Saturday, September 20, 2014

Music That Is Still Relevant To Me After 2 Decades (or almost)

Today I went over to Cheapo Discs over in uptown to peruse the used CD bins like I used to do every weekend when I lived in Loring Park. Living farther away from uptown has made me less interested in making the journey but today I felt like going there. I ended up buying Social Distortion's self-titled album, Clan of Xymox's Creatures and Hocico's Wreck and Ruin.

Social Distortion's 1990 self-titled album for CBS Records was a huge influence on me in high school. I was first exposed to Social Distortion on MTV. First saw their video for "Ball and Chain" at a friend's house and being completely blown away by their sound.

I think I bought the cassette version of the album like a week after seeing the video. The influence of that album helped me made the transition from cheesy and often awful hair metal to alternative rock. I have owned the album on CD off and on through out the years but today I decided that I needed to have it in my collection again. As a result, today's purchase made me start thinking about albums that I grew up with in the early/mid '90s that I still enjoy to this very day.

I absolutely freaking love Bricks Are Heavy. I played the shit out of my cassette version of the album as a teenager. I related a lot to the angst and nihilism of the lyrics. Plus it was anything but boring unlike my brother's music (i.e Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Grateful Dead). 22 years later, Bricks Are Heavy remains a dominating force in my music listening habits. I miss the band. Women in music today lacks the balls that the women in L7 possessed. No one can pull the same shit like Donita Sparks did when she threw her used tampon into the audience at a European festival. That takes a lot of balls. Fucking funny as hell too.

As much as I love Doppelganger, I will always have a soft spot for Cuckoo which is my first Curve album that I ever bought. I remember being at Sam Goody/Musicland and coming across the album. I had never heard of the band and I decided to buy it on a whim. Glad that I did. It made me a big fan of Curve.

Belly:Star - Star was one of my favorite albums from my freshman year in college. I forgot how I came across the album but whatever the case it was one of my favorite albums that I listened to when I went to University of Northern Iowa for one year. I think I bought the cassette copy at a local record store in Cedar Falls. I just loved the jingly guitars and Tonya Donnelly's delicate vocals. The music still holds up for me as well as it did in 1993. I am still boggled that the album is 21 years old.

Okay so the self-titled album by Elastica isn't 20 years old...just yet, it turns 20 next year. It has been at least a decade since I last heard the debut album by the British rock band Elastica. I recently bought the album last weekend because I missed listening to it. I am glad I did. The songs are short and fast as well as being very catchy. The band's raw, minimalist music is a welcome change in this climate of overproduce crapfest that is passed off for music.

Vixen: Vixen - laugh at me all you want but I still love the self-titled debut album by the glam metal band Vixen. I bought their first two albums last year after the passing of the band's founding member Jan Kuehnemund and rediscovered the joy of their music. Cheesy yeah I'll be the first to admit it but their music is still a lot of fun to listen to and often a nice change of pace from the aggrotech, synthpop, and heavy metal that I listen to on a regular basis.

Concrete Blonde: Bloodletting - I first heard the song "Joey" by Concrete Blonde when I was a senior in high school and going home from a trip with my church youth group. The song hit the airwaves and I immediately fell in love with the song. I bought the cassette version when I  was a freshman in college. Another favorite album from my college years. I think it goes without saying I was the "goth" or "freak" at the college I attended to because my music collection had people scratching their heads in  confusion. LOL!

Siouxsie and the Banshees: Twice Upon a Time/The Singles - This was my very favorite album in 1993 when I was miserable as hell at UNI in Iowa. This album is what helped me get up in the morning and go to classes. I had never heard anyone sing like Siouxsie Sioux before. Her vocals was so different from anyone else I had heard up to that point.

Although when I look through this list I feel a bit old especially since I recently turned 40 however I view these albums with great affection. They are a part of my past as well as my present. As I do get older every year, I find myself less and less embarrass of the music I listened to growing up even if the music was glam metal. I see it as just part of my adolescence. More importantly in recent years I find myself going back to my musical roots and have been enjoying the music of my youth. I hope when I get much older, I will be enjoying the music that I love now then.

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