READ TO ME's gentle, quiet podcast Episode #9 is about vinyl records. And it's about love.
Now, the first record I ever bought wasn't part of a romance. But it was COOL.
Cool for a 12-year-old, cool for a girl, cool for a kid in Downeast Maine. Cool because it was Madonna's YOU CAN DANCE, a remix of seven hits. Cool because it was Madonna dressed like a bullfighter with her short bottle-blonde hair.
I didn't know the word "insouciance," and I didn't know from sex, and no one back then had words for the visceral, startling appeal of the gender non-binary, but she was all of that in pop-star form, and she was something my sweet parents (who bought the record for me) couldn't possibly understand. "It's what 12-year-olds listen to," I told my father philosophically and confidently as he drove me to basketball practice. From the car radio, KISS 94.5 played Into the Groove. "Huh," he said. "But, where's the soul?" I shrugged. I had struck out from the funky and raw country blues and folk they loved. I was a citizen of the world now, remixed, and there are some things you can't explain to adults.
I sensed, also, that he was right, to a point. Pop music skims over the river of pain and joy that most other music steeps in. Madonna as gospel? No. Madonna as the shimmy of *my* soul lighting up in awkward, determined grooviness? You bet. That, all music can do. That's the music that belongs to you.
We listened to the whole song along Route 1 to Hancock Grammar School. My dad bopped his hands on the steering wheel to the beat, squinched up his face to sing along to the chorus. He glanced at me with a twinkle to see if I was annoyed by his mocking but wholehearted participation in my world. I was, and I'm so glad he sang.
The people who give you music are always part of your love story.
In this little bit of THE MUSIC SHOP by Rachel Joyce, we step into the music of Frank's love story, just the first few bars.
What music lights you up inside?
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