Wasted on the Youth Guest Blog: Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor on The Joy of Sex | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Wasted on the Youth Guest Blog: Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor on The Joy of Sex

Sep 09, 2010 By Maria Taylor of Azure Ray
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(Under the Radar’s Summer 2010 Issue is a special issue named the Wasted on the Youth Issue that features musicians and actors talking about their childhood memories and things they loved when they were kids. We’re also posting web-exclusive essays that were not printed in the issue, including this one by Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor.)

Ever since I can remember I have been an investigator. I always feel that people are “up to something” and can’t sleep at night until I get to the bottom of it. Sometimes I think it could be categorized as paranoia, but I like to attribute it to having good intuition and an understanding that all people are weird. Anyway, as a young girl my case studies were limited to mostly family; my parents to be more specific, as I pretty much had the mystery of my little brother and sister figured out. I’m pretty sure Macey was writing experimental music in his head at five and Kate was just severely frustrated that she was stuck in that diaper on her hands and knees—she knew she would be able to do anything and everything and wanted to do it then!

So, back to the parents. As soon as I would hear the car drive down the driveway, I would run to their room determined to figure it out. Who were these people, really? I found some gems like the stale Merit ultra lights behind dad’s dresser. I would run outside and take some drags, then run around the block to air out the smoke. I found Christmas presents and old photo albums that proved they had a life before being mom and dad, but it was all nothing compared to the book I found, tucked underneath clothes way up high in mom’s closet. It was the mother-ship of finds; it was called The Joy of Sex. OH MY GOD. It was the ’80s for me—that and Cyndi Lauper. Every time I was alone I would run to her closet, climb up on a chair, take the book out and read. My ears fixated on the sound of the front door and my everything else fixated on this book. As if the writing wasn’t enough, it was a picture book as well. OH MY GOD. Bodies wrapped around like pretzels. Thick black hair... everywhere. Reading this made my heart beat faster than the jog around the block. I had known about sex, but this was different. This was art. I haven’t seen this book in 20 years or so. I’m not sure if it’s as popular now as it was, or if it was even popular then, but it quickly topped my list of favorites. It put Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret to shame and gave me something to talk about for the rest of my life, the joy of sex.

(Maria Taylor is one half of Azure Ray with Orenda Fink. Azure Ray’s latest album, Drawing Down the Moon, is due out September 14th on Saddle Creek. Taylor’s third solo album, LadyLuck, was released in 2009 by Nettwerk.)

(www.azureraymusic.com)



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