I was trying to brainstorm what I would write for this week’s Throwback Thursday, and coincidentally my old high school buddy, Sam, sent me these ancient pictures of us!
This is us from a senior year class trip to upstate NY where we went on a beautifully strenuous hike. Everyone else was rushing ahead while our group was the slowest because we were taking in the views. I can’t believe how many years it’s been; it feels like just yesterday.
This is us junior year, for my sweet sixteen! We went to Woodloch Pines (where I recently visited with my sister, last spring!) It was a small group of close friends. Good time had by all!
And this is us freshmen year! We were babies! It was at a football game back. We have always bonded over our love of Autumn! Actually, all three photos are from the fall season!
Music can have a profound impact on your environment. It can be the soundtrack to your life. Today, we have great control over the type of music we listen to. There’s radio, CDs, iTunes, and many different streaming services. The internet makes it easier to explore all music, including underground and indie that would otherwise be rare to find, decades ago.
Personally I have a deep admiration for CDs. As a young girl, I was still listening to cassette tapes, and CDs were a big deal. They were double the price, double the size, and you could actually skip songs instead of impatiently playing with the fast-forward/rewind buttons.
I have good childhood memories going to our town’s local store “CDs & Tapes” (obviously they went out of business a few years later.) It was a roulette, paying $20 (that’s A LOT of money for a 90s school-child) for a CD when I only knew one song from the radio. It was riskier back then, before you could preview all the songs online.
I can appreciate radio/streaming, but I will always prefer CDs/tapes/etc… When an artist puts out a new record, the tracks should be in a purposeful order that tells a story — instead of randomness. Many pop artists do not put as much thought in the order of their tracklist because they are trying to sell singles. They are focused on radio top hits. I prefer hearing a story rather than bop after bop.
I really enjoy creating playlists and burning mixed CDs. In a way, it’s like I am creating my own story by borrowing the pieces of others’s stories. I have made many mixed CDs for friends and family and it makes me happy to see them appreciate it. I once gave my friend a mixed CD and she told me how she could see how much thought was put into it. Never hesitate to ask me to make you a CD — just give me a genereal idea of what artists/genres you prefer!
In the past few years, I started listening to records. I bought a record player in college. I only have a few records right now, because of the high price, but someday I hope to have a decent collection I can display with pride. I’m obsessed with the whole aesthetic of records. Something so nostalgic and dreamy about it, as well as a feeling of true respect for music. It is an entirely different quality of sound.
Music is a wonderful thing. It can be a way of controlling your life, in a way. The lyrics seep into your thoughts and the melodies seep into your movements. Sometimes it’s not until you look back, when you see how much an album, artist, or genre has shaped you.
One of the best musicians from the late 60s/70s was the underrated Melanie Safka. She performed at the legendary Woodstock 1969 and was the first female artist to have three singles reach the Top 40.
Melanie Safka covered some classic artists of her time such as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, putting in her own unique sound and making it even better. “Ruby Tuesday,” I believe was meant to be sung by a woman. She took “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” and added some spunky female pizzazz, making it stronger and more powerful.
As a talented song-writer, she wrote some extraordinary masterpieces. She is best known for her song “Brand New Key,” which she wrote by herself in about fifteen minutes. The song is cute, catchy, and carries a nostalgic 1930’s vibe to it. “For somebody who don’t drive, I’ve been all around the world // Some people say I’ve done alright for a girl.”
Yet she wrote more than just bops. Melanie Safka was ultimate hippie-inspiration, as she used her platform to make political statements and voice her unpopular opinions. She has always been a big believer in peace, individual rights, animal rights, environmentalism, equality, and feminism. Melanie labels herself as a libertarian and dissociates herself from both the democratic and republican parties.
“What Have They Done to My Song, Ma?” is another big hit of hers. The song is about the corruption of the world, how innocence is twisted and exploited into profit. “Well if the people are buying tears, then we’ll be rich someday, Ma.”
“I Don’t Eat Animals” is not only political but also somewhat humorous. “I don’t eat white flour, white sugar makes you rot // Oh white could be beautiful, but often, it’s not,” she sings as you can hear laughter from the crowd in the live-recorded version. Melanie sings about being vegetarian — very straightforward. “I don’t eat animals, I want nothing dead in me.”
“Peace Will Come (According to Plan)” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” are also favorites of mine. They promote peace and encourage hope.
Melanie Safka is one-of-a-kind and deserves to be remembered and celebrated long after her time. Her positive impact on the world through music exceeds any other male artist.
I was so upset when my dad’s cat, Fashia, passed away. Then about a year or two later, for my ninth birthday, I adopted a kitten and named him Buttermilk — his fur being the color of pancakes. It was the best birthday present ever.
He was so sweet, very active, playful, skittish, and extremely curious. He spent a lot of time outdoors, running around — this made him pretty buff. While most cats spend their days sleeping and eating, he was always on the move.
As a child, I would spend a lot of my free time playing outdoors: shooting hoops or kicking around a soccer ball. Most of the time I had no idea where he was because he was always hiding. But after being outside for no more than five minutes or so, he’d suddenly appear! And he’d be in the corner watching me — it was so cute! Then I would go to pet him, and he’d run away.
He always shied away from people, he hated large crowds and loud noises. But most nights he would come into my bed and cuddle. He was absolutely adorable!