Guitar Zero: Taylor Swift? Really?

I don't want this thing to become a weekly screed about the younger folk and how they need to remove themselves from my front property, but every lesson has now become a regular reminder about the relative age gap between me and not just most of the other students (one 10-year old is already writing her own goddamned songs, apparently), but my instructor as well.

Don't ask me how we got on the topic, but as we were tuning up the discussion turned to our respective musical crushes (of the female variety). Robert started us off:

Robert: I think I have a crush on Taylor Swift.

Pete: Wow, seriously?

Robert: Well, not so much her music.

Pete: Yeah, that would be a little suspect.

Robert: There's just something about her.

Pete: I dunno man, she's awfully young.

Robert: Nah, she's almost my age.

Pete: ...how the hell old are you?

Robert: 21.

Oy vey.

As we continued my inspired deconstruction of Robert Earl Keen's "Gringo Honeymoon," I learned Robert has been playing in bars since he was 16 or so, though he was quick to add that he'd never consider breaking our state's tough but eminently fair underage drinking laws, as if I was an undercover TABC agent. Then again, compared to the regular denizens of Rockin' Robin Guitars, I fit in about as well as Homer Simpson at Hullabalooza.

And because REK didn't require me to learn any more suspended chords or what have you, let's get back to the interesting stuff. Namely, female singers we have crushes on. Robert's only other admission was his affection for Joanna Newsom, who seems a bit twee for a grizzled veteran of the honky tonk circuit, but he's young yet. Here are a few of mine.

Neko Case

Great set of pipes, great songs, and I really enjoy her New Pornographers collaborations. And for the record, I was into her well before those cheesecake pics were published.

Johnette Napolitano

Been a Concrete Blonde fan since Still in Hollywood. And I really, really hope that horrible version of Coldplay's "The Scientist" I heard her do was the result of a bad sinus infection. Otherwise: don't smoke, kids.

Kim Longacre

Unlike [most] of the others listed here, Kim is the only one I ever was full-bore in love with. Thankfully, it was the late 80s-early 90s and the internet -- with all of its electronic stalking potential -- was still a ways off. Therefore, I had to content myself with muscling to the front of their shows and gazing rapturously from afar.

Lucinda Williams

In my experience, you either love Lucinda's voice (hi there) or hate it (hi, Mrs. Pete). If you're ever at Rudyard's and someone keeps playing "Drunken Angel" on the jukebox, it's probably me, and you'll have to buy me a Bushmill's or whack me with a chair to make me stop.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar