I’ve been listening to a lot of online radio at work and sick of everything in my iPod and been thinking wtf did I like music anyway. I’ve been obsessed with Dub Musics. I haven’t been to a show in forever, and 4 of 5 times someone’s trying connect with me about music I take this route of like ‘you like that – ugh’ or something like that.
This is not to say I only listen to the Einstein of music. I listen to shit. I love shit. MMMBop is one of the greatest songs of all times and Umbrella was the best song put out last year. But Solja Boy’s Crank That was utter crap. It’s the Achy Breaky Heart of hip hop. Maybe his daughter will grow up to be Miley Cyrus.
So I put together a list of my favorite albums that have been put out in my lifetime to share with my friends. I’ve always connected with people thought music, and I think I try to keep up with music still so I can connect with people.
As I put this list together, I realized all of these records had a story. I’ve always wanted to tell the stories behind what the records mean to me. So here I go.
Also, a few friends pointed out that I missed some massive records.
Fugazi’s 13 Songs. Waiting Room is one of the best songs of all time. I was late to the party. I could never claim this band as mine. I hate to be a follower, so I had to cut it.
Anything by Pavement. I own Slanted and Enchanted. I am not sure I could identify a single song from this album if it came on at a bar. I like the hits of Brighten the Corners and Terror Twilight.
Arcade Fire Funeral I love this album but it took a lot of listening and everyone I know to tell me to like this. Can’t say I discovered it. I was moving to New York the day this came out, so I was preoccupied.
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation. I love it. I listen to it. Its more anti/generational than it is good.
I can’t say one record by Modest Mouse sticks out, since this is an album based list. I’ve always said that since Kurt blew his head off, Modest Mouse was the heir apparent to best band of my generation. He really doesn’t need to be as good as he is anymore, but I don’t think he knows how to suck. I’ve had three run ins with him over the years and he didn’t have to be nice or even pay attention, but he did.
I also wish I knew an album by The Smiths or Guided By Voices, but I discovered the music of these bands in the iPod/Greatest Hits era. My best Bob Pollard story is I was friends with an opening band and was drinking Bob’s tequila back stage while GbV were playing. I was told ‘don’t drink Bob’s tequila.’ When he got off stage, he yelled out ‘Hey who rank my tequila? ‘ When I told him it was me, he said, sit here and drink we me. We talked about music and life for a bit and I gave him my hoodie (I had it customized). I asked him to wear it in a picture. He did in the New York Times a week later, and then in a Gothamist photo last year. 5 years after I gave it to him.
Last but not least, I still really enjoy Death Cab when it comes on, but I am embarrassed when I am reminded that after seeing them in front of 150 people on their 2nd show in San Francisco I said “This band is going to be huge.” I have pictures of me with them. Years later, standing in the back of a 10,000 person show, I was like, “Oh shit.”
I wish I could figure out where Portishead and Massive Attack stood, but history has not been kind to trip hop.
I have also decided I hate/can’t stand Bjork. I own 5 of her CDs, I tried. I tired. She shoved me at the Passerby in the Meat Packing district when I first moved to NYC. I think her music is horrible. Its not musical. But she tries hard and knows all the right people, so I get why she is who she is.
As it takes a lot of memory to pull these stories out, I’m breaking down the list to 6 records per post. This is kind of a double post.
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One – Yo La Tengo
I was an intern in NYC the summer this record came out and was working at the Tower Records on 4th and Broadway. Other Music was starting to happen and I hated Tower, so I went over there and saw that this record was being promoted so I bought it. I didn’t really understand their sound at first but the more I listened to it, the more I freaked out. We had them at an in store at Tower but I decided to go see Garth Brooks in Central Park that day. One of my greatest rock and roll regrets.
I ended up meeting Georgia and Ira 3 times last summer. Either I was everywhere they were or vice versa. They make good music, but are weird people. Also they were on the last episode of Gilmore Girls season 6 which I plan on watching this weekend.
Keep it Like a Secret – Built to Spill
I wanted to name my fake band ‘In Your Bones’ because of a song off of this record. All non jock males have fake bands. I was an intern for Mercury and this was the cred buzz record out pre SXSW whatever year it came out. I went to see them at La Zona Rosa and was transcended. I also ended up meeting Doug at the Ain’t No Picnic concert in Orange County (best concert of my life – more about that later) years later and bought a t-shirt off of him. We chatted for a bit and it was great.
Being There - Wilco
The fuddy duddies of Austin were into Wilco because of their twang. I was late to the party at first, but I’ve since learned that Jeff didn’t want 45 year old burn outs as fans when they were 28 and wanting to be cool. I was 19 when I saw them at a club I used to promote bands at (LIBERTY LUNCH), and could therefore get in for free and drink (underage and for free). I am not sure I owned anything by them when I went to this show, but I made sure to get this after I left. A friend took an up close picture (and framed if for me) of Jeff years later screaming “I want to thank you for nothing, nothing, nothing at all…”
The White Stripes – The White Stripes
Everyone knew about this band before anyone knew about this band. Seeing DooKoo do the drum part in Broken Bricks kills me. Every time.
Moon Safari – Air
I had a radio show in college and was given a promo of this record. Every Kelly I ever meet I say “Watch the Stars.” Aaron and I saw them on this tour in London and it was amazing. I saw them years later in San Francisco, and they sucked. Ah the beauty and inconsistency of the French. Maybe, I am French?
Fear of a Black Planet – Public Enemy
I wish I could figure out how to use ‘Base, how low can you go’ in a sentence every day. I’ve met Chuck D twice and thanked him both times for changing music. He was giving a keynote at a digital media conference early in my career and I yelled out “Hey Chuck – Bring the noise” He looked over at me and smiled. I was the youngest person in the room and I almost lost my job.