In 1986 I slept over a friend's house. His older sister was a senior in high school and a part-time model. A brunette with long flowing hair, even longer legs, and I was sure, an absolutely perfect face. She was a goddess with an obscene amount of eyeliner, and even though I was a prepubescent, I was enthralled. Normally Michelle would not even acknowledge my existence, but that night, for some reason, she decided to educate us about music. We (my friend and I -- Michelle went out on a date) watched her VHS copy of "The Cure's Staring at the Sea: The Images," a compilation of all of the Cure's videos up to that point. I was hooked. If girls like that listened to such music, then why didn't I? That night, I became a "Waver" and have not looked back since.
One year later I was in the local library and picked up a copy of New Order's Substance. (Yes, when young and poor, you get your music from the library.) Now I am no dance music person. At best I tolerate music with beats, but there was something about this album that has held me enthralled for 22 years. The first track, Ceremony, has always stuck with me. Authored by Ian Curtis of Joy Division, the track was among the first New Order ever recorded, and you can tell Bernard is struggling to find his own vocal style. I used to repeat the chorus over and over during the dark days of Junior High: Oh I'll break them down. No mercy shown. Heaven knows it's got to be this time.
A number of my friends were really into the Smiths during my Junior High days, but I just didn't get it. To long, slow, and grandiose for my taste. High School changed that. After being publicly humiliated and dumped by my "one true love," Kimberly Sauer, the Smiths could better express my pain than I could. Odd how sad music could bring solace, but it did.
After a few years away (a mission will do that to you), grad school issued in my second full force plunge into the punk scene. And one song more than any other is responsible: AFI's God Called in Sick Today. Granted the lyrics are nigh unto nonsensical, but the mood and atmosphere of the music pulled me in. While the Smiths healed my broken heart, AFI made me punk all over again.
Have a little patience with the video. It's a bit cheesy but the music is worth it. (My favorite is when the author spells out "Whoa." Very Dramatic.)
And that's just the down payment. More picks to come.
Other Fish in the Sea...
6 years ago