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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Pulp – Different Class

Part 37 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

Human sexuality can be such a curious thing. Each one of us walks around with our own little secrets and sexual history. We are secure with the knowledge that each experience is our own, private moments in our memories that no one else can possibly share. Or can they? The world’s population is steadily increasing, so it is pretty clear that other humans are making love, having sex, fucking, or whatever else you want to call it these days. What happens when someone says everything you aren’t supposed to say about sex? You might know someone in your circle of friends (sometimes that is me, I’ll admit) or admire a comedian that walks this dangerous path (Louis C.K. perhaps). How about a record filled with these private moments? Not in the Marvin Gaye, classic “make love” mode. I’m talking about the sexy but creepy guy giving a play-by-play commentary on each move.

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eels – electro-shock blues

Part 36 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

In the late Autumn of 2008 I received notice that my Grandfather (mom’s side) was deathly ill and in the hospital. I quickly made plans to grab a direct flight to Philadelphia from Seattle to spend a weekend with my Grandfather. It is a curious feeling to move 3000 miles away from where you grew up and start a new life. In the Pacific Northwest, my friends and family know who I am and what I stand for. We may not always agree, but we always have fun debating things over coffee. People who know me from my formative years in Pennsylvania can have differing opinions. An adult steps off of the plane, but is instantly viewed as a child. Questions about life choices (Why did you leave your parent’s faith?) and other preconceived notions could be read on the faces of family and old friends. All I wanted to do was spend time with my Grandfather. Music can be a godsend, and the soundtrack that helped me cope with these things on that weekend was electro-shock blues by eels.

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John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band – Eddie & The Cruisers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Part 35 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

When I was a 10-year-old kid (give or take a year or two) one of the major cable stations (HBO or PRISM) played the movie Eddie and the Cruisers non-stop. The movie (based on the book by P.F. Kluge) concerned a mysterious singer in a band that had been ahead of their time. It featured Michael Pare as Eddie and a supporting cast that would go on to be extremely famous in other film roles (Tom Berenger, Ellen Barkin, Joe Pantoliano). The movie was trashed by critics upon release but eventually found a cult following as a result of the nonstop plays on cable. The mood was overly dramatic with the plot focused around the disappearance of singer Eddie Wilson. Was he alive or wasn’t he? It remains one of my favorite movies ever created.

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Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle

Part 34 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

The early 90’s were a very strange time period. As someone who was in high school from 1991 to 1995 (yes, I graduated) I saw the mainstreaming of the Grunge era as the G-Funk era simultaneously exploded on MTV and radio stations. You would think that these two very different genres (fuzzy rock n roll VS gangsta rap) would also have two very different fan bases – but it wasn’t quite like that. My friends and I would listen to all the latest CD’s – it was very common for me to swap out my Nirvana and Pearl Jam CD’s for Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Personally, I’d listened to a bit of N.W.A. a few years earlier and had really loved what I heard – it couldn’t prepare me for the 1 -2 punch of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle. I love both records, but I slightly prefer the paranoid world that inhabits Snoop’s record.

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