July 25, 2010

That One Song

I promised this one a long time ago it seems...

We all have bands that we feel connected to on another level. The ones that we have what would be considered a torrid love affair with. Some we lose touch with and we only have memories. Some retire from making and playing music and slip into being "classic". Some stay with us no matter what and we wait for every new album and buy tickets the first day when we know they're coming to town. We feel like they are our band. We feel closer to someone that shares a love for that band. It cuts us if someone claims they don't like them, because it's pretty much an attack on ourselves.

We like all kinds of music, but that kind of relationship with a band is rare. And like any relationship you can trace it back to the moment when it really clicked. With a band, it's usually one song. These are those bands for me at this point in my life, and that one song that made me love them...

Queensryche is the first band that was really mine. Yeah, I liked some bands before them. I was a fan of The Police first, and actually appreciate them more now than I did then. I liked Duran Duran because my sister was obsessed with John Taylor and played them constantly. I moved on to hard rock and heavy metal, finally getting into my own niche when I would visit my cousin and listen to his Maiden, Ozzy, Zeppelin and AC/DC albums. The guitar riff was my new religion. My walls were covered in Maiden and Ozzy posters.

Then one time he put on this tape...Queensryche's Rage for Order. It was alright. The singer was unreal and the guitars were tight, but it was a little too synthy and the sci-fi lyrics were kind of out there. A few years later I'm listening to the radio and I hear they have a new album coming out. A concept album. That was new for me and then the radio played one of the songs. The singer was still unreal but the guitars were tighter and heavier and the drums were pounding. And it was about a serious political and religious shit and this was right about the time I was starting to watch the news and learn not to blindly trust those in power, and to question my faith. To think for myself. The song was "Speak" and I they've been my band ever since....

Queensryche - Speak
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Pearl Jam was the second band that hooked me. I was maybe a junior in high school when grunge hit. I fully embraced the scene and was into all the music. I think the kind of music we're into in high school will always be the genre we relate to the most. That we listen to most often, know the most about, and remember the most fondly.

Pearl Jam was just another band in a blossoming scene when I first heard them. They were obviously something a little different sound wise, but this I was an MTv kid and sometimes visuals can trick us and a band will get lost in the crowd. Pearl Jam wasn't any more special than Nirvana or Soundgarden to me even after hearing Alive, Evenflow and Jeremy. Then I was watching them on Unplugged. And they played that one song...and it was a synergy of music, lyrics and performance that caught me. There was more to them than just grunge and flannel. They were just playing fucking rock music and the music means everything to them. The song was "Porch"...

I don't need to spend much time talking about Tool. They are artists. Geniuses. They bend my mind along with my ears. Visually and aurally. There is nothing quite like them. Everyone should see them live at least once.

I'm sitting on a couch at home watching MTv and this video comes on and...Riveted doesn't quite cut it. Really, love at first sight/sound does exist. Sober....

Finally there's Bad Religion. I wish this was the first band I was talking about. I find them until I was in college, which was over a decade into their existence. I was talking about punk music with a few friends and someone brought up Bad Religion. My response was, "Oh yeah, those 21st Century Digital Boy guys...I didn't think they were punk". The look I received is probably the same you've given someone that said something you considered to be the epitome of ignorance. And I deserved that look.

The same friend made me a copy of their album Suffer and told me to listen to it. I put it on in the background while I was working on some project about representing the elements in abstraction that was utterly boring me to death. I was nodding my head to the music, enjoying it but only letting it wash over me...not really catching any lyrics. I knew I was going to like them and seek out more because the music was really getting me. Then that one song came on...I played it back over and over, rewinding the tape, getting into the lyrics. This was punk with brains...with a message. And I was totally fucking digging it. "You're a sidewalk cipher speaking prionic jive". "What the fuck" was all I had after deciphering that.

I've probably become a bigger fan than the guy who gave me the tape. Give You Nothing....

about me. not really.

dear you,

i don't talk about my child or being a mom. i don't talk about my garden. i won't mention my craftiness (often) or how much i save each week with coupons. if you're looking for that sort of thing, you're in the wrong place.

instead, let's abandon the tethers of domestication for a moment and remember what it's like to laugh at vulgarity and the world at large.



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