The other morning I was watching The Today Show and there was some kid on there named Austin Mahone. I’d never heard of him, but apparently he’s the new Justin Bieber because all the pre-teen girls outside were going wild over him and had made all manner of glittery signs that read “MARRY ME, AUSTIN!”. Because getting married at twelve usually works out so well.
It was one of those moments, much like every year when I watch the Grammys, when I realize I am old and out of touch. Which should come as no surprise considering I’d probably still use my old Sony Walkman if I could find it. Remember how sleek and small we all thought the Walkman was? So modern and bright yellow!
All it takes is a quick look at the top songs on iTunes to further determine my musical irrelevance. I don’t know T.I. or Pharrell or Daft Punk. I mean the only reason I know Justin Timberlake is because I closely followed his entire relationship with Britney Spears back in the day, including the fight/dance off they had at some nightclub in New York after they broke up. I’m so proud of him for overcoming those dark days of sporting a suit made entirely of denim. And I plan to listen to his song Mirrors all summer long.
That’s the extent of my current music acumen.
But you know what I love. Some 70s lite rock. The key is “lite”. Don’t try to spell it “light” because it’s not the same.
Maybe it’s because it’s the music of my childhood and reminds me of sitting in the backseat of my family’s Buick LeSabre as we listened to Rita Coolidge on eight-track tapes. Or maybe it’s because it was the golden age of the singer-songwriter. Or maybe it’s because it harkens back to a simpler time when we believed it was normal for men to be able to hit notes like the Gibb brothers. I don’t know for sure.
I just know that about a month ago I discovered the 70s Lite Rock station on Pandora and I cannot quit it. I’m fascinated by the fact that I know the words to every song that comes on, especially considering I can’t remember to buy milk at the grocery store when it’s written on a list. Who knew that I spent my childhood absorbing so much Ambrosia and Jim Croce and Seals and Croft by osmosis?
And so I thought I’d list a few of my favorite songs from the 1970s. Because I am nothing if not culturally relevant. But then I realized that’s an impossible task because I love them all. Chicago, James Taylor, Carole King, Carly Simon, Elton John, Don McLean, The Bee Gees, America.
Captain and Tennille, for goodness sake.
It’s an embarrassment of riches.