Kt Emmerson: Being “Seventeen” (soundtracked by Sharon Van Etten)

Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow is available @ iTunes.

Sharon Van Etten

by Kt Emmerson

 

I’m always reminding some of my people… ”every song is not about you”…well you and I both know I’m trying to convince myself. For the most part, I can intellectually distance myself from the satin metaphors layering our melancholy lyrical choice of any genre on any given day. Yes, I do try to remain dismissively above “living the song lyrics”, unlike my softer brethren. But, then sometimes, it really is about you. And there are no two ways about it. You and the songwriter are emotional doppelgangers. I felt this a lot more as a distrusting gen-x teen, where all the alt John Hughes-ish lyrics seemed to hit all my exasperated, nonconformist, ennui opinions about life and people and the world. One song certainly hit me at the hard-to-find, soft underbelly of my stone cold heart. Stevie Nick’s Edge of Seventeen seemed like a perfect anthem for a spirited, haltingly mysterious girl on the edge of, well, seventeen. I was pretty sure she’d written the song for me and possibly herself about those coming of age mental wanderings. Wiki flattens my inflated ego with a description of the song being inspired partly by John Lennon’s murder. No worries. I continue to project my meaning, regardless of the truth.

And while we’re talking about seventeen, doesn’t it seem like such a symbolic and monumental age progression? Seventeen was so much older the sixteen. And eighteen was the end…so much responsibility and expectation after that. But seventeen…that was the in-between year…the gap year, before that, was a thing. There’s so much magic in being seventeen…maybe I’m being gender biased, here. But seventeen seemed like a transition from the baby girl to every middle-aged man’s fantasy, no? Your hotness is a real commodity at that point. At least that’s what I was led to believe (thank goodness all that young, female objectification is a thing of the past! Sarcasm.).

It’s been a long time since I was seventeen. My perceptions may be a wee bit…skewed or outdated, I’ll admit. But I am certain of one thing; it’s a significant symbolic time in a girl’s (anyone’s) life. And I have this great song from Sharon Van Etten to prove it. What was I saying about the-song-is-not-always-about-you? You-can’t-live-your-life-through-song-lyrics? Ignore that. Seventeen…it perfectly captures a very familiar angst we halfway through life girls look back on our seventeen-year-old selves…lovingly, absurdly. And just like Stevie Nicks, coupled with stupendous resonating lyrics, it’s got a kickass beat, guitar riff, and heavy baseline. Sung in Van Etten’s now signature smoky angel meets Pat Benatar cauldron. Stop by to hear some other great songs off her latest album. I see all that New Jersey moxie sweetly mashed up against a melting hearted dandelion.

 

Sharon Van Etten

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VIDEO CREDITS

Director: Maureen Towey
Producer: Miranda Kahn
Executive Producers: Aaron Dean Eisenberg, Zeke Hutchins, Kraegan Graves
Starring: Sharon Van Etten, Rachel Trachtenburg
Director of Photography: Frances Chen, Charlotte Hornsby
1st Assistant Director: Laura Klein
1st Assistant Camera: Marcus Odom
2nd Assistant Camera: Mike Gialloreto
Gaffer: Jesse Ruutilla
Key Grip: Lloyd Hembrador
Swing: Eren Gedikoglu
Stylist: Dianna Lunt
Hair/Makeup: Shannon Rae Mulligan
Sound Consultant: Dave Rosenberg
Caterer: Titus Mitchell
Production Assistants: Rich Rogers, George Beno, Julia Lesser
Editor: Livio Sanchez, Cutters Studios
Colorist: Rob Sciarratta, SIM Studios

Special Thanks: Jagjaguwar, Mick Management, John Kopec, Baby’s All Right, Mike Boyne, Du-All Camera, Below the Line, NJ Parks Department, Kodak, Lightbulb Grip & Electric

 

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