Ice

A lesser known song from the same album as Ice, Ice Baby. Loved it. Started with “Kick it one more time, boy-eeeeeeee!” Elementary school. My friend Keri Beth and I sitting in her mom’s car in the garage (eek!) with it turned on (eek!) playing “road trip” so we could listen to Vanilla Ice, Billy Ray Cyrus and the aforementioned New Kids on the best sound system we could find – that of her mom’s [white] Cutlass Ciera. We did this at least twice a week and I can’t believe we didn’t asphyxiate.

Doin’ the Bartman – Bart Simpson

Pizza Hut. One of two restaurants in Moulton at the time. Loved that jukebox. Seeing everyone I knew while eating dinner.



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