dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Week That Was: February 8, 2008

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' Actually.

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.

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Music

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!

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  • At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Cristian said…

    Suddenly, you think "I WANT TO WAKE UP",
    Every time IT'S A SIN, there's always ONE MORE CHANCE
    Though like SHOPPING at KING'S CROSS or like RENT
    It's just HIT MUSIC.
    ACTUALLY, It's your HEART.

    Happy 20th music birthday, Robbie!


  • At 9:49 PM, Blogger John said…

    I can't bring myself to watch the Heidi video. "Just say no" keeps blasting its way through my head.

    I actually bought "Please" at the age of 17 when it came out, and I remember listening to it on the way up to the St Lawrence River with a guy I worked with at BK. I had such a crush on him, but of course nothing ever came of it. I do remember he was a wrestler. Beyond that, I can't even remember his name.

  • At 10:03 PM, Blogger Scooter said…

    Happy birthday!!!

  • At 4:25 AM, Blogger xolondon said…

    I am finally catching up here and belatedly scream HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! in yo face.

    Cute old picture. I've actually been to Kennywood! I remember that rollercoaster that was two that raced. Not sure I ever told you I used to spend time in Bethel Park during summers. I liked it there, with the old trolley and the steep hills.

  • At 6:06 AM, Blogger Robpop said…

    Happy birthday!!

  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger Paul said…

    i hope someone administered the appropriate number of birthday spankings! :)

  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Poster Girl said…

    Cedar Point! Wooo!

    That Heidi video was crying out for screencaps with commentary--I'm glad you provided some.

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Moogaboo said…

    You had great taste at such a young age. I'm sure I was still listening to Miami Sound Machine's "Primitive Love". Hot bowl-cut, btw.

  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Digital Technique said…

    Happy (slightly belated) birthday!! :D

  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Thanks, all! Yeah, tragically I had that bowl cut from age 13 to 17!!

    John, give in to Heidi. It's almost as good as Please.

    XO, yeah, forget the name of that rollercoaster... I haven't been to Kennywood since '98.

  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger John said…

    Okay...I went and watched the video. I am numb at the moment. Although, if that electrical sound at the end of the video had led to a live power line in the water electrocuting her, it would have been much better.

  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger Trailer Trashlee said…

    Heidi Montag is an indie goddess! She's doing music her own way: fuck the record labels!! When Heidi pens a tune and coos it, you can guarantee that it's going to become the anthem of a generation.

    P.S. I've often thought about how you've given me what I consider a master class in music appreciation. Because of you, I know and love so much more music than I ever would have on my own. It's one of the many reasons why I'm happy to know you--you've molded my musical tastes and I have to say (ABBA-liciously), "Thank You For The Music."

    P.P.S. Along those lines, I had to give "Dreaming" another listen and I'm all misty-eyed whilst I type this. Thank you, D'Luv! Happy birthday, and here's to many more years of you conquering your own corner of the music biz.

  • At 5:00 AM, Blogger MrBrady said…

    Happy birthday, sir! Hope it was a blast.

    Ah, the PSBs foundation. I still recall that discussion we had in Tower records when I said I thought you were some kind of PSBs superfan and you politely said "what would make you think that"? :D

  • At 2:24 PM, Blogger Daft Monk said…

    Happy birthday!

  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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