Hey there all, and welcome to my column. Props to Nate for telling me about this dope site and to simon for having it. And to paraphrase Will Smith, I'd like to thank me, without whom none of this was possible.

I named my colummn heading "A Song for Every Occasion" because I have one. A song for every occcasion. It drives my friends at home nuts the way that anything they say results in me singing something. I guess it's an outgrowth of enjoying music to such a crazy extent for so many years. It's also appropriate because about eighteen months ago I was happily employed as a singing busboy. Yep, sevice and a song. [I particularly enjoyed singing "Imagine," by John Lennon and "Tears In Heaven," by Eric Clapton. And "Sun and Moon," a duet from _Miss_Saigon_ with a cutie I had a crush on for about a year][Theatre and punk do mix. _You must_ buy Schlong's _Punk Side Story_ to annoy all your theater-lovin' friends. And the new Less Than Jake _Grease_ soundtrack is neato too. Any others you know of?] I liked to think of myself as a professional singer. I guess now I am considered a professional saxophone player because of my ska band, the Jesters. [Shameless plug. So sue me.]

I really believe that I inherited this love for music from my mom, a woman who still cranks her radio in her car anytime the Beatles, Chicago, or any other band/song she likes graces the airwaves. And she's pushin' fifty [yikes! My dad will be fifty in six months. Crazy.]. Is there genetics involved? I think so, but who knows....

So send me some e-mail telling me your songs for occasions, cause everyone has seems to have a plethora ["Yes, El Guapo, you have a plethora."] of songs which have particular meaning in their life, such as the one that reminds you of waking up with the girl you love [a lullabye called "Here I Am," from the Windham Hill compilation "On a Starry Night"], or you immersed your crying eyes in at a Prom ["Big Empty," by Stone Temple Pilots], one that represents the best friend you almost lost due to a _huge_ fuck-up you committed ["Nate B.," By Slapstick][Slapstick is having a reunion soon! yay!!], the one your friends never stopped singing the chorus to, even during the verses ["Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba," by the Mr. T. Experience--try it, it works!], or the one you screamed your voice out to in your car (with the same group of friends)["Sabotage," by the Beastie Boys]. I'll even devote a section of each column if I get some...some stories that is. Although GETTIN' SOME is nice too...see Nate's columns...hee hee nudge nudge wink wink....

All of this is related to something I have rediscovered in my life recently: namely, rap music. God, that Coolio rocks my world, and there's still nothin' like a little "Brand New Funk" from D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince [Whoa! Will Smith twice in one column!]. But so many people give up on things that they once liked because either the mainstream perception of said things changes or they think that new tastes and old tastes are mutually exclusive. Admitting to myself that groups I once liked still rock out, and listening to something most punkers won't touch with a ten foot pole is my new deal, although not completely consciously. Seriously, one of my best acquisitions lately, besides the new Tuesday album (Nate is on crack--this album is amazing) and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (the best cover band ever--"Uptown Girl" will never be the same!) isa Coolio's _It Takes a Thief_. A typical punkster would consider this close to blasphemy to even _think_ of listening to rap. But hey, I say, dust off the Young MC, buy some "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems," realize you still love playing (and people still enjoy singing) "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" by Rikki Rocket and Co. on guitar, and STOP DENYING YOUR LINGERING LOVE FOR THE STUFF YOU GREW UP WITH!!

I mean, your parents are nostalgic, so why not you?

The one story I have for this hinges on a great moment in concertgoing. I once sat between bands before LTJ was about to play and watched a bunch of punk kiddies sing the high notes of Reel Big Fish's cover of "Take On Me." They realized it was okay to listen to this stuff and so should you. Current listenings: Green Day's newest (the acoustic song rules), Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Animal Chin's latest, Coolio's -It Takes..._ and _Gangsta's Paradise_, Ben Folds Five, Tuesday, new MTX....

Send me mail! j-withington@nwu.edu

Jim Withington

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