Friday Jukebox: FIRST!

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Kazzy

One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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  1. Avatar Reformed Republican
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    I am usually late to the part on things. There have been plenty of times that, by the time I have discovered a great band, they have broken up. On the other hand, none of my friends are real music heads, so I am just about the only person I know that listens to the stuff I like.

    The only time I really remember being ahead of the curve was Green Day, back when I was in Middle School. I remember telling my friends about the video for Longview, and they had no idea what I was talking about it. By the time Basket Case came out, and they were popular among my friends, I had already gotten tired of them (so hipster).

    Usually, I find myself listening to stuff I really like and wondering why it is not more widely known.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Reformed Republican
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      “Longview”? Pshaw. This was Green Day’s breakthrough.

      (But I am older than you – this was the stuff that my college roommate listened to – Op Ivy, Screeching Weasel, Green Day, etc.)Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph
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        Green Day was one of those bands that I saw t-shirts for before I ever heard them. I definitely didn’t discover Green Day.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Glyph
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        I considered tagging on a comment about how behind the curve I really was if Longview was my first exposure, but I decided not to.

        I got to thinking about some of the bands that were gone by the time I found out about them.
        When I learned about Swans, they were dead, though Angels of Light was still in its concept stage.
        When I learned about Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams had already “retired” due to Mennier’s disease.
        When I learned about 16 Horsepower, David Eugene Edwards had already released his third Wovenhand album.
        There have been others, but they are not coming to mind right now. It is very frustrating to get into a band and realize that you will never get any new music from them and you will never see them tour.

        On the other hand, Swans were reincarnated (though I do not really dig the new stuff as much), and Ryan Adams came out of retirement (unsurprisingly).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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        Green Day usually does a cover of Op Ivy during their live shows, which are really fun. They were my first “favorite band”, the first CD I bought. I remember kids in my 6th grade class demanding that I sing “Basketcase” a cappella because I had memorized the song and we all loved it so much.

        Despite being unable to sing, my proclivity in this endeavor got me “recruited” into a crew of guys that would sing Boyz II Men songs during “share time”. Because our teacher was an idiot and gave us “share time” in 6th grade and let four idiot boys stand up and sing “I’ll Make Love To You”.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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        RR,

        By the time I got into Nirvana, Cobain was dead, news I somehow missed when it happened. I remember listening to them and thinking, “I can’t wait to see these guys live!” I was 10.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        @reformed-republican – on the other hand, while it’s disappointing to discover someone who’s not making any new work now, it also sometimes means that you have a perfect body of work to discover – either they stopped before they started to suck and so all the work is of uniformly high quality, or else time has caused their failures to be forgotten (or turned into retroactive triumphs).Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        6th grade and let four idiot boys stand up and sing “I’ll Make Love To You”.

        This is amazing.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Glyph
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        If YouTube existed back then, we would probably have footage of Kazzy’s attempts at harmony available online.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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        We only got halfway through the song. We were two white guys and two black guys, only one of which could remotely sing. And he was a heavier set young man. Who was keen on wearing vests. Can’t explain it. When we got to the part that goes, “I’m gonna take my clothes off toooooo,” he slid his vest off. We couldn’t finish the song at that point. Everyone was laughing too hard, us included. Miraculous.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Glyph
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        Slightly OT, but the first album I ever bought was in fourth grade. It was Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey” cassette.

        I’m assuming this will surprise no one.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        Whoa-oh-oh!Report

  2. Avatar Chris
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    I just wanted to point out that the music post I did a month or two ago (about my walkin’ music) included a video for Santigold’s “I’m a Lady” and a link to the video for “Disparate Youth.” You’re behind again, dude!

    But Santigold does rock.

    Also, I’ve claimed just about every band I’ve ever heard. It’s become a bit of a running gag with my girlfriend, who always jokes about me saying that I “discovered” this artist or that one. Currently I’m telling everyone that I discovered Sonnymoon and Chance the Rapper. In fact, I think I’ve told my girlfriend that I discovered Chance the Rapper, despite the fact that she’s the one who told me about Chance the Rapper.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris
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      Damn you, Chris! Trumped again!

      Well, I am glad that another real music fan enjoys her. That makes my street cred real.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
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        I should note that my proudest moment related to her was after a few listens, I thought, “I bet my friend Paul would really like her.” Paul is big into music and has some very specific tastes. I emailed him about her. He had already heard her and indeed liked her. I remember thinking that I actually knew something about music, not only for liking her but recognizing that he, too, would like her. It was a proud day.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy
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        I’m glad someone else around here likes her. She’s fun, and I like music when it’s fun.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
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        Fun nails it.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris
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      My wife and I have many (mock) arguments over who discovered great artists first. (Me, generally, but that’s because I waste FAR more time on it). But when the other person starts to pick up the artist and (especially when) they start to evangelize to others about that artist, they become open to accusations of “jam-stealing” (As in, “Why you gotta be stealin’ my jams?”)

      This is an issue of more than theoretical importance to us, however. My wife used to date a guy I was friends with – to woo her, he came over to my house and made her a mix tape using all my records/CDs, and it really impressed her.

      When she came over to my house for the first time, and realized that all that music she’d loved was in fact mineReport

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph
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        Heh… now that’s a great story.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Glyph
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        My exes always seemed to have crap taste in music. Maybe I should make that one of my criteria. If she thinks Lifehouse and Maroon 5 are what music should be all about, she might not be for me.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        @reformed-republican – I know it seems shallow, and maybe it’s just because I grew up mostly pre-internet so you had to use all sorts of proxy indicators to figure out if someone would be your “type” (rather than just reading their Facebook “likes”), but I think there is some small truth there.

        Not that you should write someone off if they like lame music, maybe they’ve never heard anything else, or that’s just what they like; but if they have no interest in ever trying anything new, nor any discrimination in saying “well, THAT’S crap!”, so they just passively accept anything popular…well, those traits can be indicative of other problems.

        I want both a sense of adventurousness, and some critical judgement/resistance to peer pressure, in a partner.Report

  3. Avatar Glyph
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    Band I “discovered” that I was right about: Radiohead. Sure, I first heard them with “Creep”, like everybody…but they had been quickly critically and popularly dismissed as one-hit Nirvana-be’s, while I had seen them open for Belly(!) in a small club and been impressed not just with Yorke’s voice, but the clear links to the shoegazers and 80’s post-punk scenes. I was really annoyed when the Blur/Oasis feud was occurring, because to me the clear answer to who was better, was “Radiohead”.

    Of course, RH is now bigger than either Oasis or Blur, and I am pretty thoroughly sick of Radiohead.

    Band I “discovered” that I was wrong about: Pearl Jam. A friend had gotten hold of a tape with demo versions of some of the songs that would become Ten, and he was obsessed with it. He loaned it to me, and I told him that the music was pretty average, but I did think that the singer had an interesting voice (this of course being the first instance of yarbling/hunger-dunger-danging I’d ever heard).

    I didn’t really think PJ was going places…boy was I wrong.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph
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      I had a similar experience with Radiohead. I first heard them through “Creep” (duh), went out and bought the album, and then kept telling everyone how good they were. My friends thought I was crazy.

      You and I were not alone, though. I remember Conan O’Brien explaining that he had them as his first ever musical guests because he wanted to have a band who’d still be around in 20 years. They played “Creep.”

      Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris
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        I still think there’s some really good stuff on the debut album, which fans and band alike pretty much dismiss (the back-half triptych of “Prove Yourself/I Can’t/Lurgee” is as good as any guitar music released that year). The only really terrible song on it is “Vegetable”.

        But boy howdy, am I sick of his voice and their limited emotional range, talented and artistically-dedicated though they are.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
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        When I listen to them now, it’s almost always The Bends. I recognize the innovativeness of the stuff that came immediately after The Bends, but I got sick of that stuff after a while, so for me, it’s The Bends. I don’t think I’ve gone back to Pablo Honey in several years, but every once in a while the line “I want to be, want to be, want to be Jim Morrison” just pops into my head.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph
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      Oh Belly. I remember Belly. They frequently have CDs in the clearance section of Amoeba Records. It is a bit sad. It feels like I am looking at my high school days in a junk yard. I also a Magnapop CD there.

      Though clearance is great when I discover bands long after they broke up like The Minders or even after CDs have been out for a while. Much cheaper than itunes.Report

  4. Avatar BlaiseP
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    It was my privilege to know Don McLeese for many years and to have spent most of my hard-earned money at his record store, Johnny B Goode in Wheaton Illinois. He always played the new stuff in his store. I’d ask him for the good stuff, he knew what I liked.

    Once I wrote a review of a record for the Wheaton College paper. He scolded me for getting several details wrong, saying I should come to him for such details in future. He just scorched me. I never wrote another music review again without doing my homework first.

    Don McLeese introduced me to so many great bands, it’s hard to know where to start. I do remember acquiring a reputation as the kid who had all the new records but it wasn’t true. I bought the stuff Don McLeese played in the store and I was better for taking his advice, both as a musician and a writer.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    I will have liked Jan Dismas Zelenka before he got big. If he ever gets big.Report

  6. Avatar NewDealer
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    I’d like to think of myself as the kid in middle school who was the first to discover the Ramones, the Smiths, etc but this is flattering myself.

    I’ve discovered bands before they got “big” but this is relative when talking about indie rock. I knew about the Magnetic Fields before 69 Love Songs. Same with Stars and Belle and Sebastian but none of these bands are Z100 type bands and never will be. They are “sometimes played on cooler NPR station” bands or college-radio bands.Report

  7. Avatar George Turner
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    For about a week I’ve been checking out the future of elevator music. Yes, we can outsource it to India or Pakistan, and with 200 million English speakers, lots of talent, modern sound studios, and low costs, eventually we will. I can’t say I object.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq
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    I don’t thing that I’ve ever really discovered a band before they were big. My talent seems to be with finding obscure to semi-obscure past talent and liking it. Thats how I discovered Richard Thompson.Report

  9. Avatar Glyph
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    RE: Santigold and “First”.

    My wife is also a big music fan. Our areas of obsession don’t always overlap, but we understand each other. And she’s just as prone to nitpicking and trivia-mongering as I am.

    Well, another friend of ours is a much more casual music fan, the type that is more often being turned on to music by us, than the other way around. But she had heard this chick “Santigold” that she was excited about, and asked if we’d heard her.

    And my wife, not a little patronizingly, corrected her…”It’s “Santogold”. Which led to a slight pissing contest between them, since our friend was pretty sure it is “Santigold”.

    Of course, they were BOTH correct (Santigold changed the name, for legal reasons).

    So who gets to claim superiority – my wife, who was technically wrong, but only because “she had heard the old stuff”?

    Or our friend, who was technically (currently) correct, but also a janie-come-lately, having not been there for the debut?

    So many pointless and trivial questions…Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph
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      I think that the gist of that conversation describes basically every discussion I had about music between 1993-1996.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris
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        So the fact that this conversation took place a few years ago isn’t a good sign?

        Good thing I am on a blog filled with enthusiasts of video games, sports, board/roleplaying games, and comic books – not to mention people who are already debating the elections that will take place IN THREE FREAKING YEARS – otherwise, I’d feel pretty immature right now.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
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        That was the era when I and my friends were obsessed with being first, so one of us would always find some way of demonstrating that the other person was a late-comer:

        “I’m so glad I discovered Smashing Pumpkins with Siamese Dream!”

        “Oh yeah? I first heard Smashing Pumpkins when they were touring just before the release of Siamese Dream.”

        “Oh yeah? Well I first heard Smashing Pumpkins when Gish had just been released!”

        “That’s nothin’! I first heard Smashing Pumpkins when a guy I know in Chicago broke into Billy Corgan’s house in ’88 and stole their first demo tape and then let me listen to it.”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris
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        That’s when you just have to start yelling, “I AM SMASHING PUMPKINS!”Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Glyph
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      “The Artist Formerly Known as Santogold”Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy
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    I want to thank everyone for participating in the threads here. After my first front page Jukebox post generated literally zero comments, I was weary of delving into the fray again, especially with a pop act. I’ve really enjoyed the fruitful dialogue that has emerged.

    But can we talk for a moment about Hipster Dog? I was in Brooklyn last night for a family event and just wanted to scream “YOU ARE HIPSTER DOG!” at everyone I walked past. Hipster Dog rules.Report

  11. Avatar trizzlor
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    I’m pretty sure her original Santogold pseudonym was inspired by the most bizarre late-night infomercial ever created. Which, while auctioning off knock-off gold jewelry (using the Santo Gold process) also featured scenes from the space wrestling movie “Blood Circus”, a comedic tale about a rock star wrestler named Santo Gold who sings about the Santo Gold jewelry that’s sold in the aforementioned infomercials. The best part is when the advertisement repeatedly urges the viewer to call now for “your free SCREAM BAGS”!Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to trizzlor
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      Well that was odd. From wiki:

      “In February 2009, White announced that she changed her initial stage name to Santigold for reasons related to a possible lawsuit from director Santo Victor Rigatuso, who produced the movie Santo Gold’s Blood Circus.”

      “Santo Gold’s “Blood Circus” is a science fiction movie, with a professional-wrestling theme, produced in 1985.[1][2] The movie was produced by Baltimore-native Santo Victor Rigatuso, also called Robert “Bob” Harris, who promoted it through infomercials for his mail-order “Santo Gold” jewelry business.”

      Cocaine is a HELLUVA drug.Report

  12. Avatar Slade the Leveller
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    Holy cow! This thread took a definite turn for the worse up there (see Muppets videos).

    My claim to fame has been to be dismissive of fun. (don’t forget that period!). If you can ever find a copy of Dog Problems by Nate Ruess’ predecessor band The Format’s buy it. You can thank me later, and be hipster enough to talk about how fun stinks and how The Format was so much better a band.Report

  13. Avatar trizzlor
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    A pretty formative musical memory for me was discovering trip-hop via Portishead in high-school. This was literally an entire genre of music that none of my friends had ever heard of and was miles away from the Pink Floyd/Phish and Top100 stuff we were obsessing over at the time. Moving from that to Tricky, Massive Attack, Broadcast, Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba, etc. was like stumbling on a deep, complex undiscovered civilization. I still don’t really understand why we are so excited by novelty – I’m sure I would have ignored many of those bands if they were incessantly on MTV – but there was definitely a high in being first that felt like a unique connection with the artist. This is one in maybe a handful of genre discoveries that I had; french chanson was one (Gainsbourg of course, Jacques Dutronc, Francois Hardy, Jacqueline Taieb), “indie music” as NewDealer pointed out was a big one (Pixies and Pavement for me) which was first bread and then destroyed by Pitchfork.com; maybe the neo-Balkan stuff like Beirut (which I was sold on after the first track of Gulag Orkestar) and Gogol Bordello which lead me to actual Balkan music; but that’s about it.

    I wonder if that sort of thing is possible anymore with the way the internet has changed our culture. On the one hand, it’s much more difficult to really be first on something, because there’s so much music readily available and buzz about can spread so quickly. On the other hand, it’s very easy to be “first” in your local community, because every minute interest has an internet presence and anyone can find something that sets them apart from the peers but is well-represented on the internet. The whole idea of having something that other people cannot easily know about without you seems to be gone forever.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to trizzlor
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      @trizzlor – Not to pimp my own post – but if you liked Massive Attack, Portishead etc., you might enjoy the Burial post that just went up.

      (Random memory: one of the earliest mentions of Massive Attack that I remember was, strangely, in a Rush interview; Geddy Lee was asked what new music they were listening to, and they were really excited about Massive Attack).

      It’s weird, the conflicting impulses: both to share what we love and to shout it from the rooftops; and to keep it like a secret, so that it doesn’t become sullied as common knowledge.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to trizzlor
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      Everyone with a copy of Audacity and a Soundcloud account is creating/mixing their own stuff these days. Any more, it’s a question of who can stir up an appealing and interesting concoction. Nobody could possibly keep up with it all.

      In the olden tymes, musicians would have to deal with A&R weasels, professional sound hunters who would mould these earnest little bands into marketable slabs of vinyl. That’s no longer true: even fairly small outfits can make a fairly decent living if they’re willing to tour their asses off and create a vibe. This is a big improvement. You weren’t so much”discovering” these bands before your peers as you were being guided the whole time. For you to find and buy that CD in the stacks, the A&R weasels were sending copies of it to all the college radio stations and if they got any airplay, would then send copies round to the biggish FM stations. The record stores would then choose to stock it on the basis of the vibe thus created. It was a slimy business, still is to a certain extent.

      And dub music and the Clash did sire Neneh Cherry. And Neneh Cherry did sire Massive Attack which sired Portishead and many another clever little bastard child band. There is nothing new under the sun but a fresh crop of sixth formers buying their first guitars.Report

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