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On Music and Identity

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 01:24 PM

When I started commuting to Manhattan to go to high school, I began to see my Queens neighborhood as sleepy, remote, and boring. That was (I hoped) not me, and not who I wanted to be. When I discovered this new style of music they were starting to call punk rock, it was energetic, immediate, and not at all boring. This was, somehow, the soundtrack to the way I wanted to see myself, and to be seen by others. (The fact that the Ramones came from the equally boring neighborhood next to mine was an irony of which I was blissfully unaware.)
To this day, I am not sure if I gravitated to that music because it fit who I was, or if my identity were somehow being altered by the music. Perhaps a bit of both?


Tell us: How have you used music to express your identity -- or escape from it?

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