I’m not a particularly crafty person for someone who designs and has to be creative for a living. Who knows…maybe that’s why. I sort of admire those moms who totally get their craft on and embark on huge art projects with their kids, but I’m not that mom. It kind of sucks for my kids since they’re all about the craft, but one thing I do like to do is cut out paper snowflakes every year. This year we made them out of the paper scraps that we use for our deluxe gift boxes. I’ve been saving these strips of paper without knowing what to do with them, but it’s perfect for snowflakes and this year’s batch might be my favorite yet. Mia totally got the hang of it this year and had the best idea to cut hearts into them (can you see them in the second to last snowflake above?). Oh, and yeah, I do realize that snowflakes have 6 points and mine have 8. But whatever.
So you know how you come across a song that you haven’t heard in awhile and it brings you back in time? It’s been happening to me a lot lately. I found an old Old Dinosaur Jr. CD that fell behind the stereo the other day. I hadn’t thought about them in years, but I put Green Mind in the CD player and I was back in 1991. I was staying at the brother of a friend’s house in Amherst Massachusetts and it was on heavy rotation. I think it might have even been a tape (yes kids, tape, as in cassette player). It was Spring, maybe April, and the weather was nice. This is what I associate Green Mind with – blue skies in Amherst. Other than that, I don’t remember why or what I did in Amherst or how I got there. The only thing I really remember is hitchhiking back to New York with that friend, listening to that tape. We caught a ride with a guy who drove a red sports car and he dropped us off in the Bronx on the very last subway stop on the 2 line. We took the subway all the way down to Brooklyn.
A song that I had totally forgotten about came on Pandora the other day and I had to just stop what I was doing and listen. So “Muzzle” by the Smashing Pumpkins doesn’t illicit a specific memory, but something about that song just reminds me of being young in that youth anthem sort of way. The Pumpkins were HUGE in the 90s, do you remember? I was living in Portland when that album came out, but thinking about the band took me back to 1991 again when I wore down their first album, Gish, on my Walkman because I played the tape so much. I was staying in Ohio for a few months before I moved to Washington and it just reminds me of that time and specifically, for whatever reason, the maroon carpet in the University common lounge room in the town I was staying in. Funny how you associate random things to music. The Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty will always remind me of soldering in the physical computing lab up on the 4th floor of the Tisch Building where I went to grad school at NYU.
And so…this is the music that’s been keeping me going these days. Lately it’s been all about 90s rock. It’s been comforting and familiar.
Speaking of the Smashing Pumpkins, do you know who’s still awesome? James Iha, that’s who. I think he was the first Asian American rock star to come on the mainstream radar. I mean there still aren’t a lot of them – a bunch of hapas out there (Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is half Korean) – but not back in the early 90s, no. And he’s back in A Perfect Circle who reunited, yay! Although I swear every band has reunited and is on tour. Sadly, it seems like the only way to make money as a musician these days. What are you guys listening to?