I’ve been listening to “Fishtails,” a song by the Indigo Girls from their upcoming album “One Lost Day.” When I hear the song, I can’t help but reminisce how I found their music and how it affected my life, both musically and personally.
It all started when I was in 8th grade. At the time, a new educational TV network called “Channel 1” was introduced into every classroom at my middle school. During Earth Week, Channel 1 showcased bands with songs that spoke about resource conservation and whose activism included earth-friendly activities. If I remember it right, it was Tuesday of such week when I first caught a glimpse of the Indigo Girls on our classroom TV screen. They were shown in the talking box for only a few minutes, and they were promoting a song off their album “Nomads, Indians, Saints.” The song was “Hammer and a Nail,” and it’s exposure was just long enough for me to be intrigued by their sound. But it was my BFF Marie who actually looked them up for more information. She – a sonic guru well ahead of her time in our tiny town – bought their self-titled album and let me borrowed it for my own appreciation. And there it all began.
My fandom for the Indigo Girls began to morph to an obsession – the kind that is needed by a teenage girl wrestling with the charged socio-political climate of a tiny Texas town. I loved their songs so much that it’s as if I heard them with fresh ears every single time I listen. I also attended “Live at the Uptown Lounge” as if it was an extra-curricular activity that I really had to be a part of. Shortly after the start of my freshman year in high school, a friend told me that they were gay, and I was both taken aback and secretly relieved by the news. Little did I knew that the discovery would hit close to home as I began my own coming out process in the next few years.
It felt that my situation was easier because I knew two people — whose music I could relate to — shared something similar with my own life. I never expected that in a world that could make you feel so alone, all you need is the power of two to get by.