Saturday, April 19, 2008

My First: No Business

Negativland: Favorite Things

[purchase] from Amazon, or better yet...
[purchase] direct from the band! (psst... there are a couple more songs to listen to for free behind this link!)

I'd planned on posting up a few more numbers this week, under the various formats I first purchased, but... You know how it goes: Fella gets busy (or lazy), so fella don't follow through on intentions. It's the sad, same story, so I will spare details. I will, however, share my first legal internet music acquisition (or at least a song off said album): Negativland's "No Business".

For those of you that are not familiar with the group, Negativland are a cut-up, collage-y sort of art collective based out of San Francisco, CA. A decent description of the group, from their own website, can be read.

Their biggest claim to fame, probably, is the "U2 Fiasco", wherein Ireland's favorite sons sued the pants off the San Francisco group, to the point that Negativland was dropped by their label, made to destroy master-tapes, and, well, basically screwed to the wall. Yeah, I know...

The "No Business" release breaks ground, even for Negativland. The entire album was created out of material illegally downloaded from the internet. And they didn't get sued for this one? Yeah, I know...

"No Business" didn't chart anywhere.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My First: Last Train To Clarksville

The Monkees: Last Train To Clarksville


When I was about 9 or 10 years old my favorite music in the world was The Beach Boys, The Grease Soundtrack (crush on Olivia), and—number one in my heart—The Monkees. Back then the old Monkees TV show was shown in reruns after school got out. Mickey was my favorite Monkee because of his wacky sense of humor. So, when I got my own personal record player, the first “record” I bought was this 45 rpm single.

I never could have imagined that, years later, I’d be making a vinyl rip of the same single to post on the internet. But here it is…

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My First: Teenage Wasteland!

The Who: Baba O’Riley


Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living.
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven.
Has anybody seen the short-lived TV show called Freaks and Geeks? It was a pretty good show, or at least I think so. Probably because the younger brother in the show, Sam, was me. I was the same age (14), in the same state (Michigan), at the same time (early 1980s), with the same social prospects as that little 14-year kid (hopelessly pining for the beautiful, friendly, popular girl). My high school even had the same odd nickname (the Norsemen). So, basically, I was clueless and girls were scary.

My musical knowledge consisted of Top 40 radio (Hall & Oates, Toto, Journey) and my parents’ record collection (Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, The Carpenters). Then I went to some kind of “band” party to make a homecoming float and I heard “Teenage Wasteland.” It blew me away. I was ready to enter the teenage wasteland. This might have been the first time music really moved me. I found out that the song was really called “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.

The next day I took my newspaper delivery money and rode my bike down to Harmony House to find the record by The Who with the song Baba O’Riley. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Better yet, my parents didn’t really like it. I’ve been a devoted music fan ever since.

The Who are not a very fashionable group these days, but damn if Keith’s drumming still doesn’t get my blood pumping.

Bonus tunes:

The Who: Love Ain't For Keeping
Petra Haden: Don't Stop Believin'

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My First: Nevermind

Nirvana: Polly


I bought this one as a gift for my brother. He introduced me to everything back then, and I somehow managed to overhear about this record that he somehow didn't have yet. He was a serious Nirvana fan. I've always enjoyed their songs over their sound. But I remember exactly where I was when I heard about Kurdt's death.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My First: King Of Rock

Run DMC: King Of Rock


This was the first CD I ever bought. I got it used at Wazoo Records in Ann Arbor when CD’s were a brand new thing. I might not even have the player, but I could never pass up a bargain. And I figured a used CD was just as good as a new one, since the markering people at the record companies were saying that you could play frisbee with them and they would still play perfectly. Ha!

Its funny to hear this compared to the hip hop of today. It’s like comparing Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the featured number:

I'm one def rapper, I know I can hang
I'm Run from Run-DMC, like Kool from Kool and the Gang

My name is Darryl, you can call him D
You can call me Darryl Mack, or you can call him DMC
People always ask, "DMC, what does it mean?"
D's for never dirty, MC for mostly clean

Every jam we play, we break two needles
There's three of us but we're not the Beatles

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My first: The Guns Of Brixton

I can still recall the first single I´ve ever bought, thanks to an older nephew. A totally cool dude with long Beatle hair, an Afghan coat and an adorable girlfriend, he needless to say made quite an impression on innocent eleven year old me. The poor guy had to entertain me for a day for some reason, and did so with flair. First he took me to the chip shop, and later he drove over to the local record store and told me I could pick any single I wanted. After much nervous deliberation, I chose I Don´t Want To Die In An Air Disaster by Albert Hammond, which was riding high in the charts in ´74. Not too embarrassing for a first buy I guess, and good memories. It´s probably gathering dust up in the attic at my mum´s now, so I can´t share it here. Maybe Matt´s got it. By the way: I had almost forgotten that song until it got quite a lot of airplay in the aftermath of 9/11. My first album probably came a year later, and it was either a Beatles or a Dylan best of. My first cd was London Calling. Had to replace it as the cassette I had taped off a friend had broken, and I couldn´t picture myself without it. And I still can´t.

My First: On The Outside

Oingo Boingo: On The Outside


By the time I purchased my first Walkman, I had left behind the 70's rock of my youth and had embraced the post-punk new-music scene (complete with sleeveless DEVO turtleneck which I actually wore to school several times. I was never exactly a magnet with the ladies). You know how there are some songs that made such an impression on you that you remember exactly where you were when you first heard them? This track is like that for me. I was 14 years old, in the corridor of my junior high school, when a friend put his headphones over my ears and let me hear a brand new band, Oingo Boingo. The song was On The Outside. I bought the album, Only A Lad, that very day; the first cassette I ever purchased.

This post was submitted by SMM reader Berrett. Thanks for the posts Berrett!

My First: Don't Look Back

Boston: Don't Look Back


The first album I ever owned was The White Album, which my father gave to me for my 10th birthday. However, the first album I ever purchased for myself, with my own money, was Boston: Don't Look Back. My dad had a lot better taste than I did. I was eleven year's old when Don't Look Back was released. After I heard the title track on the radio I asked my mom for a ride to Tower Records to pick up the LP. Where the White Album was difficult for me to digest at that age, Don't Look Back's harmonized vocal hooks and effected guitar solos grabbed my attention immediately, causing me to involuntarily launch into pre-pubescent air-guitar sessions on the side of my bed. Seventies arena rock only held my interest for a couple of years, but for me it marked the moment when I began to define my own musical preferences. For that reason I honor Boston's contribution to my musical life. Long live Boston and their flying space guitar!

This post was submitted by SMM reader Berrett.