Join In the Chant

Life, Music

A few years ago I was introduced to Fluxblog’s annual survey of music and have absolutely loved it. I look forward to downloading every year.  It is seriously one of my most favorite things. More recently I discovered  that Fluxblog’s author, Matthew Perpetua, created music survey’s for each year of the 1980s.  This year he is publishing surveys for each year of the 1990s.

I have been downloading the 80s survey’s year by year and savoring them one at a time, in order. It is like listening to the most epic mixed tape ever created. So many memories. I thought it might be fun to share some of the songs that jump out at me as I go through these.

He published the 80s surveys in reverse chronological order, starting with 1989. 1989 was an interesting year for me because it was the year I left Spokane for the first time and moved to New York. My world was opened up in so many ways, music being one of those ways.

I am currently working my way through the 1987 survey. 1987 was the year I graduated from high school, so quite a memorable year for me. So far I am finding the music from that year so cringe-worthy and cheesy. For example, the song, “(I’ve had) The Time Of My Life” came out. Debbie Gibson was popular. This morning on my walk to work I heard “Always” by Atlantic Starr. :shudders: Can you get diabetes from listening to music?

Juxtoposed next to this saccharine music are songs like Nitzer Ebb’s “Join In The Chant.”

I remember my first exposure to Nitzer Ebb. It was 1989 and I was living in New York. My nanny friends all went to a small theater to see a show. They were seeing someone that was relatively new to the music scene at the time: “Nine Inch Nails.” The song “Head Like A Hole” was playing in the clubs and we all  loved it.  I couldn’t go because I had to work that evening. I was so, so bummed. The next day my friends excitedly told me about the opening act, Nitzer Ebb and said that I HAD to listen to them because I would LOVE them. They were totally right. I completely fell head over heels for this band and this style of music. It was like nothing I had every heard. It was the opposite of the saccharine shit I was force fed on the radio in Spokane.

This is the memory I thought of when “Hearts and Minds” played on my iPhone on my walk to work this morning.

Where is home for you?


I was born in Spokane, WA and that is where my family lives. That is where I lived until I was 20. I had always been unhappy there and I don’t understand why. I remember one day when I was 19, driving to my friend’s house. I was going to a party. I felt dead inside. I sat at a stop sign, snow falling down around my car,  and I thought to myself, “why can’t I just be happy?” Happiness completely eluded me.

I wouldn’t feel this elusive emotion until a year later, when I moved to New York. I was in a car with my friend and we were driving to a dance club. I felt excited for all the possibilities that awaited me in this new place. I realized, then, that this was happiness. I felt happy.  It was a strange feeling. But it was fantastic.

I found my home when I moved to California. At first I was sorely disappointed with the place. I remember flying  into the San José Airport from the east over desert. I thought, “what have I gotten myself into.” I got used to it really quickly and grew to love it. The weather, the palm trees, the Pacific Ocean. I lived there for 15 years. I found my home in Santa Cruz. I felt like I belonged there. I felt like my soul belonged there. Sometimes I feel like it is still there.

Spokane’s vortex drew me back. This time I brought my husband up to live there. And, again, I still had those unsettling feelings. I felt stuck. I was unhappy.  All I could think about when I lived there was where I could move away to.  I still don’t understand this. I had great friends. I loved being closer to my family. Those things were wonderful. There was just something about the place that made me unhappy.

So now I find myself here in Sandy, Oregon. The day I moved here I felt that elusive happy feeling. That excitement for the adventures that awaited me. I feel at home here. I feel like I fit.

So. Where is home for me? For me, home  is the place where my soul fits. If my soul fits then I can be happy.   



That is the sound of me yelling in frustration. I stopped by Office Depot today to pick up a few things and they happened to have the film scanner I’ve wanted, the Epson v500. I was all, “killer! I might as well buy it today.” So off I go, all happy and excited. I installed the software, plugged it all in and scanned some old photos. Worked great! Then I tried scanning some negatives. didn’t work. I have tried everything to get this thing to work. I think it is defective. So I am off to go return the stupid thing (that wasted my fucking day trying to get it to work).

Anyway, here is a snapshot that I scanned. I found it in my desk. It is from when I was a nanny in New York and my friend and I visited NYC  (I was 20 years old). Looking at it brings back lots of fond memories.