So on a list I am on, it was posed that we talk about an album that’s had a tremendous impact on your guts. So here was my response.
Get Out Of My Stations, Guided By Voices. This is not their best work, but it is the first one I bought by GBV. I remember being 16 driving in the car listening to WNUR and they played a GBV track and I pulled over at the first payphone, called WNUR to find out what that was. From the payphone I went out and bought the first GBV thing I could find, which was Get Out Of My Stations. I was amazed. The lofi mixed with the hooks mixed with the lyrics that made no sense what so ever on some tracks but seemed to speak directly to me on others. I now know that, especially at the time, that Robert Pollard drank alot of beer, and there is a really good chance that those lyrics really don’t make any sense, but I still am of the believe that I just don’t understand the meaning, but it certainly has one. For every major relationship, heartache, or drama in my life, I have a GBV song that I have matched up to it. I have written multipage letters to accompany mix tapes where I explain why this particular song matches that particular person’s situation so perfectly. There is also a good chance that given the sheer size of Robert’s catalog, he has no clue what half of the songs mean himself, but some are so amazing to me. So combine that exploration aspect with the hooks that I can’t seem to get out of my head ever, I have a band that I still listen to on a daily basis. My last.fm shows that they are my favorite artist, with 3 times the plays of the number 2 artist. And they were so awesome live. Amazing. And drunk. In the heyday there was a giant cooler of bud light or some such crap beer on stage and he would just drink and drink and drink and somehow the shows were still good.
30 Something, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. Remember when mtv played music videos? Remember 120 minutes? I used to look forward to that show everyweek, and sure I was really tired in 7th grade monday mornings as it was a midnight to 2am sunday night time slot, I loved that show. So when they played the video to Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere I had to have it. I used to tape the show so I could rewatch it, and I remember that VHS tape was all warped at that part. So then I started buying everything of theirs I could. The lyrics all tell some story, often pretty down like alcoholism, child abuse, death, depression, etc. I loved it all. It was all so political and amazing to a 13 year old. And it seemed so much more arranged and british than The Dead Kennedys (whom I never loved as much). I even convinced had the DJ at my 8th grade catholic school dance play Prince in a Pauper’s Grave as the last slow dance. Of course I carried the CD with me. When I was in college and heard they had broken up I was surprised that I was actually depressed about it. I must have played only Carter for 2 weeks straight. My roommate thankfully spent a lot of time in lab. It is one of the bands where I own every single they have released on mutlitple formats. I have test pressings to certain records. I have an autographed copy of jim bob’s book. I have emailed with them. I never saw them live, as the first time they toured the US I was underage and the 2nd time I was actually in the UK. I know, a band that is, at its core, 2 dudes and a drum machine seems kinda lame, but seriously, Amazing, but when they announced they were getting back together, 10 years from their breakup, to play one show, I looked at airfare to london.
De La Soul – De La Soul is Dead. This is the first album that I really GOT as an entire album, it is like a journey, and I find that even though mp3s has destroyed the concept of a linear path through a recording, I still listen to this album straight through and enjoy it that way. I don’t listen to it as much now, but man, my seiko portable CD player played this CD straight for so long and used so many AA batteries (that joker used 6 AA’s for about 4 hours of continuous play. Life was tough for CD players in 1991). I have nearly everything De La put out as well.
I’ll stop, but other highlights are Sugar’s Copper Blue, The Vindicitives – The Many Moods Of The Vindicitives, Minor Threat – Discography (and any Fugazi, Fugazi at the aragon in ~1993 is on the top of my most memorable shows), The Dead Milkmen – any, Guns N Roses – Appetite for Destruction and to a lesser degree use your illusions (I convinced my dad to take me to the midnight release of those albums when I was in 8th grade. It was me, my dad, and a bunch of crusty dudes standing in front of a record town or some shit in the dark. It was awesome. I didn’t sleep that night although they can’t carry like Appetite did for me at the age it did), The Best of Rotterdam Records Volume 1 (German hardcore techno FTW), The Pixies – Trompe Le Monde, Naked Raygun – Throb Throb and Jettison, New Order – Brotherhood, Primus – Seas of Cheese (Saw them at aragon a few years ago where the 2nd set was that entire album, such a good disc)….