Thursday, October 7, 2010

music that has changed my life

in order of when it changed my life. nb: don't judge me.

avril lavigne - yeah yeah, i know. but for whatever reason, avril struck a chord with my 9-year-old self, and misled me into thinking that if i wore cargo pants, spiky bracelets and excessive amounts of eyeliner then i was totally ~punk rock~. this misconception endured for the next 4 years of my life. thanks a lot avril.
blink 182 - i had a huge crush on whiney-voiced frontman tom delonge (don't ask). really not much to say about blink in terms of musical merit so let's leave it at that.
green day - i had a huge crush on the 5'7", eyelinered frontman billie joe armstrong (it just keeps getting better and better). getting into vaguely heavier but still very tame territory, and i was still inexplicably convinced that i was a "punk", how embarrassing. AND they were my first concert, sigh. eventually i started looking into green day's influences leading to....
the sex pistols - finally i had escaped the influence of my friends with terrible music taste, who scoffed at johnny rotten's maniacal laughter at the start of anarchy in the uk as i drowned out their favourite "piano-rock" band, something corporate. i know they are often maligned as being a terrible band, and they probably were but deep down i still have a soft spot for the pistols, if only for partially saving me from musical purgatory.
blondie - probably the first really great band that i started heavily listening to. i don't know if it was some reference in school of rock or the mean girls soundtrack that compelled me to buy their greatest hits, but my life is all the more enriched for it..... apart from that time i tried to dye my hair platinum blonde and failed miserably.
the clash - i had a huge crush on joe strummer (still do.) i was a very anti-authoritarian child in year 8, the year i started dressing like a prostitute, wagging classes and consistently failing maths tests. for these purposes i chose know your rights as my personal soundtrack of choice. in retrospect, not their best.
the beatles - while i initially really disliked the beatles (dad used to play sgt pepper's on long car trips), by this age i was apparently mature enough to gain an appreciation of their music. additionally, around this time i realised i wasn't actually hardcore, which was a blessing for both me and my long-suffering friends. my beatlemania gained momentum and carried on through 2007 and beyond.
the cure - not really that great a band but i loved them a lot back in year 9 despite almost solely listening to their poppy songs eg just like heaven, friday i'm in love etc. i also went through a worrying phase where i almost considered robert smith attractive, whew lucky i pulled out of that one relatively unscathed.
the smiths - i had a huge crush on morrissey (part of me still thinks he is my soulmate). i listened to the smiths at a point in my life when i was EXTREMELY whiney and had a disgustingly embarrassing, all-consuming real-life crush, so there are very few songs i can listen to now without feeling slightly shameful. i really did worship moz and co. at the time though and i still appreciate them a lot, i might never feel such a connection to a single band ever again even if it was based on a prolonged attack of complete pathetic-ness.
the velvet underground - around the time i became completely obsessed with andy warhol, i started listening to the velvet underground, particularly their first album. vu are probably my most prolonged musical obsession as while my interest occasionally wanes, there is just so much material out there that i have yet to find and start listening to. such an amazing band. thanks, andy!
pulp - i had a huge crush on jarvis cocker, why did he have to get old and grow a beard. this was probably the start of the period when i listened almost exclusively to all-male bands that weren't really THAT great, eg suede and blur. i still listen to a few songs but played their hits so many times that i can no longer stand them in large quantities.
new order - can't quite remember when i first started properly listening to them but the trainspotting soundtrack probably had a bit to do with it. i worshipped new order and once again had the problem where i overplayed certain songs to the point where i can no longer listen to them quite so frequently. still have lots of love for the trainspotting soundtrack though.
bob dylan - i owned highway 61 revisited for the longest time but for some weird reason i just couldn't get into it apart from a couple of songs (probably because back then i couldn't listen to a song longer than 4 minutes). in particular, i never got why like a rolling stone was so great - i had always skipped over it after the first 10 seconds (i know right, there was something wrong with me!). anyway one day i was doing something to my hair and couldn't be bothered skipping it, and all of a sudden it hit me, and i have never looked back. like a rolling stone is probably my favourite song of all time and i love everything related to bob dylan except for all albums after blood on the tracks (that level of brilliance can't be maintained forever y'know)
the ronettes - to be fair, i got into a LOT of girl groups last year but the ronettes were the first and most important. i will never get over the amazingness of be my baby, ever. just a timeless and beautiful and perfect band.
pink floyd - i had a huge crush on syd barrett (still do). i hated pink floyd for the longest time but eventually came around one day when i watched a documentary and a) saw syd barrett, and b) heard the song brain damage. and to think i spent so many years telling my parents how lame and overrated they were, sigh.

these are only the ones that stick out, there are many more that i can't remember right now and of course the minor bands that had some influence on my journey to listening-to-semi-decent-music. and to think it all started with sk8r boi.


Anonymous said...

Wow great post. My music tastes developed similar to yours. I started out listening to crap like Green Day and Blink 182 (and whatever else was popular or on the radio) but then I discovered The Clash and all The Velvet Underground and The Smiths. I haven't looked back since.

CoolHandLauren said...

Wow, it's like somebody wrote down the history of my taste in music! I remember starting off with Avril Lavigne when I was about eight, before moving onto Busted (*shudder*) and then Green Day. I still love Green Day, but since discovering The Clash, Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan I haven't looked back!
I agree that your crush on Robert Smith is a little disturbing, but then again, I used to fancy half of McFly (*double shudder*), so... Oh, and Joe Strummer is God, and I'm still in love with him.