Don’t touch that dial

Kady Bell, Arts Editor
Kady Bell, Arts Editor

Given the fact that I grew up listening to bands such as Heart, Guns ‘N’ Roses and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, it has taken some adjusting to watch my younger brothers tune my music out in favor of a trendier scene. At ages 13 and 14, my “baby boyos” tower over their 5’5” older sister and beg her to turn down “that rock ‘n’ roll” whenever they are unfortunate enough to have to sit in the backseat of her car.

Yes; my brothers are a little bit hip-hop and my sister and I are a whole lotta’ rock ‘n’ roll.

We believe in meaningful lyrics and shop for cheap finds, never spending more than $20 on a pair of shoes, while my brothers must wear brand names, including $80 Air Force Ones and sing along to rappers waxing poetic about “grills.”

We complain that the rubber bands they wear around their ankles, supposedly to prevent their baggy jeans from dragging on the ground, will eventually cut off their circulation, while they moan about sudden headaches that develop as soon as our radio shoots above nine on the volume setting.

My sister still recalls the time we drove to Kranz Intermediate in El Monte to pick them up from school one day. I believe our new radio was blasting Richard Ashcroft while I hurried over speed bumps and parked inches away from the red in the only available spot.

Though Max, 13, quickly got into the backseat, Robert, 14, was nowhere to be found, forcing my sister to go searching for him. Dressed in a random band t-shirt, jeans, cowboy boots and her Liz Claiborne face-covering shades, she returned to the car, brother in tow, disheartened. She exclaimed that his friends had laughed at her and Robert, smiling goofily, explained that it was her “style” that was funny.

We always secretly hoped they would follow in our footsteps, seeing as they borrowed enough of our CDs over the years, but no such luck. “Not even Led Zeppelin?” we’ve asked so many times, only to be told the musicians we adored were old and therefore uncool.

So I have often questioned whether or not my ancient soul was trapped in the body of a young 21-year-old.

I cannot help but think that I failed to do my sisterly duty of handing over my album collection to my brothers, advising them to listen to the Heartbreakers with a candle burning because it would set them free.

I guess I have accepted that I have yet to be done collecting or listening to my records and that the boyos and I will always have our musical differences.

There is no rap allowed in our car, but they know to bring along Snoop Dogg so we can all dance-drive to “Drop it Like it’s Hot,” which never fails to induce laughter.

And if I happen to be listening to something my brothers would find embarrassing, i.e., everything I own; I turn down my stereo so they do not have to be seen bumping anything other than Power 106 — the only acceptable radio station in their books.

God only knows the neighbors have their ears pressed against the windowpanes, hoping to catch fragments of the current song we are singing along to as we journey down the street, to later hold against my brothers. Oh, well. As Johnny Cash would say; they win again, I love them still.

Kady Bell, a senior communications major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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