Monday, April 20, 2009

I’ve got my pencil … gimme somethin to write on!

This is where the going gets tough. The first ten (here and here) were easy; most of them just popped into my head and made the list. The last five will be easy (there’s a common theme -- wait for it!). But this group is where I had to make some tough decisions. Honorable Mentions will appear at the end of part four.

1984 (Van Halen, 1984)
I was ten. My brother was 13. He had 1984, his friends all had 1984, they played it as loud as their sad early-80s boom boxes would allow ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT. I mean it. All day. All night. They drew the flying VH logo all over everything, they air-guitared, they endangered lives and property with jumps and kicks, they commandeered the goddamn TV when I was watching That’s Incredible! so they could mainline the videos ten hundred times a day. To me, this was what ROCK MUSIC sounded like.

Nevermind (Nirvana, 1991)
Bought this the first week it was out. Could not stop listening to it. I don’t often catch music trends on the way up, but this one I got, with a quickness. And you can’t even say it’s about Grohl. Him, I didn’t know about until the "Big Me" video, at which point I was like, "ohhhhh … Grohl. Yes, I see what you did there." And then it turned out he was a D superfan like myself, and shit, kids -- that’s all you had to say.

The Muppet Movie (the Jim Henson Company, 1979)
I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I played this LP. I had this little plastic record player, and I’m pretty sure only the one record (until Thriller and Footloose came along). Looking at the track listing, there’s not a song on there that I don’t know the words to (and better & more reflexively than I know the alphabet), and also, it occurs to me that this stuff – while unquestionably awesome – is for the most part really fucking depressing. Maybe not “Can You Picture That,” but certainly “Never Before, Never Again,” “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday”, and “Rainbow Connection.” Yikes. No wonder I was such a moody, angsty kid, with this stuff packed deep into the fatty cells of the brain tissue.

Trompe le Monde (Pixies, 1991)
Look, I told you I have a problem with always being late to the party. I could lie and tell you I totally knew all about Surfer Rosa, but I didn’t, until I got this one (after reading a review in Rolling Stone). Fuck you. But it’s got “UMass” and “Motorway to Roswell” and the JMC cover “Head On,” so who cares which came first? Besides, like I said, converts are the worst zealots.

Vauxhall and I (Morrissey, 1994)
The summer of 1994, Mr. Gleemonex (then BF Gleemonex) and I shared a cockroach-infested Harlem apartment with six other people from school, doing unpaid internships and getting our “groceries” (I use the term loosely) at a severely downmarket store called C-Town. But our friend T. had his parents’ place way out on Long Island all to himself that summer, and we went out on the LIRR pretty much every weekend. T would pick us up from the station, we’d get real groceries & some booze, we’d pick the best of his parents’ amazing garden, we’d cook and drink and go to the beach and listen to the new Moz. It was one of the best summers of my life.

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Blogger Uncle Spike said...

YES on the Muppet Movie soundtrack. Major memories in that one for me, too. And utterly unavailable anywhere now. One of the great disappointments of the world.
Can't wait to see which 5 you choose next...can't wait to see how you narrow it down to 5.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Panda!!!! said...

Gawd, your music memories stir up similar ones in my own head!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

We are almost the same age, after all, dear Panda. :-)

Uncle Spike: Isn't that a crime? Plus stupid -- you'd think they'd know how much $$$ they'd make off of it, right? Maybe there'll be a reissue following the Jason Segel Muppet movie coming up ...

The Final Five share a common denominator. Just you wait. Heh.

Also, there's already one I left off the first 15 that I am KICKING myself for forgetting ... will put it along with the Honorable Mentions at the end.

9:15 AM  
Blogger francine said...

i took gymnastics when i was 7 and 1984 played constantly over and over. we would all get really jazzed up to practice cartwheels and tuck jumps to (big surprise) jump.

10:14 AM  

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