Friday, February 03, 2012

A playlist for my shoes...

Boots, actually. I got my first pair of Doc Martens in high school (oxblood, laces half done) and wore the hell out of them until I was out of college. It was the 90s. We watched Singles and dreamed of moving to Seattle or New York. We loved Nirvana and Mudhoney and L7 and Soundgarden and Sleater-Kinney. We got our noses pierced. We dyed our hair Tori Amos red. We got tattoos. My Doc Marten boots took me all over campus, waded through standing room only crowds at the Music Farm (the old and new one), drank vodka cranberries at AC's (the old and new one), ground peanut shells to dust on the floor of that shitty little club off of market street where we first saw Billy Pilgrim, stood so close to the stage at a Ramones concert that we're still a little deaf in one ear, sat outside the door during hurricane season after hurricane season, fell in love, fell out of love, smoked cigars and sang the blues at that basement club in Savannah, fell in love again and again and one more time after that. And then we grew up. We lost track of our Docs. They ended up with a friend or at Goodwill or left behind in that great second floor apartment on Alexander Street with all of those windows and hardwood floors and a fireplace in the living room and one in the bedroom.

These new boots are not like my old boots, even though they're the classic 1460s. They're black, for one (oxblood is hard to come by these days). I'm not ready to wear them to work, but I wear them almost all the time when I'm not working. They feel like the old ones, but don't make me feel like the old ones. I know the 90s are long over and I'm not sure I could fall in love again, at least, not so hard again. I can feel them pulling, though. They want to go see We Are Augustines next month at Antone's. They whisper, "listen sister, you live in Austin now and there is so, so much you haven't seen and heard." So I made a 90s nostalgia playlist for both of us (links are to individual Youtube videos but you can get the whole thing here).

Mudhoney, "Touch Me I'm Sick"
L7, "Pretend We're Dead"
Concrete Blonde, "Joey"
Nirvana, "Lithium"
Violent Femmes, "Good Feeling"
Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You"
Mother Love Bone, "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns"
Tori Amos, "Crucify"
Nine Inch Nails, "Closer"
Hole, "Asking For It"
Porno for Pyros, "Meija"

Seven Mary Three, "Water's Edge"

There are things we can let go of and things that become ingrained. My hair isn't quite so red. I wear my nose stud when I remember to put it in. I'm still getting tattooed. My heart is healing. I know it's OK to admit it when I'm scared. I'm just as self-involved. I admit that now too. The 23-year-old me has been painted over so many times it feels like her windows will never open again. But she's there. She doesn't want to wear torn jeans and plaid flannel, but she loves the shit out of our new boots. We can hear the music.

"In one more hour I will be gone
In one more hour I'll leave this room
The dress you wore, the pretty shoes
Are things I left behind for you." (Sleater-Kinney, "One More Hour")


  1. What is it about right now that is making us nostalgic for the 90s? Little Earthquakes has been back in my CD player for the past several weeks, too. (See? NOSTALGIA. I'm not even playing it on my iPhone.)

    "Got enough guilt to own religion..."



  2. I KNOW. It was so bad for me I was obsessed with finding THE EXACT PAIR of Docs I had back then. They don't do oxblood any more so I finally caved and ordered the black ones. It brought it all back...the first pair of shoes I ever owned that I could just look at and be happy. And of course I've been sucked into never-ending Youtube spiral of Tori and Mazzy Star and every band on the Singles soundtrack, old video of Johnette Napolitano, L7, Nirvana. I needed to know I could still rock the Docs. Happy that I can.

    And holy hell don't get me started on Tori Amos lyrics. I wore out my Little Earthquakes (cassette) and still have my Tori CDs even though I have all of them on iTunes (except for the UK bootleg).

    "I've been raising up my hands
    Drive another nail in
    Just what God needs
    One more victim."

    SERIOUSLY. There is not a word or a breath on that album that I don't know by heart. I have such a vivid memory of seeing her live for the first time in 1992 in a tiny club on Orlando. She was so sexy/scary with the piano and the way she breathed into the mic when she sang. Her vocal range was unlike anything I've ever heard (then and since).

  3. My docs, back when, were actually hand me downs from an ex who just didn't "get it." Like you, I wore them until the souls almost split in half. Oiled 8 eye lace ups. I just read this piece of yours but what's weird is I've been listening to the Breeders first album "Pod" for the last 3 weeks - and can't seem to get enough. What's up with that???

  4. I don't know - is it just that everything old becomes new again? I remember 10 years ago when my nieces called the 80s "retro." (!) I can't say I loved the 80s (hair metal, grade school, misery), but I had a fake ID and a guitar by the time the 90s rolled around. Impossible that I was happy all the time, but I'm so bloody nostalgic for the music and how out of hand it all was. The Breeders...god, saw them live ("Cannonball" Last Splash tour) and I couldn't decide if I was in love with Kim and Kelley Deal or just wanted to BE them. Ladies with guitars. Damn.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...