True confession: I hated the 80’s.

suzanne benorden of Boomchick

Suzanne Benorden of Boomchick (photo: Rob Sydor; style: Kelly Markley)

You know why I hated the 80’s? Because the music sucked. That’s right, I said it. It sucked!

Now, before you gather the townsfolk with their torches and pitchforks, let me clarify.

First, I was an angsty youth in the 80’s. Everything was lame, and I had no control. (We could end the story right there, but we would miss the part about the music. So let’s continue.)

Obviously, not ALL of 80’s music sucked. There are plenty of 80’s songs I still adore. But let’s face it. There were some real stinkers that made the Top 40 rounds back then. Being sheltered in Small Town, Kansas, our radio options were, uh, limited. So the stinkers stood out more, because we had no alternative. They made me angry, and there was no soundtrack for that, which made me even more angry!

Coming from a family of musicians who lived and breathed jazz, blues, gospel, and all the front porch varieties on a daily basis, my musical bar was set high. We were free-range, non-gmo, local and organic when it came to music, in a time and place where music was delivered to you from faraway corporate realms in plastic packages, sterile, inaccessible, mineral deficient. I only listened to the radio when I had to, and, like many kids I learned to quickly hit “record” for a cassette mix of the exceptions.

Finally, when I left home in search of urban adventures, I found radio nourishment. College and community radio, with their stream of consciousness and off-the-beaten-path playlists, to the rescue! You could listen to the radio and not hear the same song or even sound-a-likes, for days! I suddenly loved the radio! It connected me, like corporate radio never even tried to do. It brought me in on the conversation, wanted me there, exposed me to artists I never would have found otherwise, asked my opinion, never told me what to like, gave away free tickets and acted as a gateway to a whole universe of undiscovered art and possibility. My angst gave way to feverish consumption of this new sonic smorgasbord, a sound for every emotion! Yeah! I wasn’t angry anymore, but I was definitely inspired, for it was this indie music immersion that sparked my own songwriting and laid the foundation for Boomchick. And, in a way, those songs I hated in the 80’s deserve just as much credit, because they made the awesomeness of indie music stand out even more.

It’s a thrilling process working with Tom, an original member of Boomchick and also my first cousin, and Bunny, who joined us in 2010, to distill a song into its own special moonshine, or special kind of rock . It takes a lot of time, energy, work, and love. And when we get it, we want to share it!

And that’s where YOU come in. You’re on the other end of our radio. We’re sending out an S.O.S., trying to connect, and we want you in on the conversation! In short, you make all of it matter!

If you’d like to join in, click here to get two free singles from “Waveship.”  Check out the whole album here. Let us know where it takes you!

Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter!

~Suzanne, from Boomchick

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