Every time I need a good cry, I put on Sarah McLachlan’s 1997 album Surfacing. This album makes me cry for two reasons: 1) it was the last gift I received from a beloved Grandfather and 2) the track “Full of Grace” was used on the WB show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While the latter may seem absurd, I urge you to remember the effect of popular culture on malleable teen girls (and boys, for that matter). Also I’m not alone in this: YouTube is aplenty with “heartbreaking” video montages that play out to that particular track. While I don’t tear up over the plot of Buffy, I do wax nostalgic for a time spent in a rambling ranch home under the umbrella of an upper middle-class childhood–sheltered and untroubled.
I spent countless hours playing each and every track from Surfacing on the piano, and pretending to be much more worldly, pulling the “epic suffering” of my “tortured” teen existence through my fingertips onto the ivories. This, however, means nothing if the album cannot grow with me in order to remain relevant; Surfacing absolutely has. My favorite tracks then are not my favorite now, and I find new meaning in those I routinely skipped before. For this reason this Throwback Thursday’s topic with always be present as well as past–in constant motion with its listener.
Being an 80s baby, I have a deeply profound nostalgia for the 1990s. The mantra bumper stickers that said “Whatever” or “As If” that were plastered to my bedroom walls. The oxymoronic baby-doll grunge dresses I paired with floppy Blosom hats. The episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I taped onto VHS cassettes straight from TV on Wednesday nights to watch after school on Thursdays. Or maybe they were taped on Tuesdays, and watched on Wednesdays; it doesn’t matter.
Perhaps these nostalgic yearnings are far from profound, but they are definitely deep. In this love I know I’m not alone because I”ve recently seen fashion remnants hitting the streets of San Francisco on proto-hipsters. Every fashion moment has another, just give it time. But these nascent fashionistas may be onto something: (a) the shapeless duds and sturdy Doc Martens of 1990s lore are sensibly efficient and comfortable, and (b) Blues Traveler is playing at The Independent with the elusively billed “very special guests” tonight (13 May 2013). ‘Tis a benefit show so you’re money will go towards charitable endeavors as opposed to booze, broads, semi-legal / legitimately-illegal ingestibles, or any of your other preferred poisons for a change.
If we’re lucky, Hootie and the Blowfish or the Friends Theme Song band will open. Please let it be Hootie. Let it be Hootie.