yes, i’m fully aware that this is a facebook meme going around, but because i’d just end up cross-posting anyway, i decided to put it on my blog and import to facebook. (if you’re reading this on facebook, then nevermind.)
Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of, they musically shaped your world. They stood up, they lasted, they mattered. They still matter, in some way (even if only in memory). When you finish, tag 25 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part, yadda yadda yadda. Doesn’t have to be The 25. Just the 25 Right Now, as memory and listening demand. In no necessary order. Unless you want order.
i’m going to attempt to go in chronological order here. we’ll see how that goes.
1. they might be giants – flood
i liked “lincoln” a lot, but “flood” i got into because a high school crush loved it, so i loved it too. not that it did anything to get him to like me as anything more than a friend. *sigh* and of course, it reminds me of kate, and i quote her: “My favorite memory associated with this album is singing it at the top of my lungs with Stef in my super sweet Geo Storm on the way back home from Ichthus. Um hum. I said Ichthus.” ahh, good times.
2. breeders – last splash
because “cannonball” simply rocked. and because, at the time, channel z 107.1 was the only decent station in cincinnati at the time and played the breeders all the time. (and channel z will perhaps always be the only decent radio station in cincinnati. NOTE: oxford is not cincinnati, and WOXY does not count.) channel z probably did the most to form my musical tastes and what they are today.
3. björk – debut
another channel z album. i loved this album, and how crazy björk was is. most of the reason for this is because i always felt like i was kind of “weird” and didn’t exactly fit in in high school, and listening to björk made me realize that i shouldn’t really preoccupy myself with what other people thought (because björk so obviously doesn’t), and that in fact, some people even make a crapload of money off of their weirdness.
4. over the rhine – eve
i also acquired a taste for some local music whilst developing my burgeoning musical tastes…most (if not all) of the reason why i like these guys is because of my BFF at the time, micah, had a connection to the band. (although, the more people i got to know, it seemed like EVERYONE in cincinnati had a connection to the band.) i went to the “eve of eve” concert at seasongood pavilion in eden park in 1994, and to this day, it remains my favorite over the rhine show. in my opinion (and a few other old-school fans), this is the best over the rhine album out of them all.
5. lemonheads – come on feel the lemonheads
i liked this album because a particular german exchange student (that i had a head-over-heels crush on) (even more than the “they might be giants” guy) taped it for me and gave it to me. in my somewhat immature high school mind, he may as well have given me his class ring so i could wrap string around it and slather it with clear nail polish so it would fit me.
6. ace of base – the sign
DEAR GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE I ACTUALLY TYPED THAT. wanna hear something even more sad and/or pathethic? (which, is that even possible? really?) before my german crush moved back to deutschland, i gave him a tape with the song “don’t turn around” on it…i was so mopey about him leaving, it was obviously meant to be some sort of sad tale about how he was “leaving me behind”. and to this day, whenever i hear this song (which, thankfully, is very rare), i cringe with embarrassment and have to turn it off. i literally cannot listen to this song without feeling like i want to gouge my eyes out or throw myself off a cliff in utter humiliation. (also? this is probably the sole reason why i personally never make mixed CDs with a specific person in mind. EVER.)
7. various – reality bites soundtrack
right, so, i never actually SAW this movie until i was in college, but in high school, this was probably one of the first movies that seemed like it paid attention to the music on the soundtrack (except for, you know, disney movies and stuff). for some reason, i have vivid memories of riding around in kristy’s car on warm summer nights with the windows down while listening to this album. it was before student loans, paying rent, and buying my own food. life without real responsibilities was nice.
8. counting crows – august and everything after
how can you NOT like this album? i’m not even talking about “mr. jones,” but…c’mon, a murder of one? brilliant. OMAHA?? best song on the album, hands down. of course, this is one girl’s opinion, but it’s the only one that matters*, so just go with it. (*i kid. mostleh.)
9. various – city of angels soundtrack
yes, yes, of course, the somewhat whiny alanis morrisette song. which was okay. but i particularly liked gabriel yared’s instrumental pieces at the end of the soundtrack. it was my first foray into listening to instrumental music that actually made me FEEL something and wasn’t just background music. i’ve definitely expanded my genres in instrumental music since then….
10. ashley macisaac – hi how are you today
i have yet to meet someone who has heard of this guy (besides through me). he is an incredibly talented fiddler from nova scotia. and he wears docs with his kilt. i actually have this CD in my car right now, and i still listen to it 14 years later. almost the entire album gives me this uncontrollable urge to dance, and sometimes i do. even in my car. if you see me doing this on the highway, feel free to point and laugh. i’ll probably just ignore you anyway.
(holy shit this is taking an incredibly long time to write. for the sake of brevity, my descriptions are just going to have to be shorter.) (dammit.)
11. luscious jackson – fever in fever out
this album reminds me of sarah, one of my college roommates. she especially loved the song “electric” and would play it repeatedly while dancing around with a smile on her face. it makes me happy to think about it.
12. sarah maclachlan – surfacing
when the above-mentioned friend sarah and i shared a room in college, we strung christmas lights up around the room (hey, it gave off better light than lamps did) and we’d listen to this album while we smoked, drank wine and talked for hours. i also spent many a night during that time falling asleep to this album. it brings back some nice college memories.
13. rage against the machine – battle for los angeles
for a short while i owned a small blue station wagon. (this kind, not this, thank god.) i listened to this album a lot in that car. there was a lot of other shit going on in my life around this time, and the righteous anger in this album really struck a chord with me. (no pun intended.)
14. coldplay – parachutes
i bought this album for £5 at a mall in coventry (or was it birmingham? help me out here, steve) when i was visiting my friend steve for the first time “irl” (we met online). as soon as i start up the CD, i’m immediately reminded of steve, and of riding on a national express bus from coventry down to london to meet up with some other friends.
15. ben folds – the unauthorized biography of reinhold messner
i listened to this entire album nonstop while i was driving up to chicago and back to hang out with dug for new years’ eve. this is also the first ben folds album that i ever heard, and i was incredibly surprised that all of his music didn’t sound like “brick” (a song which left me wholly unimpressed by mr. folds). my friend brian was the one who got me into ben folds, and am i ever glad that he did. (he also tried, rather unsuccessfully, to get me into the eels and wilco, god bless ‘im.)
16. keane – hopes and fears
this one of the albums that sam gave me back in the day, when we were sending each other packages in the mail on a weekly basis (usually consisting of CDs or books and a hastily-handwritten note). he must have known how much i love piano rock.
17. sufjan stevens – illinoise
i love, love, LOVE this album. i love that there are a bajillion instruments on the album, that there’s so much variety on it, and the way his music makes me feel like i’m listening to some sort of indie rock/folk musical. also, he’s a bit of a geek. i had a chat with him when he was in cincinnati back in 2007, and he kept tripping over his words and correcting himself when he was saying my name (he combined his name and mine and kept calling me “sophie”) (yeah, i don’t know how he got that, either), and was generally socially awkward. which was fine, because i’m not exactly what you would call a “smooth talker” around musicians i love. so to recap: musician+geek+cute+music i love=the perfect man.
18. snow patrol – final straw
another one of the many albums that sam sent me. i have vivid memories of walking up the hill from the freedom center garage to work on warm summer mornings while listening to this album. it’s entirely possible that i listened solely to this album for several weeks. i do that sometimes. i did the same thing with…
19. sigur rós – takk…
i love this album because, for me, it creates this all-encompassing world in my mind where i can go and simply exist for awhile. i don’t have to think about work, family obligations, errands i have to run. the rest of the world just seems to fall away to this gray area on the fringes of my mind when i listen to this album. also, they put on a KICK ASS live show.
i know that this list isn’t complete, but right now, my brain hurts from mentally searching through my musical archives. also, it’s 3:38am and i’ve been typing for over 2 hours. it’s a good thing tomorrow today is saturday, is all i’m sayin’.