I like the Pitchfork feature of the same name, and thought it could be interesting here. You go thru your life and try to discuss the music that was really important, influential or just plain memorable for you at each 5 year interval.
REM - Out of Time
My dad was a big music nut, and he used to listen to lots of college rock/early alternative rock. I know that we took our first family road trip as a full family when I was 5 (my little brother was 2 at time time, and I think we went to Arizona). I remember driving through the desert in the back seat and listening to this album as the desert went by. Whenever I hear Half A World Away I can picture that drive vividly. I don't remember a ton about being 5, but this album can connect me to a part of that.
Beck - Odelay
We lived in Victorville for a long time, and there was an alternative rock station that my dad used to have on constantly. I know they played lots of crap, but they used to have really good stuff mixed in quite frequently. When I was 9, I asked for a clock radio for christmas, and of course I got it. I had my own room, and I used to listen to the radio as I went to sleep every night. At night they had a DJ who would play all sorts of slightly more obscure stuff. I know I heard Portishead, Massive Attack, Mr. Bungle, Helmet, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth and a bunch of other bands on there for the first time. I distinctively remember the DJ being very excited about getting the new Beck album. I knew him because of Loser, and the DJ played all of Odelay the night it came out. I wasn't a huge fan on first listen, but I remember my brother and I singing along to Where it's At as we drove down Bear Valley Road heading to get pizza after soccer games, and I know this was around quite a bit.
Weezer - The Blue Album
'01 was a big year for me. I finished my first year of high school, had my first girlfriend, and she broke up with me right in time for summer. My family was going on a trip to the Colorado River for our annual river trip, and I just did not want to be around anyone. I went to K-Mart and bought two CDs to listen to on the drive-Weezer Blue and Weezer Green. I never even put the green album in-the Blue album seemed so comforting to me. It was just geeky, kinda shy guys enjoying having fun with each other. I could get that from the cover. Also, late 2001 Michael Azzerrad put out Our Band Could Be Your Life. I had heard Fugazi because of The Argument, and was really getting into OC Skate Punk stuff, and I decided to pick it up. That book pretty much opened up my world musically.
Joanna Newsom - Ys
I was at UCLA, and it was a big year. I had just switched from Biochemistry to History, I started to really build some great friendships, and I had a car, so I could really go to shows. I discovered lots of great music that year, but nothing remains so vivid as Ys. I remember getting the leak and deciding to listen to it based on a few rave reviews on this board. I put it on as I walked to my European Civilizations class. It was a really nice sunny day out, and the album sounded so perfect that I never made it to class. I wandered around, listening to it on repeat and just enjoying the beautiful day. I've since listened to that album hundreds of times, and Joanna's become probably my favorite songwriter.
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
I was halfway through law school and working my ass to the bone. I had somehow still found time to keep myself immersed in new music, but went down a more somber and melancholy path, due to my mom's cancer diagnosis and the exhaustion from so much hard work (I was doing death row appeals with the Federal Public Defender, volunteering for the LMU Innocence Project and competing in moot court, and trying to fit a robust social life in as well.) This album was one that I kept turning back to, and still do to this day. Kurt's playing was more developed and nuanced than on previous records, he has great references to songs from throughout his career, and the songwriting had never been stronger. Still a great record, and it soothes me just as much now as it did back then.
Cobalt - Slow Forever
30 found me in a crazy period. I am living back in my home town, teaching high school. My mom passed away when I was 28, after a long battle with cancer, and my life had completely turned upside down. I earned my law degree but had little opportunity to practice in a small, rural California mountain town, so I fell into teaching almost by default, and it's got me convinced this is where the rest of my life is going to lie. This year has so far been defined by a massive album from Cobalt, who are nominally a black metal band but who bring so much more to the field than that. They are heavy and thoughtful at the same time, with huge riffs that stick in your head for days.
I feel like REM, Beck and Weezer could be on mine but I'll think a bit harder and get back to this thread. I'm 85% sure REM's Automatic for the People will be my 5. This is a great idea.
Damn! Mine would be huge!
Good idea Bryan. I was actually thinking about this the other day. I will think some more and then answer.
5 was all about just having a free for all paint chip eating session for me
10 would be The best of the Doors
15 i would say fragile but i was 13 when it came out so it probably was fear or misfits on that line
20 is sound tribe sector nine
1967. This was my favorite show on television. I remember a neighbor's older brother trying to tell me about the Beatles but I didn't like them because one of the guys wore glasses.
I was 10 when I bought my first record with my own money. It was a 45 rpm single of "The Monster Mash". So I'm going to cheat and show the first album I ever bought, when I was 11. I bought it because I thought the guys on the cover looked pretty cool.
In 1977, when I was 15, I was a sophomore in high school in a small midwestern city and didn't know anything and mostly listened to crap. One album I did listen to a lot, though, and still love, was Who's Next. I can still remember the first time I heard "Won't Get Fooled Again" on the radio.
My musical tastes changed a lot between 1977 and 1982, as they do for most people in their late teens. 1979 and 1980 were huge years for me, and I wish I could post London Calling or Remain in Light but that would be breaking the rules. So I'll show this album which came out in 1982 that I listened to nonstop for months.
This was about the time I noticed that my musical tastes had started to diverge from most of my peers'. Plus I was surrounded by office people not college kids and we all know that office people's musical tastes suck. They thought I was stuck in high school since I was still listening to a lot of punk rock.
By the time you're 30 you're supposed to be grown the fuck up. I was pretty deeply into what is now called alt-country but back then it didn't really have a name. I also loved Los Lobos. Kiko is a really great album, you all should listen to it sometime.
At this time I was really big into alt-country singer-songwriters. Lucinda Williams, Joe Ely, Ryan Adams in Whiskeytown, and especially Steve Earle. Earle put out three really great albums in a three year period 95-97. Listen to El Corazon, it's great.
I didnt' get into Radiohead until relatively late in the game, in 99 or 2000. But they pretty much blew the dust out of my listening patterns and set me on a new course. At 40 my friends were pretty sick of me trying to get them to be fans. So I'm putting OK Computer for 2002 even though it came out 5 years earlier. (Runner-up would be Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, I was a Wilco fan from day 1 - well even before that because I was an Uncle Tupelo fan).
I first went to Coachella in 2004 and whatever kind of music you call that has been the greatest influence on my listening ever since. Ironically though it was actually at Austin City Limits festival in 2007 that I realized how much I really loved LCD Soundsystem.
Zack - 22. I am admittedly blessed with incredible influences particularly from my longtime babysitter and my mother.
5 - Faith No More ::: The Real Thing ... Babysitter Years
I thought it was REM (which would have been an influence from my mother) that really brought me around to the alternative rock scene. I keep forgetting I was raised by babysitters until I was 8, so an in-depth look at my mother's music taste, including REM, came a bit later. Her albums might have been playing in certain car rides but it wasn't really talked about or discovered. My insane babysitter first introduced me to Faith No More when I was 4 in 1991. It was The Real Thing that had me bouncing like a lunatic in the car rides as we both eagerly awaited Angel Dust's release. I apparently pretended to know the lyrics, sang along really horribly, etc. When Angel Dust came out in June of '92 "Midlife Crisis" became my favorite song. My babysitter and I were rocking out so hard once to "Midlife Crisis" that we hit the railroad tracks and forgot you could get substantial air if you were going even faster than 25. Flying through the air in a beat-up Mazda (where the seatbelts electronically moved back to position when the doors closed) listening to Faith No More was one of my first music memories that really stuck. I saw Faith No More for the first time in 1995 when I was 7. My babysitter took me.
Honorable Mention: Collective Soul's self titled... mostly because I listened to it between ages 5-10.
10 - REM ::: Automatic for the People ... Mom Years
By this point my mom and I had spent considerably more time together. My mom was really punk rock. She listened to Iggy Pop and The Sex Pistols all the time but I had been introduced to The Stooges through my babysitter a couple years back. My mom's music taste is incredibly diverse and she showed me that what some would consider "softer" music can penetrate your soul in an entirely different manner. REM became one of my favorite bands very quickly. The song "Drive" from this album still gives me chills every time I listen to it. My mom would play this album a lot when a pet died, particularly the song "Everybody Hurts." This year was also the first time I would experience post-punk, but it wouldn't cycle through any playlists for another 5 years or so. While I was still under my mother's music influence I would listen to everything from "the Boss" to Buzzcocks. She was great in this aspect of raising me. No music was ignored. I got this particular REM album on vinyl as a 5th grade graduation present. My mom was pretty horrible in every other category growing up but music was huge to her and it rubbed off on me. I didn't see them until 2008 at Sasquatch. I waited all day through the rain at the rail and it paid off. Michael Stipe seemingly sang a few songs in my direction and just as I thought it was narcissism he came over and asked me a few questions while he was on stage. I'll never forget that night.
Honorable Mention: The Cranberries ::: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
15 - Cocteau Twins ::: Treasure ... Finding some groups on my own
Technically I found this album when I was 14. I had begun to spend a lot of time in this record store called Hogwild in San Antonio. It had a lot of punk, post-punk, ethereal and goth stuff. This girl with green hair behind the counter (who I had a little boy crush on until I left the city) recommended getting into some ethereal stuff. She showed me Dark Orange and Cocteau Twins. It was Cocteau Twins' Treasure that just really played the strings of my heart. Elizabeth Fraser's voice was more captivating to me than O'Riordan's and I would play this record straight through maybe once every two days in 8th grade. My first junior high girlfriend HATED it. After hating her, it seemingly made this album so much sweeter. This was the first group that I introduced to my mother which I think holds some significance as well.
Honorable Mentions: Echo & the Bunnymen's Ocean Rain and The Smiths' The Queen is Dead
20 - Sigur Rós ::: Ágćtis byrjun ... College years?
Musically on my own and in undergrad at the University of Oregon I was shocked nobody there had really given Sigur Rós a listen. I had listened to this album 100 times late in junior high and in high school but it got a lot of play in my fraternity. The track on this album called "Starálfur" blew minds in Texas in junior high but was recognized quickly as a track in The Life Aquatic by my friends at Oregon. This Sigur Rós album in particular and my enormous sound system in a room the size of the closet kind of pinned me as the go-to guy for music in my fraternity. Just an album that brings back a lot of really great memories from a really great school. It was honestly really heartwarming to see what bands guys, who knew little about music in the beginning, eventually grew to love.
Honorable Mention: Blur - Parklife
Working on my list -- this one would be on there if I was not sticking to five year intervals.
Originally Posted by TomAz
Greg - 35
Having grown up with two older brothers and an older sister, I was exposed to lots of music as a child. My brothers were in high school when I was five and when Van Halen's self-titled came out it became our go-to album for air guitar on tennis rackets and baseball bats.
The first album I ever bought. Two years later, Bruce Springsteen would be my first concert. I can remember playing little league and wishing there was some way they could play "Glory Days" when I would come out to pitch.
I had one of those walkman players where it would automatically switch from playing side 1 of the cassette to playing side 2. This was not the reason Full Moon Fever did not leave that player for over a year. My laziness had nothing to do with it. It was the fact that I could listen to that album from beginning to end and still be happy.
I need to preface this one by stating that hearing "Reapeater" by Fugazi when I was 17 changed everything for me. Now then, let's talk about Quicksand. I remember seeing them at Slim's in '93 with Seaweed opening. It was my first show at a club-sized venue and I loved it. Being so close to the band and hearing the music so loud made everything more intense. To this day, Slip is one of those albums I can listen to over and over and still be excited about.
Strangers Almanac, along with Too Far To Care by the Old 97's are the albums that got me into alt-country. I saw Whiskeytown (again at Slim's) and it was such a great show. It would also be the first of many, many times that I would see Ryan Adams throw a fit onstage. The most memorable of those was at the Fillmore when he threw his guitar monitor off the stage and got into a fight with the sound guy.
Coachella 2005. If you were there, you already know.
I really don't know why these guys aren't big yet. Their influences (Queen, the Beatles and the Arctic Monkeys) can be heard throughout the album. It's so poppy and optimistic, I can't help but bounce around when I hear it.
Greg, 3 of your albums are in my all time 'fuck yeah' list. High 5.
I'm 23. My music career has been so eclectic that five years isn't really a fair interval for me. It doesn't account for my metal obsessions at ages 12-13 or the fact that indie rock had always been my second favorite genre for me until age 16. Oh well, I'll just post the albums I remember listening to most
5 - Green Day - Dookie.
My mom gave me a choice for my 6ith birthday present: Clay Fighter 3D or any CD I wanted. The rest is history (with a bad ending for Green Day, as I've hated them for about a decade now).
10 - Bush - Sixteen Stone.
I was just obsessed with Bush from age 8 to 12.
15 - Binary Star - Masters of the Universe.
During my hip hop obsession where I spent most of my days writing and recording my own shit. This is the best hip hop album of all time, in my opinion, and certainly the one I listened to the most at age 15.
20 - Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary.
I'm not really sure what album could best represent the current period of my life, so I'll just go with the one that I feel is most personal to me. I think this is one of the five best albums of the decade, though it rarely gets that kind of praise so perhaps it best represents me.
Originally Posted by Still-ill
Technically I first heard it when I was 18. But, well... I just listen to it a lot.
Corey - 24
5; NIN - Head Like A Hole
This was my first exposure to music videos, and I still remember watching it for the first time one night on tv with my mom. I couldn't understand why the magnetic tape was eating Trent Reznor, or why there was a spinning, robotic head with a hole in it, but the whole aesthetic was spooky and hypnotizing at the time. This was back when NIN had the capacity to scare both small children and very old people alike.
10; Smashing Pumpkins - Melancholy & The Infinite Sadness
I spent a lot of time listening to Cheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg and Ace of Base when I was 8 and 9; but this was the definitive album of my tweendom along with Marilyn Manson. I still remember having to choose between some crappy Sega game and the double-cassette version of this at K-Mart, and then staying up with headphones reading the lyrics under my covers with a flashlight. I was pissed when Adore came out, but I got over it eventually and really like that album now. Weird Al's Bad Hair Day gets an honorable nod here.
15; The Cure - The Head On The Door
I used to listen to 80's live-to-air club nights on the radio every Sunday at the time when I discovered The Cure along with countless others. We were deep in the winter of rap-metal when this album showed me that there was life beyond Fred Durst making an idiot out of himself and an entire generation that he should have had nothing to do with. I listened to this so often that I can probably still quote any lyric offhand.
20; TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
This was actually a gift for my 21st birthday, but I had downloaded the early leaked version with a jumbled track order and slightly different versions of the songs (ie Wash The Day) and stuck it on repeat.
(Almost) 25; LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
My birthday's in a few months, but technically the new LCD isn't even out yet either so fuck it. Great album.
Scott - 28
I remember stealing this tape from my older sister. She got really pissed off at me, but it was worth it. I jammed this shit pretty hard.
OMG the Batman soundtrack. This is when I got into Prince. I remember listening to this shit on my walkman at recess. Lemon Crush is still one of my favorite songs ever.
Even during my pissed off, angsty metal years, I still listened to some awesome music. Although, I did attend more Slipknot concerts than any person ever really should. I remember once I told their lead singer "This is my 12th Slipknot show!" and he was just like, "Dude. Why?"
When I was 20, I was living in Austin, in a punk rock band, and had a mohawk. This CD was pretty much always in my CD player, and I remember several drunk, college party singalongs to songs like Hey and Wave of Mutilation.
When I was 25, I was living in Canada, studying film and listening to a lot of Animal Collective. I'm not sure if that sentence makes me a super cliche indie asshole or not, but it is true.
I'll be 30 next year, and I think this album is pretty representative of what I've been into lately. I've always wanted to find a girl that can sing and make some eerie trip-hoppy kinda of electronic musics. This is one of my favorite albums in a long time.
Bjork - Homogenic: This has been a staple for me since it came out. I have loved Bjork since the first time I heard Debut.
Aphex Twin - The Richard D. James Album: This is another album that has been a continuous part of my life. This is probably my all time favorite electronic album, which puts it high in the running for my favorite album ever.
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds: This is one of the very few musical influences that I got from my parents. Thank god for my mom's liberal hippy years.
5: Scooby Doo story LPs
I used to also love Huey Lewis & The News, but this was my only record and I played it a lot (even though it wasn't actually musical).
10: Weird Al "Off the Deep End"
I also liked Nirvana, but I was 10, so I probably liked this more, because his songs were wacky.
15: Dandy Warhols - Come Down
I used to love that show on MTV "12 Angry Viewers" where they would make 12 people watch Buzzbin type videos. They hated most of them, and the Dandy Warhols' video was no exception. I liked it, though, and went to Wherehouse and bought the CD.
20: The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray
I gave my girlfriend at the time a mix tape that had like 4 songs from this album. She didn't like it very much.
25: Grinderman - Grinderman
I got the flu really bad after seeing Grinderman. That happened in when I was 25.
I don't remember what I was listening to at age 5
My girlfriend (and her sister I guess) got me into Chicago when I was 10, and this was the first band I really, really loved. Also, Michael Jackon's Thriller was really popular around this time, but I remember Chicago being the first. I played the hell out of this tape on my family camping trips.
Erasure The Innocents
My first "alternative" band that steered me toward alternative radio and my next big love Depeche Mode (at age 16).
I am including albums that came out around the time of my 5-year birthdays, so throwing this one on there even though I liked Pretty Hate Machine more. Still love the angst going on here, and this is probably the hardest album I own. (I know it's not that hard)
Curve Come Clean
Arguably their best album: dancey, sexy, more poppy than their previous efforts, but still did not get any radio airplay in my town. I finally got to see them tour again after seeing them once in 1992 (?), so this album is what I was playing a lot back then. Also Portishead Portishead.
Radiohead Hail to the Thief
Not their best album, but this album brought me back to Radiohead and encouraged me to travel out of state to see their tour after being homebound raising the kiddies for a few years. I got excited about music again after this one.
Radiohead In Rainbows
Oh hey, their albums are exactly 5 years apart! My favorite Radiohead album came out when I was 35; I have to put it here.
Originally Posted by fancy restaurant
We all know you're older than that.
Originally Posted by amyzzz
Becca - 30
My parents listened to this all the time. Still one of my favorites.
High school was hell. This made it easier.
This came out a few years before I turned 20, but I listened to it constantly with Andy when we were dating. He borrowed it from me when we first started dating, and I don't think I got it back until we were married.
I still love this record.
I obviously got into this a few years after its release...but I'm so thankful I did.
Great list and stories. Sounds like we had a similar evolution of musical taste.
Originally Posted by fancy restaurant
5 - I didn't really keep up with music...didn't know much outside of whatever my mom played at home or in the car, which was a lot of pain and suffering. Well, things like Michael Jackson and the Beatles were always good times.
10 - ditto. Besides getting a few cassettes for Christmas when I was 8, I didn't really buy any albums until I was 13 or so, if you count BMG/Columbia House.
A lot of shameful purchases back then, but not this one. I would just lie in bed listening to it on my discman instead of doing homework. Ever.
Amnesiac marked my transition from obsessing over sci-fi, Star Wars, comic books, etc to musical obsessions. I remember calling every store in in three towns trying to find the deluxe edition of this. I just had this feeling it would change my life, and I wanted to get the fancy version to commemorate it, I guess.
I finally got around to getting into this album back in '06 and it was a great source of comfort and inspiration through some hellish times. Same with Elliott Smith and Asobi Seksu, but I had already been into them before then, so I'm choosing this one for 25.
Brad, that Lemonheads record is still great.
Agreed, my fav Lemonheads album. I remember finding it in the 99 cent section at the san diego swapmeet about 8 years ago and getting so stoked.
Originally Posted by rskapcat
Awesome. I got this and Purple Rain (and NKOTB Christmas) for Christmas when I was 8, along with my first tape player. And a Batman watch, Batman toys, etc. Batmania was good times. Anyone else remember the Joker being in the Macy's parade?
Originally Posted by fancy restaurant
I don't think any entry will ever top this one.
Originally Posted by dorkfish
ahhh ive been holding onto my 5000th post but this thread seems worthy so i guess i'll dive in
i dont really remember much of what i was listening to at 5 years old being that well, i was 5 and i was far more interested in toys really than music, but i do recall watching this movie about a million times and one of the things that stood out most to me in the film was how in my mind i devided each section of the movie up moreso by the song that was playing than by the actual scenes. so i feel this is a fitting first album to say really started to shape my interests.
my parents have always expressed a love of music to me but it never seemed to hit quite on point. my dad always seemed to listen to a lot of jazz, and my mom was into musicals. so at ten years old i still had yet to really start finding my own musical identity. but i do remember taking this cd out of the car after a road trip and deeming it officially mine. though im sure my initial attraction was to the album cover the music ended up being so epic and the guitar tones so cutting and brilliant that ive loved it ever since.
this was a tough choice. in the time between 10 and 15 i discovered a lot of crappy music, like limp bizkit, korn, staind etc... which despite its negative connotations really had a lot to do with the direction my musical tastes would go (in reaction to that they went in oppostie directions obviously) but they also contributed very much to who i became later as a person by getting all that stupid angst out of my system and by the time i was 15 i was already on my way out of that. i picked up the fragile on a whim and it was tough for me at first. i was listening to a lot of very simple standard bands at the time so NINs abrasiveness and depth were at times a challenge for me. it was not love at first listen but this record ended up having probbly the greatest effect on me out of any to this day. it should also be noted that shortly after this i bought my first massive attack album and the journey into less mainstream music began....
another tough decision because im 20 right now. and i listen to such a diverse range of albums and nothing just yet has really defined this period for me, im still just too close to it. so i will use the sleigh bells album cover as a place holder to express literally what i am listening to right now and also represent all of the bands im just now starting to get into, delorean, sleighbells, washed out, the national, etc....i have a feeling that from now one my tastes will be defined by the up and coming and not by the "established"