Musical flashbacks brought to you by iPod…

I’m sort of on the fence when it comes to things digital. I’m a member of that generation who actually recall days before computers were everywhere. We remember the first “family” video games (Pong, anyone?) and the days when personal computers were large and incredibly expensive. We also recall when the “boombox” was the height of portable music – oh the batteries we went through – taking over from the transistor radio. At the same time, all of these cool new gadgets did come into existence during our formative years.

The technology evolution pretty much grew up right along with us. We remember when cassette tapes took over from vinyl, and when CDs took over from tapes. Most of us would have maimed, if not killed, to have an affordable way to transfer our beloved tape collection onto CD. Along the way, we learned to love all things tech, to embrace the changes and relish the new and improved. We are the generation who wasn’t born plugged in, but wanted to be. Contrast this with my own children, who are growing up in an age where computers were a given, when the Walkman was replaced with the iPod, when CDs were the norm and “digital” is the buzz word of the day. My 14 year old cannot recall not having a computer, and only vaguely recalls having a Walkman. Basically, what I’m saying is, I grew up seeing the writing on the wall, and now as an adult, I’m still deciding whether or not I like this brave new world we live in.

Now that I’ve gone off on some nostalgia tangent, I’ll get back to my point.

One tech development I lovingly embraced was the digital age of music. CDs were my new best friends when they first came out, and when the iPod came out in 2001, I wanted one – badly. It was years before I finally got a small MP3 player (tight finances and all). For the last couple of years, I’ve been begging and pleading for an iPod, one that had more space than I could possibly fill. On my birthday, I finally got my wish. I got my iPod Classic. Wheeee!

So the fun has begun. Getting all of my existing music lined up on iTunes and loaded onto my iPod, surfing around and searching for more music to buy, and otherwise having the fun of dumping hours upon hours worth of music onto my new toy. Oh, and creating playlists… And getting a very sore thumb from getting addicted to a certain silly game…

And like any kid with a new toy, I’ve been trying to figure out everything I can about it, looking at all the neat and cool things it can do, and finding excuses to use it for everything I can.

Did you know you could sync your calendar to your iPod? Yeah. I thought that was a pretty cool feature. Then I realized. I already sync my calendar to my phone. How many places do I really want or need my schedule synced to? Huh?

My main reasons for wanting the big iPod were that I was sick of having to swap out my music every week or so when I got sick of the couple hundred songs my little MP3 would hold and I wanted to be able to load pics and carry them with me as a digital album. That desire was born of losing all the pics in my cell phone when I upgraded and had forgotten to transfer my pics before transferring service. Whoops. So I’ve been going through all of my pics and deciding which ones will get uploaded to the iPod.

But mostly, I’ve been having a lot of fun dusting off old music memories and sticking those fun old songs into my new toy.

To understand my giddiness over this prospect, it has to be explained – for 13 years, I lived in a house where the only music played was either worship music, classical, or some country. The country was OK so long as it didn’t reference spousal problems, leaving or getting left, affairs and extramarital sex. Huh. Well, scratch about 75% of all country music then! I grew up with an incredibly varied musical background, listening to everything from classic country and oldies to rock and Motown. One neighbor referred to my mother as “That crazy redhead who plays the loud _(insert incredibly offensive and colorful term)_ music next door.” Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to type that word.

I grew up listening to Isaac Hayes and Barry White. I also grew up singing along with The Righteous Brothers, Conway Twitty (and if anyone ever tries to claim that old country wasn’t suggestive, I’ll slap ’em upside the head with some of his lyrics!) and Roger Miller. Add in some Dr. Hook (I love Shel Silverstein, both in song and in print), Otis Redding, Genesis, Smoky Robinson, Cream, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Creedance, Elton John, Loggins & Messina and Three Dog Night and you’re getting an idea. The closest I came to “kiddie” music was Harry Belafonte, and I don’t mean the “Banana Boat Song.” The first song I learned to play on a musical instrument was “Lean on Me.”

But the 13 year period preceding 2006 was pretty much a musical graveyard. Put it this way, I recently had to write an article about Nickelback, and I had never heard of the group.

So, forgive my giddiness over digging up old favorites like Billy Idol, INXS, the Sex Pistols and other quintessential ’80s stuff.

Now pardon me while I go have some flashbacks or something!