Tectonic Music - 08.10.98

I'll admit that when I was a kid, I really jammed to country music. I went to an Alabama concert with my mom when I was 8 and thought that it was one of the greatest things. Basically, it was the only thing that I was exposed to then. Both of my parents listened to it, and so did my babysitter. Soon after my country phase, I discover oldies. My mom had a 6 cassette set of the best of the oldies laying around, and I got hooked on it. Then I went through a period of time where that was all I listened to. The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly totally grooved my noodle.

After a little while longer, I discovered other kinds of music. I would flip all over the musical dial and then land it on whatever sounded good. In 1984, my dad (who never really liked them anyway) won tickets to see Van Halen and he took me. At the time, I was ten years old and I had never seen anything quite like it. There was an arena full of people, and they were all screaming and freaking out. David Lee Roth stood up on the stage and belted out the groups big hits like "Jump" and "Panama."

Then, really strange things started happening. Women started throwing their bra's up on the stage and Roth started swearing away at the crowd. Everyone was going wild and I thought it was great. The drummer started into his drum solo, but my dad thought that I had seen enough. He got up and we left the show, right as everything was starting to get exciting. After the show, he gave me the standard lecture about how I shouldn't swear, etc. My ears were ringing, but I had just experience my first real taste of rock and roll. As I grew, rock is what I listened to. It was still too early for the grunge thing to have happened, but I jammed to Def Leppard and Poison. I enjoyed almost all the great hair bands of the 80's, and when Appettite For Destruction came out, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I was in junior-high and my friends and I would skateboard around while playing it as loud as we could on whatever boombox was handy.

Just after junior-high, I went through another phase. I discovered rap music. For some reason or another, my favorite group was Digital Underground. I had all their albums and thought that they were the best. I also listened to other artists like Rob Base, Ice T, and Kool Moe Dee. I snagged up tapes and dubbed everything that I could from friends. I was always quite fond of the stuff with lots of bass and a bunch of scratching.

Then, one day I heard a song by a group called Love and Rockets. It was one of the coolest things ever. I sat up nights listening to my radio on my headphones, hoping that the song would come on the radio and I could tape it. Soon after this, my musical horizons got completely shattered. I heard music by the Cure, REM, and the Smiths. I started spending less of my money on comics and more of it on cassette tapes.

My junior year (1991-92), I got my drivers license and busted out even more. I would go to music stores and just sit and listen to everything that I could. I discovered groups like Nine Inch Nails, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Helmet. Eventually, I made friends at the stores I went to and they would recommend things to me.

One day, I specifically remember going in and looking through the used bin at a music store in a nearby city. A friend of mine at the store came out from behind the counter and shoved a CD in my face that he said had just arrived that day. We walked over to the counter and he popped it into one of the CD players that you could listen to used discs on. The first few notes of the music made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It was the "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff, but it had a distinct edge to it. It then went into a sort of pitch distortion and a huge beat kicked in. I skipped through a couple of the other tracks and knew that I had to have it. Rave Til Dawn was my first introduction to techno music, and I was totally hooked.

The very next week, I went into the same store and my friend again had something for me. He said, "this will freak the shit out of you." I remembered looking at the cover and seeing a very scantily-clad woman with her body half covered in shadow. Every single song on the album had something to do with sex, and most of it was very explicit. I had to have it also. It was the Lords Of Acid's first album, Lust, one that I still own.

When I listen to those two albums now, some of the same feeling isn't there anymore. I still enjoy playing them once in awhile, and I can appreciate what I did see in them. When I'm in the right mood, they still sound pretty damn good. It's pretty much like that with everything I own. I could probably associate a time, place, or feeling with each album (and song in many cases) that I have. I don't think that there's anyone out there that doesn't do some of the same.

In that way, music plays a very important part of my life. I own a ton of music, and something is usually playing during most of my waking hours. In a (hopefully) comedic piece I wrote about music obsession some time ago, I ranked pretty high.

I know lots of people that can listen to whatever comes on the radio, and don't even care what station they have it on when they do listen. I, however, am exactly opposite of this. Although I enjoy a nice bit of silence once in awhile, the majority of my life has had music playing in the background. As mentioned above, I have music that I associate with everything. I own albums that span every genre and musical style (although I am now detrimentially effected by country music). If someone asks why I always have something playing, I usually say something about music simply acting as the soundtrack for my life (but maybe that's partially because I'm also kind of obsessive about movies).