A Song for Every Year Part 2


Jan 9 2008, 7h02

First part is here:Part 1 (1965-1983)

Here's what I'm doing:

I was born in 1965, and I'm sitting at 1,964 played tracks. A song for every year of my life, corresponding with the number of plays?

Of course it's ridiculously geeky, but it'll be fun, too. And I'll never have this opportunity again.

(Using Windows Media to sort my albums by year)

Most choices: 2006, 12.1 hours
Least choices: 1973, 2 songs, 6 minutes. And that's OK because I like them both.

Oh, I don't intend each song to represent anything special about my musical journey or anything. And I'm constrained by what's on my computer. So what. Fun project. Live blog, more or less, and I have the time to kill.

1984: Husker Du proved that punk could be psychedelic, too, particularly with the exemplary Chartered Trips. Gorgeous shredded guitar, melody under fuzz mountains. It's probably difficult for some younger listeners to imagine how difficult this was back when--what they did seeped into a bunch of bands that became very popular, and now it almost sounds regular.

1985: I have a whole post cooking up about R.E.M., so I'll just say that Wendell Gee has always occupied a warm place in my music parts. Built a trunk of lizard skin and then he climbed inside, yes indeed. (Yes there waaaaaaaaaas...)

1986: Somehow last.fm has subtracted a track somewhere and now I'm a year behind in my count. Don't piss off my autistic side, last.fm, or I'll count the shit out of you. Anyway. I know it's a personal failing, but I have never been able to get into jazz (much). John Zorn is a sometime exception to that, and yes I know that jazz nerds will probably object that John Zorn isn't jazz. All the better, if that's the case. Get off my lawn, jazz nerds. Forbidden Fruit is one of the most terrifying and awe-inspiring pieces of music I have ever heard. Turntablist Christian Marclay makes a bunch of string quartets do his evil bidding. Metal bands wish they could sound this evil.

1987: Painted myself into a corner with that segue, so this has got to be my all-time favorite metal track, The Ultra-Violence. It's long, but it always sounds like it's going somewhere, and it's fierce, and it rips off Tubular Bells, which is a very cool theft. But chief among its virtues is the lack of singing. I would probably like metal a lot more if metal vocalists could figure out some other way of singing besides the high-pitched inhuman wailing or the guttural inhumal grunting. Bunch of drama queens. (Death Angel)

1988: Camper Van Beethoven seems to be getting forgotten these days, which is the ultimate fate of all bands anyway, but they were really good and unique, too. She Divines Water encapsulates a lot of what I like about them: the twangy/folky guitar and the crazy violin leading into the random noise-bursts of tapes and stuff. Very psychedelic.

1989: Love the funky sampling-era Beastie Boys, love the three Jewish kids Shadrach, Meschach, Abednego.

1990: I discovered the Pixies very late when I heard Velouria on a staticky Canadian radio station while driving cross-country with my future ex-wife. I immediately fell in love (with the band, not the future ex-wife--we were already in love), and upon buying all the earlier stuff, figured out that I had been hearing it for the past year in the kitchen of the restaurant where I worked. We had some very cool cooks.

1991: Meat Puppets have started to kinda suck recently, but back then they were pretty reliable purveyors of this kind of divine foolishness, which is possibly something that no one considers important. Sam.

1992: Pavement is the ONLY choice I could possibly make here. Hearing Slanted and Enchanted was one of the half-dozen or so moments in my life when I felt like a piece of music changed my whole way of listening. Yeah, that's pretentious as shit. But that's how I feel. Once I had a very vivid dream that I was at someone's yard party, and The Beatles were up on a tiny little stage doing a cover of Trigger Cut. John was singing the lead, and Paul was doing the falsetto sha-la-las. What I wouldn't give to hear that again.

1993: After getting divorced, met the future ex-love of my life at a 9:30 Club concert by The Posies. Long story that doesn't end well, so I'll skip it for now, but it was a great show. Love Letter Boxes is a highlight, although I think Dream All Day has a better chance to be still remembered fondly in 100 years.

1994: whiskeyclone hotel city 1997: love the crinkly wrinkled guitar. She can talk to squirrels, yeah. High weirdness. I still can't believe Beck got to be popular. It's not that he's not good--he's ridiculously great, at least on his best albums--it's that I can't believe the American public embraced something so utterly bizarre and rejected something so much more mass-palatable like The Posies.

1995: No Protection is pretty much the gold standard of remix albums. On Eternal Feed Back, Mad Professor dreams up the trippiest noises. It was this album that fully convinced me that electronic music was worthwhile, and enjoyable. A good friend of mine heavily into classic pop and R & B finds this cold, but I think he just can't hear the warmth, the hands on the decks, the blazing intelligence behind the idea of the mix. Not a criticism, necessarily. There's stuff I can't hear, too. I know this because I can think of dozens of bands that I didn't like until I finally heard them. Taste is a funny thing.

1996: Does anybody else remember the cool video forStereolab's The Noise of Carpet? It had a giant mechanical bug flying around in it. But I'd love this song even if I'd never seen the video.

1997: The main guy from Fuck, Tim Prudhomme, was in a local band called Bobbo back in the 80s in my hometown of Baton Rouge. He had a Joey Ramone thing going on back then, with the long straight black hair and sunglasses. My friend Chip dressed as him for Halloween one year, which was great because being a local underground semi-celebrity for Halloween is pretty hip. Tim and his band Bobbo moved to Athens to catch onto R.E.M.'s wake, but they ended up in nowheresville and Tim ended up doing this Fuck thing.Fuck Motel has a magnetic hipbone and a lovely melody.

1998: The obvious choice here is the outstanding Neutral Milk Hotel, but I am daunted by how much there is to be said about Jeff Mangum's masterpiece. Somebody needs to write a book. Oh yeah, somebody did. So I choose the lesser-known Home song Bogeymen, which only tackles the theological problem of evil, ultimately locating the problem as an inherent and irredeemable part of the human soul rather than any external bogeyman. Plus it's got a wicked suffering breakdown of the whole DNA of the song at the end.

1999: 69 Love Songs is such a behemoth of an achievement, it's hard to pick one song. No, not all 69 songs are good, but about 45 of them are, and I guess today I'll pick If You Don't Cry. Back when I was getting over the previously-mentioned love of my life, I used to listen to this song and cry, and cry, and cry. Then I would write my own songs, and laugh, and then cry some more. I was a mess.

2000: Air's Playground Love is just drenched with something, I don't know what it is. I really was tempted to do godspeed you! black emperor here, but it's getting late, and I just don't have time. Which is probably why I tend to prefer short songs. Who's got time for all that?


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