Thursday, October 1, 2009

Creating Shared Cultural References

My dh and I met and became entangled after we both turned 30. There is a little over 2 months between our birthdays, we both were born outside of Sydney with my family moving here before my school days started and his family moving around and settling in the Blue Mountains for his final years of High School. We both spent the majorty of our late teens and twenties in and around Sydney.

As you do with a new partner or potential you start to fill in gaps of your history by sharing points of reference (favourite musicians, tv shows, movies). My dh's family had limited TV (not always owning one) so a lot of the kids shows I watched, and even the recurring dramas he has not even seen in passing. He does have (and now owns) the entire series of MASH embedded in his psyche. As such a lot of my TV Cartoon references or even memorable moments (anything from The Young Ones/The Late Show - "Not with the good scissors") do not raise a flicker or recognition. Dr Who also seems to have been a small exception to this.

Our cultural cross-overs were books and music with both of us owning Tori Amos, Ben Harper (His early stuff), Jeff Buckley, The Reels, the incomparable Skunkhour among others and having spent time listening to a lot of local bands in various pubs around the Inner West, Inner city and Eastern Sydney.

Music has become an essential part of our shared lives with the radio, cd's or mp3s always being on and some of our earliest outings together were to see live music - Mick Thomas (formerly of Weddings Parties Anything). Michael Franti & Spearhead and Ben Harper. All of these musicians earlier and more recent recordings have become a staple part of our now shared musical landscape. I even made sure we got to the Weddings Parties Anything reunion gigs in Sydney last year to add that experience to our shared history (And because nothing is as much fun as a beer soaked hall with the Weddoes playing).

Interestingly two of the most successfully integrated recent CD's/albums (pick the reference you most identify with) are actually covers albums the First Jimmy Little's Messenger which refashions songs by artists one or both of us love) and the other being more recent Kev Carmody project Cannot Buy My Soul (we went to the fantastic event at the Sydney festival last year).

Messenger incorporates a lot of our favourite artists
  • The Cruel Sea (His)
  • The Church (Mine)
  • Ed Kuepper (Mine) of the Saints (Both)
  • Paul Kelly (Everyone)
  • The Reels (His)
  • Crowded House (Both - part of my live roster)
  • The Go- Betweens (Mine)
  • Nick-Cave (Both)
  • Warumpi Band (Mine)
  • The Sunny Boys (Mine)

Kev's Carmody's Cannot Buy My Soul incorporates artists we both love (John Butler, The Herd, Dan Kelly, Clare Bowditch, Steve Kilbey and Tex Perkins among others) across a wide variety of styles and celebrates the amazing work of Kev Carmody. It also reminds us of one of the most moving Music Theatre pieces we have ever jointly experienced telling the story of Kev Carmodies life through re-workings of his music with film, pictures and dramatised re-enactments culminating in an amazing performance of "From Little Things Big Things Grow". The DVD is worth a look.

Music has provided us wtih an initial connection point but serves as a continued way to weave us together.

Jimmy Little doing Ed Kuepper's "The Way I Made You Feel" on Rockwiz

P.S I will come back with more time on the weekend and provide a supplementary post with links to the bands (where possible) i have referenced.

1 comment:

Bells said...

Oh man, I love this sort of post. I'm going to write more about music this month.

Those are two albums I have been aware of and have meant to get. I shall rectify that pronto.

'Not with the good scissors' is a big one for my family! Even my much younger siblings know it as a reference they heard from my sister and I!