Friday, October 24, 2008
Well, I thought I’d start a “blog”…seems to be the trend nowadays….more particularly a “music centric blog” or “music content themed blog”?...seeing as I’ve been passionate about music since I was in diapers…and I love writing (I also love the “…” which you’ll see) …seems like a good fit am I right? Cause there’s probably no music blogs around right? (eyes rolling). I’m actually a contributor on another “humor-centric” blog that is pretty much dead…last post was in April…most recent posts altogether are by me. Maybe I’ll transfer some posts over to this one…provided they are remotely music related.
My friend Carrie can be credited for pushing me to do this music blog thang…I gave her a mix for letting me crash at her & her man’s (my friend Eric) place in Brooklyn. The mix spurred on one conversation...then another…I have compiled more mixes in my day than I can count. They had a pseudo roof deck party where the conversation was centered around music as we were all going to see Sonic Youth at the final McCarren Park Pool show that balmy summer evening.
Hence the blog was born…
I moved to Philadelphia (“The illadelph”) from NYC after 8 years of extreme fun, extreme discovery and extreme frustration. It’s been about a year here in Philly and I think I’m just getting around to adjusting. I’m from the white-bread Philly suburbs originally…something I would hide when going to Lower East Side roof parties…now I’m older and done with being disillusioned about where I grew up…it wasn’t Philly…it was 30 minutes west of Philly and I was lucky to have trees and creeks and bored cops and field-parties and such.
Back to the music…
HISTORY: November 1976-PRESENT (Diapers to Pimples to Keggers to 401K)
When I was little my folks would listen to the typical soft rock of the late 70s/early 80s (see also: iTunes Essentials “Yacht Rock”…my mom also loves Anne Murray). My dad was/is a big rolling stones fan. I never really got into them until that helicopter scene in Goodfellas (I’ll tell you later). My pivotal bands growing up were normal in some respects – U2, REM, The Cure, The Smiths, Violent Femmes, B-52s, Replacements, Pixies….Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet and many others in my jr high years (see also 120 minutes). My older sister’s friends were in bands in jr high and would make her mix tapes which she would give to me in elementary school. Now that I think about it…I guess it was a little strange listening on my headphones to Psychedelic Furs, Replacements, Sid Vicious solo work or the Circle Jerks on 5th grade bus trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. REM really sticks out the most when I think of my childhood.
My older cousins on one end (mom’s side) were a big influence…listening to Squeeze, U2, Talking Heads…in fact…my cousin Scotty gave me my first tape…EVER…which was Talking Heads – Little Creatures…followed by Run DMC – Raising Hell and Beastie Boys Licensed to I’ll (all on one birthday)….my other cousins (dads side) were more hard rock/metal…starting me off with classic rock (Led Zep/Hendrix) into arena rock acts like Boston and Rush then the 80s hair/thrash/heavy metal that followed (Metallica, Def Leopard, GnR, DRI, Megadeth, Slayer, Suicidal etc.). I honestly didn’t get into hardcore until my college years…highschool was all about Pavement, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr, The Sundays, Bouncing Souls, Blur, Charlatans, Suede, J-Church, Mudhoney, Sebadoh, Gene, Sonic Youth, Lemonheads, SLOAN, Hum, Sugar, Sunny Day Real Estate, Swervedriver, Punk/SKA (bosstones, pietasters, special, DHC, slackers, mustard plug, toasters, op-ivy and countless compilations). Oh and remember Ned’s Atomic Dustbin? There was a brief stint in highschool where I was into Phish and The Dead which I’m not particularly proud of…gross…respect the musicianship…but…gross.
With friends from NY/LI, Boston, & MD/DC my freshman-sophomore years in college opened me up to a whole new realm of rock, hearing (and seeing most) bands such as Avail, Turning Point, 311, Clutch, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Sublime, 7seconds, Black Flag, Beck, JS Blues Explosion etc. My second half of my college years gave me exposure to more “indie” (as was classified at the time) bands such as Beulah, Apples in Stereo, Ben Folds Five, Stereolab, Bell & Sebastian, Elliot Smith, Promise Ring, Get Up Kids, Quasi, Modest Mouse, Sleater Kinney etc….however if we had a party…it was always Beastie Boys, Desmond Dekker or the Funky Meters…that was a given.
Moving to NYC in late 1999 (Q4) I already had a lot of exposure under my belt but there I actually came into some more eclectic groups (the invent of Napster & MTV2 Subterranean helped)…old and new…such as DJ Shadow, Death Cab For Cutie, Broken Social Scene, Taking Back Sunday, Superchunk, Mates of State, Thursday, DFA 79, Tribe Called Quest, ATDI, Rilo Kiley, Neutral Milk Hotel, Guided By Voices, Thermals, Gang-Starr, The Anniversary, Cursive, the whole Hives/Strokes/White Stripes period…so many others…again these are the ones that stick out in my mind. In NYC you’d think it was all about following the trends in music but for me it was more appreciation of the old early 90s and 80s rock (reminiscing with people who grew up in other parts of the country) while keeping an eye on Vampire Weekends and Battles of the world. The trends were always in your face so you didn’t have to search very far. My cousin/roommate for a few years Danny…another music freak…joined me in discovering all things music in NYC…alcohol…like minded friends and the Village Voice (paper not website) helped.
An added bonus of moving back to Philly was the music. Philly is steeped in music history and is a top notch city to see shows and learn about music with a local scene that I have yet to know much about…which excites me…none of this Nokia Theatre crap. Although there is an “At the Filmore presented by Live Nation sponsored by Jostons class rings” element to any city.
There are local based bands that receive critical acclaim, rock acts such as Man-Man, Dr Dog or Pissed Jeans (not so much about “acclaim”) and hip-hop/dj acts like The Roots, RJD2 or Diplo that…again…I’m not going to pretend I’m a huge fan or know everything about them…cause I don’t. I have a pissed jeans album in which I only enjoy 1-3 songs and frequent a bar where one of the guitarists bartends. That’s the point of the “blog”…sharing/contribution.
Well…just gave you a taste of my life-music-story. I’ll probably refer back to some of these milestones in later posts. The top attribute of music (for me personally) is that certain songs or albums take you back to a time in your life whether good or bad…so vividly you can’t even explain it. I’ll have an “album memories” segment later on. The latest Walkmen Album – “You & Me” and Maritimes 07 – “Heresy & the Hotel Choir” will be two of those albums….sooooo good I can’t even describe.
Just had a thought - Can anyone relate to any of these experiences or am I twisted man in his early 30s? Oh well…I really don’t care….this is very therapeutic.
Anywho…I’ll try and post once per week…feel free to comment…good or bad…and spread it around and don’t worry…I will have more topical and shorter posts later on…the aforementioned was just a “purging” process.
Oh…and if anyone has extra Henry Rollins tickets for 11/2 in Philly…PLEASE…let me know…sold out…my b-day (toilet flush sound).