Thursday, February 10, 2011

Top 10: Random Albums

In my stressed out state the last two days, I forgot to get a Friday Top 10 organised. But rather late than never! Instead of a top 10, I've gone for a list of 10 random albums from my shelf. I have two cd shelves - one downstairs in my study between my bookshelves, partially filed with DVDs; and one upstairs in my bedroom. I keep the set up there as I don't have an ipod dock at home, unlike many people, instead favouring my five disc changer hifi. I'm old school like that. Anyway, I've gone for 10 random albums from the top shelves - taking the album at either end of the first five compartments, complete with a little story about its acquisition. Onwards!

  • Dookie - Green Day
My first exposure to this band came somewhere between the ages of 9 and 10, when I used to sneak into my best friend's older brother's bedroom and make bootleg tapes of his cds (tapes! remember those?) He was mostly into the Offspring, Green Day, Blink 182 and some other bands that I can't really recall. I developed a keen appreciation for Green Day that would later turn into something a lot more concrete. The first album I bought was International Superhits!, followed by Dookie and the rest. Now I just need a physical copy of 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours to make a full catalogue, although I'd prefer to get the vinyl pack of 39/Smooth, 1,000 Hours and Slappy instead.

  • Kid A - Radiohead
I bought this album after reading Killing Yourself To Live by Chuck Klosterman. In the sixth chapter it goes on drawing parallels between the album and September 11 as "Thom Yorke accidentally predicted the events of September 11 on Kid A." Now I'm not the world's biggest Radiohead fan, in fact I spend a lot of time thinking they're somewhat overrated (but yes, I adore Muse - don't make that face! You know who you are *narrows eyes* - heh, I love that I assume people are reading this, such a loser, me. But I digress) but after reading this completely hyperbolic analysis, I was intrigued. I've never regretted the purchase, in fact it's one of my favourite albums. I later went on to write an essay on Kid A for my Culture & Poetics class in second year of undergrad, so it's paid off too. That's always nice.

  • Deja Entendu - Brand New
This shouldn't be the album I'm listing here - it should be Your Favourite Weapon, but I don't know where that album is even though I am convinced I own it. I arrange my albums in order of release, except for the ones that have special cases or sleeves, they go at the end so not to ruin the look of it all. Yay, OCD. Anyway, Deja Entendu. Definitely an album I have in heavy rotation, I only got this after seeing them live. Prior to that, I had only downloaded it. I like having physical copies of the things I love, be it cds, books, or DVDs. I've discussed it before, but I have a weird affinity with Jesse Lacey. While The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is my favourite album from this band, I do have a lot of love for this one and 'The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows' is one of my all time favourite songs. 

  • Energy - Operation Ivy
I bought this album purely because of Green Day, I'm not going to lie. That said it's a brilliant ska punk albums, and certainly the best I own. The band features Tim Armstrong on guitar and Matt Freeman, the founding pair of another great punk band, Rancid. There was a guy at uni I had dubbed Mohawk Boy, and this band was our conversation point. That and Kafka. Anyway, I have a deep misplaced sentimentalism for all things late eighties Bay Area punk.

  • I brought you my bullets, you brought me your love - My Chemical Romance
Ah, My Chem. We've had an interesting relationship. The first MCR album I bought was actually not an album at all. If memory serves me correctly, I got Life on the Murder Scene  first. I have the 'Helena' single though, so I must have gotten that before anything else (singles, I know! Who even still buys those?) Thing is, I got into MCR cause of the music videos. I loved the videos so much. Then I saw them live, supporting Green Day on their American Idiot tour. Truth be told, I was more into The Used at this point but I'd heard whispers of this brilliant band doco and I was curious. It blew me away and instilled a huge amount of respect for the band. Since then I've acquired the other albums, threw myself wholeheartedly into The Black Parade when it was released, and never looked back. I am still deeply disappointed with Killjoys though...maybe I'll appreciate it more at a later stage in my life. Who knows.

  • This is a stick up, don't make it a murder - Hit The Lights
I forgot I owned this album till now. It's not exactly one that's in high rotation, neither is the band really. I bought this at the first Soundwave festival in...2007, I think it was. Got it from the band themselves after their performance on stage 2. I remember this because it was one of those moments where we were just shuffling left and right between stage 1 and 2 as it was too cold and wet to do anything else. We stayed in the mosh and hoped the body heat would keep us warm. I remember not a lot of people watched this set...I think Parkway Drive - who was just really blowing up - was on at the same time (but on stage 3, which involved too much walking.) That first Soundwave, while getting utterly soaked, is probably the one I have the most goodwill towards. And that's what this album reminds me of.

  • 30 Seconds To Mars - 30 Seconds To Mars
This is the only 30STM album I own a physical copy of. I actually bought it aaaages ago, along with Cartel's The Ransom EP and The Rasmus' Dead Letters. I got them from the JB HiFi in Bankstown Square when it was still open and they used to have those massive clearances all the time. I bought so much random stuff there, always in batches. I'm not sure when exactly I got this album, but at the latest it was first year of uni. Anyway, like most things I got there, it was purchased on a whim and I didn't know anything about them. Later, 'The Kill' received a lot of air time on the music channels and I realised I actually knew the band. So, really, I owned a 30STM album before I knew anything about many of their fans can say that? I'm thinking not many.   

  • Take this to your grave - Fall Out Boy
As I mentioned before, the trend of keeping albums in release order is broken when the packaging is different than your standard jewel case. This is one of those instances as TTTYG is in a cardboard type sleeve of some description. It took me an inordinate amount of time to find this album. Really, you have no idea. In the end, I had to go to Bondi to get it. For many new music fans, this is a foreign concept. Their first point of contact is the internet, and lo and behold, should you choose not to download, you can get it delivered to your very door. To that I say...bah. Until you have scoured record shops looking for something obscure that no one has heard of, you haven't lived. To quote Almost Famous - "They don't even know what it is to be a fan, y'know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts." Put in the work, it's a good feeling. I got this album, and From Under The Cork Tree, well before anyone had any idea who FOB was. It seems a foreign concept, seeing how they were everywhere not even two years ago, on every cover of every magazine it felt like, but the time did exist. Before 'Dance, Dance' - that's the one that really launched them here. I remember how happy I was when I first caught the video on television. Ah, the naiveté of youth.  I owe a lot to FOB, discovering them led to discovering many other great bands, including my darling The Academy Is... who I had the good fortune of finding early in their career (Oh, and a happy birthday to William for yesterday.)

  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet : Music from the Motion Picture
I've got a bit of a thing for soundtracks and film scores. It's developing more and more, and I find I'm generally much more productive when listening to them. This is one of my favourites. I own both version - the popular music and the score. This particular disc is the former. Not much to say about it really. Got it after I saw the film, and I love it for the same reason that I love the film - the blend between what is essentially old and classical, and that which is modern. It just works so well.

  • Bullet in a Bible - Green Day 
Pretty much covered all things Green Day already. BIAB is of course the live album/DVD documenting the record two shows the band played at the Milton Keynes National Bowl. It's the biggest shows they've headlined in their careers, playing to over 130,000 people. I love watching it. It gives me goosebumps, cause I'm the kind of lame music fan that does actually get goosebumps. That sums it all up really.

So there you go - ten random albums from my shelf. Next week, books! Most probably. If I remember.

Music: Under cover of darkness - The Strokes

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