So I did that thing where you have to name 15 albums in 15 minutes that made some sort of impression on you. You can't think, just write and do it as fast as you can. Once it's written, no editing. I did it in 3-1/2 minutes. However, since then, I've been kicking myself over all the important ones that I missed. (hello, not a single Pixies?...Liz Phair?...Pavement?) But anyway, here they are:
Pop Muzik - extended 12" - M
I got this for my 8th birthday from Chris Benton. I loved the song, but it was also a little sinister to me somehow. Not to mention I didn't understand the strangely sexual cupcake on the back cover. Sort of my first introduction into music. And this album was one of the first that was mine and not inherited from a sibling.
Thriller: Mikey Jackson
Okay,...so I didn't have a refined sensibility yet. But I got it for Christmas when I got a record player. See, back in the old days, there were these things called "records".....
Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
Yeah, I loved Sister,....but this album consumed me for a long time. Every song. I met Kim Gordon once in the parking lot of Cat's Cradle and she was super nice and gave me tickets to the show. What a peach. The cover is the 1983 Gerhard Richter photorealist painting Kerze ("Candle"). I got to see it in person when I was last in Chicago at the Art Institute. I almost wept. It was beautiful.
Nirvana - Nevermind
I remember I was in Schoolkids Records the first time I heard it, and I had to have it immediately. So I went back out, sold my plasma, cashed the check and bought it straightaway.
The song "Planet Claire" made me fall in love with a boy. So really,...stupid, stupid, stupid. But I actually drove a Plymouth Satellite at the time. Faster than the speed of light.
Chipmunk Punk: Alvin & The Chipmunks
This was an album of covers of current songs. I remember they had Pat Benetar's "Hit me with your best shot". Trang Do and I would dance around on my bed to every song until we collapsed. I wonder where she is now. click here to view commercial for this fine album
Glass Houses: Billy Joel
He was sorta snide and cynical and bitter on this album - which was actually my brother's. But I will always remember the cover, poised to heave that rock. And now I work in the glass industry,...whoooo, spooky!
Freeze Frame: J. Giles Band
They were a little "dirty". My sister like them. I'll always remember the 8-track with artwork of Dr. Potatohead with a Picasso on they psychiatry couch. Pretty trippy to little baby me. See, back in the old days, there were these things called "8-track cassettes".....
Hysteria - Def Lepard
Again, a boy was involved. And I was just able to drive. I remember the sense of freedom it gave me to blast this as loud as I could while driving in the summer.
In My Tribe - 10,000 Maniacs
I remember one Christmas, wrapping presents and listening to this over and over again. Seems sorta "soft" now, but I didn't know people could make this kind of thoughtful, societal message music. Did I mention I was poised to go to college and extremely idealistic?
Green - REM
I loved Reckoning and Fables,...but this was the first concert I ever went to. It was one of the best nights I ever had to that point. Oh yeah, and I was in love with Micheal Stipe. Go figure.
Orange - John Spencer Blues Explosion
This was in the post-college years. Bad apartments, sticky clubs, and unemployed boyfriends. But I loved my friend Adelfa, and she turned me on to this band. I still adore JSBX and would pay them $20 a month just for existing on the planet.
Downsizing: The Gold Sparkle Band
Ahhh, this was the weirdest music I'd heard to this point. It challenged me. [The Lizard and Snake in Chapel Hill - the (first)Transmissions Festival,...I saw a guy play a ladder. A LADDER!] Anyway, I was dating a guy in a band, and I sorta hoped they went in this direction. They didn't. Click HERE to hear what experimental jazz sounds like.
Rid of Me - PJ Harvey
Holy crap. This was a paradigm shift for me. PJ was bad-ass and artsy. And not in a Courtney Love kind of way. In a completely unique way that I hadn't seen before, or since, frankly. She was artschool and completely self-assured....I couldn't imagine.
Goo - Sonic Youth
Yes, that's 2 sonic youth albums. I drove my poor roomate crazy in college with this album. I'd force her to listen to it over and over trying to "convert" her somehow. Poor girl. She turned out really well, I'll have you know. Despite the chronic tick anytime you mention "Mildred Pierce". Is it a coincidence that I named my child Veda? Yes,...actually it is. Or is it?....