I grew up with my older brother shredding Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd riffs on his Fender and my mother screaming from the kitchen to stop, all of which would wake me up from my innocent dreams. Little did I know, he used every saved up cent on alcohol (which would be confiscated), a concert ticket to Lollapalooza, and gas to drive to Chicago with his musically inspired, obviously adventurous hooligan friends. My dad was all about classic rock, and he was always listening to The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Queen, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. My mother loved the Troubadour singer-songwriter's of the sixties like Carole King, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. It took me a while to understand Joni Mitchell, and I remember asking her "how can you listen to that voice?" to which she said, "If you don't like it, don't listen." Rock and roll has and always will be a representation of the fabric of my childhood. Family favorites that frequented mixed c.d.'s in the car were Coldplay, Ben Folds, Smashing Pumpkins, Dave Matthews Band, The Door's, Oasis, Simon & Garfunkel. As a pre-teen, I found comfort in the black musical icons from the forties to the sixties, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding. I was totally prejudice: Sinatra could not compare with Cole, Adele was no Aretha, Louis Prima did "Pennies from Heaven," better than Bing Crosby, and why the hell would you listen to Doris Day when you have Ella? I don't think I fell in love with that genre of music, but grew to love the character of the performer. Or my "Because Blacks Got Your Back," mixed c.d., just speaks for itself.
My early high-school years were filled with indie like Postal Service, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Death Cab For Cutie, The Shins, with the Americana of Wilco. On any given day in the blur of high school, you could see me listening to Iron & Wine, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, or Fleet Foxes. I introduced my high school boyfriend to Andrew Bird and Feist, and he introduced me to Starfucker and The Strokes. The infamous cool kid during high school was Katherine Kihs, who wore American Apparel, spoke of philosophy, and typed lyk dis, introduced me to the moody music of Beach House, Florence and The Machine, and Polica, and the melancholic Devendra Banhart, The Smiths, and Bon Iver. My soul sister Mel Ingram made me fall in love with the indie folk of Sufjan Stevens, The Head And The Heart, Beirut, and Tallest Man On Earth only to go on and win Battle of the Bands, like every inspired kid wants to do. By the time I was living on my own during my gap year, I grew to love electropop of Grimes and Purity Ring, and the post-dubstep of James Blake.