Posts Tagged ‘5-10-15-20’

5-10-15-20

October 13, 2012

Welcome to INAUDIBLE’s third installment of 5-10-15-20 in which we blatantly lift a feature from Pitchfork and use it to ask fantastic people about their torrid and varied musical love affairs at five year intervals of their lives thus far. This third edition features Montreal based music pundit Michael Ellis having visceral auditory flashbacks of the albums and artists that helped shape him into the man he is today.

AGE 5

Some of my first memories of being on this big gay earth are connected with family vacations to Rice Lake. I looked it up recently and I can’t figure out why my parents would drive all the way there with four sons fighting and shouting the entire time. We hauled balls down the ‘Highway to Forever’ in our Chrysler K-car and I always had to sit in the front between Mom and Dad. Being too small to peer over the dash, all I ever saw was the digital clock and tape deck. Before my parents fell for Billy Ray’s “Achy Breaky Heart”, they listened to cooler shit. Mostly Motown. They also listened to American Fool by John Cougar. So the summer my oldest brother chucked my snowtrooper G.I. Joe figure into the lake, promising it would come back with the tide (it didn’t), was also the summer I really listened to music for the first time. I guess you could say it hurt so good.

AGE 10

How can this exist?

This song smells like raked and rotting leaves. I found a German guy on Discogs selling an unopened LP and considered buying it.

AGE 15

My friend Glenn used to live a latch-key existence. His mom would gather the wash, claiming she was going to the laundromat, and then disappear for weeks at a time. While this lady was undeniably a piece of shit, her absence gave my friends free reign of the house. It was our club house. Glenn had a little brother he basically had to take responsibility for, making sure he was watered and fed. Being 16 or 17, and understandably not very mature, he let all kinds of shit go down in that place so long as he got something out of the deal. Stolen wares stored in his basement? Sure, but you had to buy him some Little Caesars. Having someone come over to grab a lil bag of weed? Fine, but he always got some of the money.

One day I was glazed and watching some kids play Twisted Metal 2 on a stolen Playstation, when between the couch cushions, I found a flyer for an upcoming show in Detroit – The Wu Tang Clan. We mostly listened to Eazy-E and N.W.A. like so many dumb kids, but the image on the promo was just so different than all that. The sheer insanity of nine members, all drawn in cartoon on blue photocopied paper, with these fang-grills. FANG-GRILLS! I didn’t even need to hear them rapping about Spiderman and kung-fu and goddamned Richard Dawson, I already knew I loved it.

I’m pretty white.

AGE 20

Fuck you Richie Hawtin. We peaked at the same time. It’s just that I was on acid listening to Consumed and knew I would eventually come down. But you seem like you never got over it. Concept 1, Decks, EFX, & 909, Consumed. What a run.

AGE 25

I was leaving home and ending a long lasting relationship and “Shine a Light,” “I’ll Believe in Anything,” and all the rest resounded with me. After moving to Montreal, I saw them with my tallest friend at Metropolis and fuck if it wasn’t devastating. I’m still not entirely sure what Spencer Krug is singing about in “I’ll Believe In Anything”, but at the time I felt that same desperation.

AGE 30

Grados and hash.

Ed: Thanks Mike!

If you’d like, read the first and second installments too. Cheers.

5-10-15-20

April 1, 2012

Welcome to INAUDIBLE’s second installment of 5-10-15-20 in which I blatantly steal a feature from Pitchfork and ask fantastic people to talk about their musical love affairs at five year intervals. This second edition features Toronto based film editor/sound man/all around amazing dude, Stew Maclean waxing nostalgic about the songs and records that got him all fired up and ready to go.

AGE 5

Let’s Dance” by David Bowie

I remember my brother Bart and I dancing around to this song a ton, but waiting for it on that old late night music video show (would have been a Detroit station cause we didn’t have cable) or on the radio. This might not have been exactly at age five but it’s really close and one of my first music memories. My love for it stemmed from a mix of us making fun of Bowie a bit but also because I had never really heard a song like this before.

AGE 10

My oldest brother Jay was just getting out of a huge classic rock phase at this time and he gave me his old tapes that he didn’t listen to anymore. Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were my faves. I loved Zeppelin’s “Over The Hills And Far Away” from Houses of the Holy because of The Lord of the Rings, which I tried to read around this time but it was too difficult – instead the Ralph Bakshi animated LOTR movie was more up my alley. Also “Fairies Wear Boots” from Black Sabbath’s Paranoid was a song that Jay used to put on super super loud to pump himself up to write exams and the guitar really heated up my groin and it felt like it was something that I shouldn’t be listening to but that’s definitely what drew me to it.

AGE 15

This was another huge musical moment for me. Angel Dust by Faith No More. A couple of years before I had seen Mike Patton perform on Saturday Night Live and it was soooo cool. I thought he was the shit and Epic was a great album but Angel Dust blew it out of the water and I think I spent an entire year listening to this record. It totally changed the way that I looked at music because it was so different and it didn’t seem like an album because I never listened to it from start to finish (fucking tapes). It was also my third concert seeing them at State Theatre in Detroit and Mike Patton was still soooooo cool and I bought a shirt at the show and my parents never said anything about me walking around with a shirt that had angel dust written on it.

AGE 20

This was right around the time I started to become obsessed with the Morr Music label and that style of electronica. Arovane, Solvent, Phonem, Christian Kleine, Múm, The Notwist were all amazing! Also I remember going to bed every night listening to “Djed” by Tortoise on headphones from my boombox and I would always have great sleeps (man, whatever happened to those sleeps? The sleeps that dreams are made of Matt).

AGE 25

So obviously the electronic phase continued. I got into Boards of Canada from P-Dogg and Aphex Twin from Marc. I never did get to see any of those assholes live but I still loved ’em. They were both way different and way better and older than the other electronic stuff I was listening to. P-Dogg’s boundless enthusiasm for BoC was contagious and Marc would always say that Richard D. James invented a new style of electronic music. This was also right around the time that I started to move towards other genres of music and realized that guitars were still cool.

AGE 30

Having the luxury of Joaquim’s amazing stereo system that we rocked out to all the time helped me get into styles of music that I never thought I would. Genesis was the biggest and best of that time. The whole concept song/album thing really reminded me of the first time I heard Angel Dust by Faith No More. Also how fuckin’ cool was Peter Gabriel with the reverse mohawk hair? And listening to their live albums on vinyl on a $10,000 dollar stereo was a really easy sell.

It’s weird when I think about this list because there are a ton of other bands and musicians that I know I listened to as much if not more than the bands on this list but these are the ones closest to the age mark. Yes.

Ed: Thanks Stew!

5-10-15-20

March 7, 2012

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…

AGE 5

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?