Having my birthday this week got me thinking about just how long I've been a music fanatic. Twenty years ago yesterday I turned 14. It being 1988, my parents got me a carrying case for all my cassette tapes; one that held 24 altogether. It's odd to think that at that point, I didn't have enough tapes to fill it up yet, but then I guess that was the year I had my musical "awakening." My mom also took me to National Record Mart and said I could pick out one tape that she'd buy for me. I got Pet Shop Boys
That summer, I spent a lot of time riding my bike or going to amusement parks like Cedar Point and Kennywood, and would always be listening to my walkman. As my tape collection grew, I soon had enough music to discover the art of making mix tapes for friends. I suddenly became the guy in my circle that everyone would ask, "Hey, who sings that song...?"
Here's a photo of my dad and I outside the Pittsburgh Aviary in February 1988. The pegged Bugle Boys, the bowl cut and the scowl -- what a precocious monster! (But, enough about my dad...) No, when I think back, I can't believe it's been 20 years since that particular birthday, which I remember so clearly. Then I think to how much life had changed between 1988 and 1998: I'd been through the rest of my teens, the rest of high school and college, as well as all the angst and drama packaged with that.
And through it all, music has always been the common thread. Sure, my collection has grown a bit since those days of lugging around the Pet Shop Boys and The Cure
in that tiny carrying case, and folks tend to give me iTunes gift cards rather than cassettes as presents, but more often than not, I still feel like the same 14-year-old kid who would go to school dances and ask the DJ to play "Dreaming" by OMD
, or "Always On My Mind."
One nice birthday surprise that came rather unexpectedly this week was from Yahoo-owned European-based search engine Wikio
. Someone that works there emailed to let me know that Chart Rigger
made the ranking of the Top 100 Music Blogs
, at #28.
You'll notice I put the widget linking to the list in the upper part of the sidebar. Kudos, also, to Arjan Writes
and XO London
, for making #10 and #35, respectively.
That said, I was sorry to see blogger buddy Paul
put an end to his two-year-old site, The Zapping
, last week. Here's hoping he follows through on his promise to pop up again in the future under a different guise.
Of course, one thing that's helped me get over my grief is the video for Heidi Montag's "Higher."
As I predicted, it's become somewhat of an unhealthy obsession, and I thought I'd share my three favorite moments from the clip:
On that "high" note, have a fantastic weekend!
Labels: D'luv, Heidi Montag, Pet Shop Boys, The Week That Was