Out 5 2006, 14h15

I've been really amazed lately at music's ability to bring back so many memories. Just a simple song can whip up memories of years and years ago, and it's such a bittersweet thing. So let me take you through my life in music...


Most of the music listened to in my childhood was influenced by my parents, and because my mother is a classical pianist we also listened to a lot of classical music, no particular artists or composers though. These are the main ones:

The Beatles
Since I was a kid, my father never stopped telling me about how the Beatles spawned a 'musical revolution'. I never really understood what he meant until he sat me down and played me a few songs. The first exposure I ever really got to the Beatles was in 1996, when I was seven years old. My cousin had just arrived from Germany, and she was two years younger than me. Her English wasn't very good, but one of the first things she did was sit down at our kitchen table and sing Yesterday and I’ve remembered it ever since. I bought my dad One for Christmas when I was twelve years old, and it really started from there, I guess, when I heard all their best hits and grew to love them. Then my dad bought me Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for my 14th birthday, and my sister bought The White Album for herself, and they have just been growing more and more as a huge part of my life. I guess it’s not right to put them under childhood – their music reminds me of every stage of my life.

My father bought my mother The Best of the Carpenters for Valentine's Day the year I turned six years old, and for a long time it was all I'd listen to. My dad's favourite thing to do was to get all three of us kids together and teach us the harmonies of Top of the World, and often he'd have friends over and have us perform it for them. One of my all-time favourite songs since childhood has been Only Yesterday, and in general the band just whips up so many memories of the past. I knew every word to every song by the time I was six years old, and to this day the Carpenters remain a firm favourite in the family.

As cliché as this song may be, it really holds a special place in my heart. I first heard it when it was released in 1995. I was 6 years old and it played often on ABC Kids between cartoons, and I was totally mesmerised by the Gallaghers – if my memory serves me correctly I had a little crush on Liam, haha. I forgot about the song for a while until last March, when I met a boy who would often play it on his acoustic guitar and sing it for the girls. After becoming really good friends with this boy, I began to revisit the song and found in it what I had always seen when I was little – the words, the musicality and everything about the song is just wonderful. This is a song I really don’t ever get tired of, and will always remain my favourite, digging up memories of my childhood and of friendships which have lasted until this day.

Simon and Garfunkel
My father's favourite band. I remember many family occasions where we would all gather round to hear my dad and my uncle sing The Boxer in perfect harmony, and many car trips where the only album played would be The Definitive Simon And Garfunkel. My father always promised me he'd take me to one of his concerts if we ever got the chance.

It Might Be You
This song is so cheesy, but I absolutely adore it. The first time I heard it, I must have been about three or four years old. I remember so many days in my childhood just lying on my dad’s bed and listening to this song on cassette, in a little world of my own. We’d listen to it in the car on the way to preschool, on the way to cello lessons, on the way to primary school, on the way to high school. This song is one of the many things that connected me to my father – we always shared an incredible love for it, and that love hasn’t died. The harmonies in this song are gorgeous, and the lyrics are really sweet. As well, it holds significance as the title song for the movie 'Tootsie', which my parents loved. One of my fondest childhood memories.


RADIO – AGE 8-13
My older sister and I discovered the radio, and our tastes were pretty much polar opposites. I went from tween pop to pop-punk, buying CD singles every time I was given pocket money.

Backstreet Boys and NSYNC
Oh my God. Where to even start? These guys were my life, and after my cousin feverishly told me and my sister about them, we got Backstreet’s Back as a present and it was pretty much showtime from then on. I loved Nick Carter PASSIONATELY, and I actually own every CD of theirs up to Black and Blue. I think they were the first band I really loved with a passion. As for Nsync, No Strings Attached was the first album I ever bought with my own money, on the first day of release. There is nothing more to say about these two bands than AWESOME. Highlight of my youth.

Blink 182 and Green Day
These two have to go together, because they together were pretty much what steered my music taste away from mainstream radio pop into…mainstream radio pop rock. I heard Green Day’s Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) on the radio when I was about 9 years old, hated it at first but then I grew to love it. Then my sister bought me the Minority single, and I’ve loved them ever since. The first time I heard Blink 182, it was 1999 and ALL THE SMALL THINGS had just made its radio debut, #33 on the charts the night I heard it. It really changed the way I looked at things, and for the next 3 or 4 years, Blink 182 were my favourite band. It was through them that I found bands such as Jimmy Eat World and AFI, and through those bands that I found some which remain my firm favourites. I owe a hell of a lot to Blink 182 and Green Day, and I was lucky enough to see them both in concert in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Britney Spears
Ask my mother for the footage and photographs of me in knee-high boots, a short black skirt and a school blouse attempting to recreate …BABY ONE MORE TIME. Enough said.

S Club 7
The TV show, Jon Lee…what wasn’t to love? My best friend when I was 10 (who now listens to Tool, oh how times change) and myself were OBSESSED and we just had to have everything related to S Club. Bring It All Back was the first CD single I ever bought and I danced to it until I was too tired to go on. Brilliant.

Spice Girls
Every little girl’s dream, of course. I wasn’t as into them as other people were, but I did love them and I had both albums on cassette. Unlike every other little girl at the time, my favourite Spice was Victoria Beckham (and not Emma Bunton). I remember parties and singalongs of their songs with my friends when I was 8 years old, and how, with the new wave of the Internet, we’d all rush into the library at lunchtime to look at new pictures of them. Just the other night I was at my graduation dinner and they played Wannabe, and we all screamed and sang along. And how could I forget the Stop dance? Choreography at its finest.

Sum 41
Another band that steered my music taste to where it is today. They were also my first concert in 2003 (with New Found Glory). Sum 41's music makes me genuinely happy and reminds me of Year 7 and 8, when nothing was hard and everything was generally pretty good.

Other honourable mentions: Steps, BWitched, Aaron Carter, Vengaboys.


My first real relationship was with a boy named Jonathan the year I turned fourteen, from April to August 2002. He taught me a lot about music and my tastes shifted, but there are a few random songs as well which remind me of the whole thing.

The Juliana Theory
His best friend introduced this band to me, and I became obsessed with This Is Not A Love Song. The thing that I remember most clearly is the time Jon sent me the lyrics to The Closest Thing and told me he’d written it – it was only years after we’d broken up that I realised the truth!

For a pair of kids trying to be badass, this was a bit of a copout but it was ‘our song’ and to this day, it still reminds me of holding hands and sitting on hills and silent phone calls decorated with the occasional giggle. How cute.

Not a lot to say. We liked them a lot. I thought I was hardcore.

Sex Pistols
I learnt about 70s punk rock, and the Sex Pistols became one of my favourite artists. I ditched Blink 182 and instead decided to focus on older music. Sid Vicious became somewhat of an idol to me (god knows why) and my mother and father sniffed rebellion in the air. Revolution began…

Smashing Pumpkins
They were one of his favourite bands, and they quickly secured a place in my heart as well. Bullet With Butterfly Wings became somewhat of an anthem which we’d listen to almost daily, and I think it was this band that exposed me to ‘alternative’ music as opposed to what I’d been listening to prior.


I believe it was through a girl named Steph who ran a website I used to visit, that I got into the following bands who defined a genre for me and led me to interesting and exciting things.

Brand New
They remain, to this day, my favourite band. It took me a while to get into them, as at first I just found them quite bland and boring, but once I learned to appreciate the lyrical and musical complexities, I fell completely in love. I don’t think Brand New lumps well into the ‘emo’ category, but they have defined music for me and done so much for me. I’ll never forget the day I first heard Deja Entendu. It was my fifteenth birthday and my sister bought it for me, and I sat through it, speechless, on my bed. At dinner I couldn’t talk because I didn’t know quite what to say…and I still don’t. Amazing.

Taking Back Sunday
Same as Brand New, I still have a huge amount of love and respect for these guys. Tell All Your Friends was an amazing album and it reminds me of the bus ride home from Canberra in Year 9. I was also lucky enough to see these guys in March 2006, awesome show.

Other honourable mentions: Senses Fail, The Used, Finch, Fall Out Boy.


Didn’t last very long but it was awesome, and lots of music reminds me of him. Can’t be bothered going into explanations of every song and artist so here’s the list as best I remember it:

Bloc Party
Death Cab for Cutie
Snow Patrol
We Are Scientists

The Luckiest
The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot
The Scientist
Friday I’m in Love
Just Like Heaven
Lover, You Should’ve Come Over
Goodnight Starlight
This Old Love
Falling Away With You
Map of the Problematique
Hey There Delilah
Such Great Heights
Open Your Eyes
Set the Fire to the Third Bar
Paint the Silence
My Blue Heaven
A Thousand Miles
It’s a Hit


2005 AND BEYOND, AGE 16+
This is basically the stuff I’m heavily into now. A lot of it is thanks to my ex and a lot is thanks to my friends, online and off.

Ben Folds/Ben Folds Five
I only got into him properly in about June 2006, and I can say it’s been an incredible journey. I’d heard Brick when I was younger and Rockin’ The Suburbs was a hit when I was 12, but it was only when I heard The Luckiest that I fell totally in love. Ben Folds’ music has the ability to move me to tears every single time and his concert was absolutely phenomenal. There is nothing I can say to explain the impact he has on me.

Brand New
Nothing has changed since I first heard them, I still love them to absolute death and am eagerly awaiting their new album. Their new demos have a very The Smiths feel to them, I’m loving it.

I have a huge journal entry about Radiohead in here somewhere, feel free to read it. I’ve always been aware of their music but it wasn’t until sometime last year when I began listening to them more, and frankly, they’re incredible. Call me pretentious if you like, but Thom Yorke is amazing – how someone can craft lyrics and melodies that intricate, and also have the ability to create crazy industrial noise, is beyond me. Read my journal entry on them if you want to know more. In one word though, amazing.

Other honourable mentions: The Academy Is…, The Arcade Fire, Blink 182, Bloc Party, Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, MAE, Muse, Oasis (thanks Marc!), Rufus Wainwright, Simon and Garfunkel, Snow Patrol, Taking Back Sunday, We Are Scientists.


I’d say I’ve come a pretty long way.


  • kitefish

    Lovely post, I'll do one like this if I ever find the time... I never listened to as much pop as you (the only radio music I ever heard was BBC radio 2 when in the car with my dad) but I was still gripped by the Spice Girls. They were fantastic. I thought Sporty Spice was the best, even if I never really liked sport, just because she had the same birthday as me. And I too got a lot of Simon and Garfunkel played to me in the car. Good times :)

    Out 5 2006, 18h29
  • semiquarterflat

    I didn't listen to any music until the beginning of last year, I think. Ehehe... some dude on Counterstrike got me hooked on Aphex Twin. Jackass.

    Out 6 2006, 3h50
  • benpurdon

    Elly I like this journal entry. It makes for some good reading :D

    Out 15 2006, 4h49
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