Because Once Upon A Time I Cared About Music…

This exercise in navel-gazing bloggery is from Idolator. Basically you select a favorite album that came out for every year you’ve been alive based upon what you like now, what you liked then, or what hypothetically would’ve been your favorite if you risked quantum anomalies to bring your past self the perfect album that you would’ve been into had your present self introduced it to the past from the future. You can try to guess which is which is which or post your own in the comments.

Some helpful links for those making their own lists:
Wikipedia’s year in music
Yearly Pazz & Jop Critic’s Polls

1981: Aggh, tie on the first entry. I fail… Fela Kuti – Black President or Black Flag – Damaged

1982: Michael Jackson – Thriller (I wanted to be hella punk and say Bad Brains or Mission of Burma, but damn, “P.Y.T.?”  Despite the present chi-mo implications, it’s probably the greatest song to ever refer to a loved one as “tenderoni.”)

1983: David Bowie – Let’s Dance (Bowie deserves to be on here somewhere, and this is probably the last album that’s worth mentioning in my lifetime. So far. Fingers crossed, guys!)

1984: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA

1985: The Mice – For Almost Ever

1986: Bad Brains – I Against I (*Whew* punk points secured.)

1987: Pixies – Come on Pilgrim

1988: Fugazi – s/t

1989: Prince – Batman (This album is comics-related, and fuck what anyone says– there are some jams on this album, “Batdance” and all.)

1990: Sonic Youth – Goo

1991: Drive Like Jehu – s/t

1992: R.E.M. – Automatic for the People

1993: Cynic – Focus (I haven’t owned a copy of this in years, but it was the first metal album that really floored me with the taste applied to the insane-o technically baffling shredding going on.)

1994: Green Day – Dookie (This is probably the first year I could recall caring about any kind of music outside of what my parents were listening to and I was actually developing my own tastes. Too bad it had to taste like dookie. Just kidding! I don’t regret my middle school Green Day fanaticism, but the bad joke was there and I made it. Oh god, the more I type, the more scatalogical opportunities present themselves. Must. Stop. Now.)

1995: Smog – Wild Love

1996: Another tie year, wherein my complex inner-workings (and lack thereof) are plumbed through album choice: Tortoise – Millions Now Living Will Never Die or Turbonegro – Ass Cobra (“Why do American punkrock boys always go out with the American new wave hooker girls?”)

1997: Elliot Smith – Either/Or

1998: Against All Authority – Destroy What Destroys You (Anarchist punk affect + ska = Chris is a teenage asshole in spikes and checkers.)

1999: Refused – The Shape of Punk to Come (This actually came out in 1998, but I was years late to the Refused party anyway so I figure cheating this list ain’t no big. Also, the point made about me being a teenage asshole is pretty crucial. For what? It just is.)

2000: Blonde Redhead – Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

2001: Spoon – Girls Can Tell

2002: Converge – Jane Doe

2003: Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People

2004: Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender

2005: Thelonius Monk Quartet w/ John Coltrane: At Carnegie Hall

2006: Jamie Lidell – Multiply

2007: Battles – Mirrored

2008: Pretty boring so far. Looking at my list, I never realized how subjective and specific to context my taste in music is. There are a lot of albums in most of these years that I thought were okay to brilliant, but for the most part I’m ambivalent to records I recognize as favorites of my peers and that collective organ that is the music critic cognoscienti (but who really gives a fuck about them?). Which isn’t to say that a lot of these albums don’t have something in common, it’s just thinking about them in terms of chronological relevance (and the parallel consideration about past/present) has been an interesting exercise for me.

In terms of what I actually listen to on an everyday basis though, jazz and instrumental music is pretty seriously underrepresented. And while it would’ve been nice to throw on a token hip hop record (to prove I’m not racist and that I’m street, guys), aside from Black Star– I can’t think of a lot of hip hop that I’ve gotten to know inside and out like some of these other records. And Black Star is a great record but 1998 was the year I truly came into my own as a self-righteous punk kid, so the far inferior AAA record gets the mention. The chip on my shoulder trumps consciousness. So what else is new?

-chris

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One response to “Because Once Upon A Time I Cared About Music…

  1. 1982 – Avalon, Roxy Music
    1983 – Confusion is Sex, Sonic Youth
    1984 – Let It Be, Replacements
    1985 – Brothers In Arms, Dire Straits
    1986 – So, Peter Gabriel
    1987 – Sister, Sonic Youth
    1988 – Surfer Rosa, Pixies
    1989 – Disintegration, The Cure
    1990 – Violator, Depeche Mode
    1991 – Out Of Time, REM
    1992 – Broken EP, NIN
    1993 – Where You Been, Dinosaur Jr. / Taking the Rough with the Smooch, Huggy Bear / Anodyne, Uncle Tupelo (three-way tie!!)
    1994 – Let Love In – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds / Vitalogy, Pearl Jam
    1995 – The Bends, Radiohead / Slaughter of the Soul, At the Gates
    1996 – Being There, Wilco / Boys for Pele, Tori Amos (yeah…I went there)
    1997 – Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out / Petitioning the Empty Sky, Converge
    1998 – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel
    1999 – I See A Darkness, Bonnie Prince Billy
    2000 – Fevers and Mirrors, Bright Eyes
    2001 – Discovery, Daft Punk
    2002 – Hold Your Horse Is, Hella
    2003 – Magnolia Electric Co., Songs:Ohia
    2004 – The Milk-Eyed Mender, Joanna Newsom

    …and that’s it. Apparently I actually do hate new music, because I couldn’t find anything released after 2004 that I felt like adding to the list. How pathetic…