Strangelove – love and other demons

strangelove

Part 42 of a series that will run the last Friday of each month throughout 2013 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

The mid 90’s were a glorious time to be a music junkie. The Britpop era was in full force and it seemed like every week there was another new band or record that was a “must have”. These were the days before Itunes, torrents, and Bandcamp made it easy to discover new bands and download new songs almost instantly. My routine would usually consist of driving to Siren Records in Doylestown, PA to see if they had what I was looking for. If they didn’t have what I needed, I’d cruise up I-95 until I arrived at the exit for the Princeton Record Exchange. Once I was inside the corridors of the record store, time seemed to stop. I’d wander endlessly (after trading in a ridiculous amount of CD’s for credit, of course). If I didn’t have something in mind, I’d check each CD’s cover art to see if I could figure out what kind of music was waiting for me. And this is the story of how I discovered Strangelove – one of the 50 bands or so that live in my “top 5 of all time” (something like that).

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The Sixth Great Lake – Up the Country

sixthgreatlake

Part 41 of a series that will run the last Friday of each month throughout 2013 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

Well so much for sticking to my “2013 Mission Statement” for this series – I mistakenly thought today was the last Friday of January and only realized it was February when I started thinking about every Pennsylvania native’s version of Christmas, Groundhog’s Day. The good news is that you will get two Flashback Friday articles within the month of February.

In the late 90’s, the Elephant 6 scene really began to intrigue me. The bands with the most press (Olivia Tremor Control, Apples in Stereo) were great, but I began to gravitate towards loosely associated / fringe bands. The 1st band that I began to really listen to was The Ladybug Transistor. Stunning melodies, music that sounded like it was actually made in the 60’s. Album covers that recalled those glorious Bee Gees records from the late 60’s. As I began to dig deeper, I found that some of the band members were also in The Essex Green. Once I discovered The Essex Green, I discovered Guppyboy (slight difference in band members). I adored everything by Guppyboy and The Essex Green – even more than The Ladybug Transistor. This laid the framework for the 2001 release of the debut record by The Sixth Great Lake, Up The Country.

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Dido – No Angel

No Angel

Part 40 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

Perspective can be a curious thing. In the context of the present, a struggle can seem insurmountable – the prospects very dim. With the benefit of hindsight you can look at that very same struggle and think to yourself “It was well worth it. It made me the person I am today”. Everyone’s struggle can be different, and who are we to judge the plights of another fellow human being? You can view this statement in the context of just about any situation you may face in life – whether it is a personal attack on your core beliefs, financial struggles, or even getting a debut record heard by the masses. It isn’t a stretch at all for me to say that the 1st record by Dido, No Angel, was a slow burner that has gained mainstream recognition.

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Metallica – …And Justice for All

justice

Part 39 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

Middle School can be a strange time for a kid (or Jr. High in some school districts).  Emotions run high, new thoughts and feelings start entering the mix. School work can start to feel like…well…work.  The pressure of life and real expectations starts to build in those 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade hallways. Some kids cope with this really well and seem to excel at everything they attempt. Other kids shave their heads, rebel on family trips to Washington D.C., and listen to heavy metal. I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to realize which group I fell into. For me, listening to heavy metal provided an escape from the mundane routines of school (I probably wouldn’t have worded it that way back then, though). Metallica was one of my favorites from that era and in particular, their album …And Justice for All.

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Primal Scream – XTRMNTR

220px-XTRMNTR_album_cover

Part 38 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

The truth can be a curious thing. I once knew a person who would follow each opinionated rude statement with the disclaimer “At least I’m honest”. But what is honesty? Really, each one of us is making judgments based upon our life experiences and spinning our opinions back as “the truth” (not talking about Scientific facts). At what point do opinions and perception become indisputable facts? That really isn’t for me to say – my memories of “truth” are tainted for the reasons outlined above. In the early 00’s, Primal Scream released an album that dealt with truth head on with an amazing display of virtuosity.

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