How Music Has Shaped My Life Part 1: This Happy Song

I don’t think I can stress enough what music means me to me. I made an entire freakin’ list of 121 reasons I love it, but I wanted to put something together that maps out what music has done to change my life. Not sure if anyone cares but it’s like writing a love letter you never send… not that I’ve done that or anything… moving on.

Starting with the day I was born music has influenced my life. My parents originally planned to name me Heather (my dad was campaigning for Feather, actually, but thankfully my mom wasn’t willing to raise a hippie.) According to them when I made my screaming entrance into the world on February 9, 1983 I didn’t “look like a ‘Heather.'” So they went with their next choice – Jennifer, from “Jennifer Juniper” by Donovan (and no Juniper isn’t my middle name. Sorry to disappoint.)

From there my life was full of a flurry of music. Whether it was listening to the vinyl bootlegs my dad put on or hearing new and old music on 91x while my mom cleaned the house, there was always music in my life. Then came concerts… My love affair with live music started at my first concert: REM at the Sports Arena when I was 13.  My parents and aunt and uncle were cool enough to take me and my brother to this show and even bought me a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion (wish I still had it.) After that I became infatuated with seeing lots of great bands that rolled through San Diego, collecting more t-shirts, hanging onto ticket stubs, and slowly becoming a more seasoned music fan.

A handful of my concert tees... lots of Gomez.

In high school I branched out a bit more from mainstream music, discovering my favorite band, Gomez, and devouring the sounds recommended to me by people older and (presumably) cooler than myself.

One of the best (and least dramatic) memories I have of high school was when my boyfriend (who was a senior while I was a sophomore oooh la la) got me concert tickets for my 16th birthday. He took me to see The Cardigans with another Swedish band, Kent, at SOMA (when the venue was located on Metro Street.)

[In case you were wondering, The Cardigans had better songs than “Love Fool” see below.]

It was probably the best date I’d been on in my short romantic existence (in fact, it probably still ranks in the top 10, not sure if that’s tragic or fantastic.) I danced like a fool, we smoked Swisher Sweets (because we were awesome), and I discovered that opening bands could just as kick ass as headliners.

I still own and listen to the Kent CD I purchased after the show.


About Jen Van Tieghem

There aren’t many things I love more than music. While life spins away at a rapid beat I’ve realized it’s important to spend it doing what I love – enjoying music in San Diego. I have a handful of favorite venues, a heart full of favorite bands, and decided to write about it.

2 comments on “How Music Has Shaped My Life Part 1: This Happy Song

  1. […] How Music Has Shaped My Life Part 1: This Happy Song: The beginning of an exploration of what music has meant to me as I enter my 30th year of life. Guess what? Music has been shaping me since the day I was born and hasn’t stopped since. […]


  2. […] a love letter to the thing that has done some much for me. See the beginning of that exploration here and away we go with part […]


Sound Off!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: