Hello. I’ve decided to blatantly copy a feature from Pitchfork that I enjoy called 5-10-15-20, in which they ask artists to talk about the music they loved at five year intervals in their lives. So without further ado, off I go into my musical past…


Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is golden. I remember having a synchronized zombie stomp dance with my sister and we would always end up skipping the record player because we jumped around too much. I remember thinking “Billie” was a strange name for a girl, and I spent hours reading the lyrics and staring at the drawing of Paul McCartney and Michael fighting over the girl. I remember being terrified of the “Thriller” video and my Dad would laugh like Vincent Price and scare me more. In short, I was swept up in Michael mania — and it was like it was Halloween all the time, with this album and Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters” on heavy rotation on the radio as well.

Fave song: “Baby Be Mine

AGE 10

Oh man, the days of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, C & C Music Factory, Tone-Loc, Young MC, Kid N Play, “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, and of course the budding superstar of young Will Smith. I still own “He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper” on cassette and consider it a classic in golden age hip hop. The Fresh Prince’s career as a rapper was quickly dwarfed by his hit TV show, but who can argue that “Summertime” still ain’t one hell of a jam? Word.

AGE 15

Wow, a lot sure changed in between the ages of 10 and 15. In those five years I went through an N.W.A. phase, that my parents nipped in the bud by taking away all my rap tapes and buying me a brand new CD player and a bunch of Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull CD’s. I abandoned rap for classic rock and moved from Zeppelin to Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Smashing Pumpkins during the “grunge explosion”. Yet, by the time I was 15 I was starting to search for more “underground” bands. I found Clutch and Monster Magnet and fell in love with their angst and grooves. I would also discover Pavement and Eric’s Trip as well and begin a long love affair with “lo-fi indie rock” too. But, if I have to pick one, it’s got to be “Superjudge” by Monster Magnet. Stoner rock at its finest, Monster Magnet were with me the first time I smoked weed and my head expanded to sounds I never knew existed.

AGE 20

Again, so much music was consumed in this five year span. I was heavily into the post-rock scene via Slint, June of 44, Polvo, Seam, Versus, Trans Am, Gastr Del Sol, The Sea and Cake, and Tortoise. I also started getting into jazz and for some reason had an unhealthy obsession with Jamiroquai for a good two years. What can I say? I love to dance. But “TNT” by Tortoise is the perfect choice for this time period, as it sums up everything that was awesome about post-rock while teetering on the verge of electronica…which is where my musical progression would go in the next 5 years.

AGE 25

It took me a long time to get into electronic music, but when I did it became my entire world. I pretty much stopped listening to anything with guitars. This was an age of discovery for me — from Warp Records “leftfield IDM” stuff to Ninja Tune style breaks ‘n beats to minimal techno to smooth house. It was incredible, how a 4/4 beat could take me anywhere if I just closed my eyes and started dancing. Drugs may have helped the cause and helped my ears hear things in a different way, but once I did it felt odd that I wasn’t able to before. This is a hard one to choose, as I was deeply in love with Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Plastikman, Theorem, Theo Parrish, and Vladislav Delay to name just a few. I also got heavily into dub reggae and fell back into hip hop during these years. Outkast! But I think the album that sums it all up at the age of 25 has gotta be “One Word Extinguisher” by Prefuse 73. Guillermo Scott Herren was like a god to me back then — he seemed so fresh, so versatile, so prolific — he was hip hop, electronica, techno, and pop all at once! And all of his various guises: Savath and Savalas, Delarosa and Asora, and Ahmad Szabo, let alone Prefuse! Yep, that shit was tops. Too bad he was never able to recreate that energy again…

AGE 30

Oh yes, a return to basics. At the time I was still listening to a lot of electronic music, but also a lot of ambient stuff like Marsen Jules, Gas, Loscil, and Donato Wharton. I was also falling in love with some mysterious dude named Burial, and a young kid named Peter Broderick. But it was my man Morrissey and The Smiths who brought it all full circle. A return to rock and roll. And nowadays, I listen to everything, there’s no genre exclusivity. I’m a goddamn sponge. Here’s looking forward to the next five years. That was fun. Peace.

But seriously, how could I not mention TOOL?

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