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Dedicated to Music

June 3, 2008

Music is one of those things that has been running in the background of life.  My most treasured memories have music playing in the background, some of my worst memories have music playing in the background and some of them I might not even have if it weren’t for music. 

Like, I have this one memory of sitting in the front seat of my mom’s baby blue Chrysler 2-door .. i’ll have to use the term boat since i can’t remember the model .. we’re just driving down the block, windows open and B-96 up full blast – the song playing “American Woman” by oh god, I don’t know .. but it’s the one that Lenny Kravitz redid .  I mean what’s the point of that memory and do I really need the trauma of remembering the light green bellbottoms I was wearing and the light blue bell bottoms my mom was wearing at that moment?  Is it perhapst to remind me that mom WAS cool?   Maybe I need it to balance the memory of her telling me to turn the Lenny Kravitz version down because the song was “so stupid” or the memory of her telling me “this is so stupid” when I was listening to Suicidal Tendencies and my mocking her with .. “but Mom .. all he wanted was a Pepsi”.  Still, she’s always been okay with Music – it was usually just “oh Samaha .. turn it down, it’s giving me a headache”

I remember my uncle comming to our house with a bag larger than the usual paper lunch bag filled with candies that he usually brought us.  The larger bag went to me and inside the bag was the Album “The Wall” by Pink Flloyd and a tan “The Wall” t-shirt.  “We Don’t Need No Education” became words my mother hated hearing but I’ll never forget the wow’s of all the other envious classmates – I was the first one to have the album and t-shirt.  Quickly my best friend and I set up the record player on our regular Friday driveway rollerskating night.  We did the rollerskating on Friday nights because the rowdy neighbors behind me used to have a party every Friday night – the music level seemed as loud as a concert and Led Zepplin seemed to be the lead act every Friday.  And so .. we cranked up my record player and rollerskated to .. Led Zepplin or whatever the neighbors were playing .. my record player was way too weak.

Then there’s this one memory of bike riding with a cousin that was carrying a boom box.  He turned the corner and was headed straight into a car.  He was more concerned about saving his boom box than himself – so he ended up on the hood of the car and the boom box on the grass.  Crazy!  Ohhh – he was okay.

By the time I was in highschool a few classmates from junior high had gone on to form bands and while we no longer attended the same school I would reunite with a few while hanging out at a place called McGreevy’s, in the punk room.  At McGreevy’s you could be in the “house room” or the “punk room” and we were hanging in “the punk room” being physically abused by security – nothing like watching a scrawny 15 year old girl being kicked repeatedly by a six foot, overweight, off duty policeman.  It was a bit difficult to tell if she was crying or if this was just the way she did her make-up but there was nothing any of us could do – there was a gun on that dude.  Background music – Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Cities in Dust” – geez!

Anyway, I could go on and on about music and memories but I won’t. 

My musical taste has always been diverse from nasheeds to goth to metal to classic rock to hardcore to alternative to metal to hiphop to, well, just about everything.  Even while I was in the “punk room” I could easilly have been in the “house room”, although – I definately fit in better in the “punk room” – heck an Abaya would have been cool there – niqab probably even better – and the head scarf that I wore for a short period of time turned into a fashion rage among non-Muslims for a while.  So, it was never the music but rather the freedom and acceptance amongst my friends to be whoever I was. 

Music is a story, an art, expression.  It’s something that is at times beautiful, at times vulgar, at times deep, at times shallow.  Whichever it may be, it can be an influence, it can inspire thought .. political .. feminist .. spiritual etc.. but it’s how you let it influence you – not that it will directly influence you.  It’s something I appreciate and it may have made some of my memories, even the senseless ones, and has played in the background of my life but it didn’t make me who I am. 

The Cure – “A Forest” playing in the background….




5 Comments leave one →
  1. VICTORIA permalink
    June 11, 2008 3:14 pm

    SALAAMS SAMAHA- this is victoria from the ali e blog-
    american woman was first done by the guess who- i saw burton cummings live (he was the lead singer) on a breakaway tour-
    the interesting thing about that song is that at the end he sings american b**** american slut etc… but those versions aren’t easy to find-

    when i was in commercial art school i saw the wall about 15 times- i even drew a series of portraits of bob geldof (he played pink)
    when asked to come up with a promotion for opening a bank account- my presentation was a free pink floyd album with every opened account-

    it was my anti-madison avenue mind manipulation statement-
    needless to say- such a mentality has no business in commercial art school-

    i was the go to girl and resident expert on lyrics in my high school- i still know all the lyrics to all the songs even if i dont like them-
    this questionable talent has noreal value that i have been able to discern-
    possibly it could translate well into memorization of the qur’an- i’ve had 4 solid first lessns but so far that second lesson seems to elude the teachers-

  2. June 11, 2008 5:14 pm

    Salams Victoria and welcome to my blog.

    That’s amusing – pink floyd albums for every bank account opened – i love it.

    Okay, now this is really strange because I’m bad with lyrics – mostly because it is usually the background music that has my attention – often my children have to change the station and say “inappropriate” as they do it.

    You would think it would be the other way around – Quran memorization had so many benefits for me. It helped me with school and then I just used to be told a phone number and would remember it. A two week training session at work for quatropro, wordperfect, database was completed in three days because I had just picked it up that fast (my only other computer experience at the time was searching the internet for news stories).

    I have more posts comming up on Music but I keep getting swamped with work and projects – hopefully they will be up soon.

    So nice to see you here.

  3. VICTORIA permalink
    June 11, 2008 9:15 pm

    thank you and next time you see mary ali extend my salaams to her- though it was very considerate of you to refrain from mentioning my name to her before

    i think you are needed on the srebrenica post at ali e’s

    music stories? i have a boatload of them- im the first mtv generation and thought that my life was a video

  4. June 13, 2008 5:20 am

    Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands (also, the only real Floyd is the Floyd with Roger Waters… Gilmore is a great guitarist but it’s just not the authentic Pink Floyd that I love).

    My favorite album of theirs is Animals, the lyrics Waters writes are great:

    From “Dogs”

    You got to think on your toes, and when you’re on the street

    You got to be able to pick out the easy meat,
    With your eyes closed…

    … **humming the lyrics I don’t remember** …

    You have to be trusted
    By the people that you lie to

    So that when they turn their backs on you
    You’ll get the chance to stick the knife in!

    Okay, so perhaps the lyrics aren’t as wholesome as some of their other songs, but I like “Dogs” anyway. 😛

  5. June 13, 2008 5:37 pm

    Victoria – I will definately pass along your salams. You’re always welcom to post your music stories here. I’d love to hear them.

    As for the Srebrenica post – I think Owen did a wonderful job at a e’s blog.

    Konservo – okay – wow, I just listened to the song – so mellow, so 70’s, so … okay the lyrics are just a little to freaky for me right now.

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