07/02/2014 11:58 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Shelly Gets Her Groove Back


Yesterday my 16 year old daughter and I had plans to get together with our mother/daughter friends in Westlake, a 45 minute drive from our house. Layla was ready to go a few hours earlier than I. It was a shame we'd have to drive separately as I love her company (even when we don't say a word). When I told her I was a little disappointed she said:

"That's OK Mama. I sorta like driving by myself."

My feelings weren't hurt. I knew exactly what she meant. Getting lost in one's head in one's car with one's music is divine. And she's a new driver. So she's just finding that out. I support it 100 percent. Crank it up to 12 my girl. Sing at the top of your teenage lungs.

I get it. For the past decade and a half I've been juggling writing songs with being a mom, handing mini boxes of raisins and sippy cups to the toddler in the back seat, explaining where we were going, when we would get there, and why naps were good. No complaints. But I haven't been able to listen to music in the privacy of my car just for the sheer pleasure of it.

So a few hours later, while I was heading west on the 101, I finally listened to that new Chrissie Hynde album that I purchased 3 weeks ago. At first I was a little annoyed. The playlist was on shuffle and I wanted to hear the songs in the order she intended. There's a reason behind a sequence... a sequence you couldn't tamper with before you were able to click on a track. I pulled over to the shoulder and googled "how to 'un-shuffle'" because for the life of me I couldn't figure out which little icon to tap.

Here are things I thought about while on Planet Chrissie: (She once recorded a song I wrote, "Human On The Inside," so I like to pretend we're on a first name basis.)

1- If I was a rock star I'd want to be her.

2- I love the vest and tie she's wearing on her cover art. I wonder if I could get away with that look.

3- At the tender age of 62 she still falls in and out of love quite shamelessly and sings about it in a voice that hasn't lost it's edge or vulnerability.

4- She's is not trying to sound young. Or hip. (Although, I ask you, how much hipper could she be?)

5- Her songs are dark with pop sensibilities. A perfect concoction for my taste. My head was fed. My palate nourished.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ride to Planet Chrissie. I hope to return soon.

Timing was perfect. As the last song was fading I was exiting the freeway. Over dinner the four of us caught up on all things 'school's out.' The girls are past the stage of dismissing everything their mothers say. They only dismiss a little. In fact I'd say they truly enjoyed our company. We laughed at each others' foibles, watched a 'man meets shark' video on an iPhone screen and planned an all girl road trip for later this summer.

And... on my way back home I listened to another album in its entirety: Damon Albarn. I heard "Everyday Robots" on KCRW recently and its melancholy slayed me. I bought it immediately. Damon, (he never recorded a song I wrote, but I don't think he'd mind the first name basis as I'm saying nice things about him) took me to a whole other planet. I enjoyed this voyage as well. I made a note to self that next time I'm floating around in a swimming pool I'd like to hear it again.

I was a little sad pulling into my driveway because it occurred to me that for that last 45 minutes my mind had been revolving around things other than me. It was a well needed diversion.

The good news is now that my daughter is driving her own vehicle I'll be able to do this more often. I'm not in a rush all the time. I'm collecting thoughts again. I can listen to songs as often as I write them. I do believe I'm getting my groove back.

And if I'm going to be babbling ...I mean blogging (well both) about music and growing up songwriter, I'm going to need to stay in touch...Tune in to KIIS as well as KROQ, Top 40 as well as Indie. Classics as well as Skrillex. I look forward to indulging myself the way I used to when I first fell in love with music while riding in cars. I'm excited.

Come to think of it I've been meaning to listen to that new Miranda Lambert album... even though I have a bit of an aversion to country, a good song is a good song and I heard the album is great.

I think I'll go for a drive.



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