Monday, June 30, 2008

To Beat a Dead Horse Pt. 2

I won't continue on the first rant on Pitchfork's antics. I think the nail was hit on the head with that one. However, after reading Colin's post and thinking about how cool of an idea this is, I have decided to compile my own list of albums that have more or less changed the way I think about music. I'm sure that I have left some out, but here are five that initially came to mind:

1. Michael Jackson - Dangerous
Date Acquired: Sometime in 1993

I don't know if this album changed the way I thought about music but it was the first piece of music I could call my own. I didn't actually have the album, it was on a tape that was recorded from my dad's vinyl version. I remember having written the title of the album on a paper insert myself then wearing the black gloves to my kindergarten classes one day. I feel like I listened to this thing every day for a year. I probably did since I didn't know much back then. Rather than changing the way I listened to music, I'd say this album marked my beginning into music. From this point on, I knew that I loved music. And yeah, I got Thriller, just after this one.

2. Green Day - Dookie
Date Acquired: Sometime in 1995

I remember being at this kid's birthday party at Roller Kingdom a few weeks into the 2nd grade. (Those kinds of places were big in the '90s.) I didn't roller skate nor blade because, let's put it this way, I wasn't a balls to the wall kind of kid. So I sat on the side by myself for awhile and skated back and forth on the rug like a loser. Then blasting out of the speakers came "Basket Case." I listened for awhile then got this urge to go out on the rink and try skating a bit, so I did. I fell and that sucked because I didn't like getting hurt so I went back to the rug again. After that, I don't think I gave a shit though because I had just heard Green Day for the first time. I didn't understand early adulthood problems of anxiety but the song stuck and marked my beginning into alternative music.

3. Saves the Day - Through Being Cool
Date Acquired: Fall 2000

I think more than anything, my phase in pop-punk/ska was my most important phase in music. It was my attempt to express who I was to others through music, dress, a
nd social attitude. However, it is because of this that no single band really stood out to change my attitude. It wasn't until the summer before 7th grade that I went to a small local show in which I heard a kid say, "Yeah there's everything, punk, ska, and emo," referring to the music to be heard that night. The next day, I asked an older more knowledgeable friend, "What is emo?" She said it stood for "emotional", as in emotional rock and sent me the song "Shoulder to the Wheel" off of Through Being Cool. It wasn't until a few months later that I purchased this album and begin to leave behind my pop-punk/ska roots. From this point on I was taken to other acts such as The Get Up Kids, The Annivesary, and the Midwest scene. It was at this point that I began to appreciate going to shows more. I felt as if I had become a true member of the crowd.

4. Orchid - Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow!
Date Acquired: Spring 2002

While I wish that some things w
ould never change, I have to admit that I tend to look for changes. Early on in high school I was introduced to hardcore, more or less the now defunct '90s scene of "screamo." Early acts included Saetia, The Kodan Armada, and Amherst, MA's Orchid. Although an inaccessible style of music, the raw sound of it struck me and I was intrigued by it. I enjoyed following smaller shows and loved the energy behind the music and the intimacy between the band and the small crowd. This would forever influence my continued interest in the DIY/punk culture, from which I expanded my taste from not only the '90s but from the the late '70s until now.

5. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People
Date Acquired: Winter 2004

With age comes a certain sense of maturity, I think. With time I have found myself to have an ever-expanding open mind about like, stuff. One day a few years back, a friend of mine told me about the album You Forgot It In People by Broken Social Scene. He said, "I think you'd really like them." What I don't think he thought is that they would become one of my favorite bands of all time, or maybe he did. I think more than anything, while remaining one of my all time favorite albums, You Forgot It In People represented a yearn for new sound. It was at this time that I was beginning to discover post-rock and alternative country/folk, two genres I enjoy to this day and both incorporated into BSS's style. I didn't so much as follow one scene anymore as I was simply trying to discover what other scenes were out there. What hadn't I heard of yet that could change my life? Broken Social Scene was just that.


Colin said...

I'm pretty surprised that you didn't throw in American Football. I guess that's number 6, maybe?

Ben said...

Yeah I'd say that's pretty accurate. Somewhere between Saves the Day and Orchid. I think rather than changing the way I listen to music, American Football has become more of a nostalgic band for me to think back to a certain time in my life. Still great though and certainly had an impact on me.

Tom said...

I would have left american football off the list as well. Although it's an excellent cd, the fact that they did not release any other material...I like your list though, but ben where's the radiohead?