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Old 05-26-2007, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
jolly_roger's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Midwest, U.S.
Posts: 11

Well, throughout the 90s I was surrounded by conflicting musical influences: my parents, both well-trained pianists; and my older brother--the classic troubled youth.

I got a taste of classical music from my parents: everything from Bach to Debussy. There were many other genres I was exposed to from them as well: latin and tangos, bluegrass and folk, jazz and the blues, and choir. But from my brother, I got a taste of hard rock: from AC/DC to Nirvana to Green Day to Metallica. At first, I was only into classical, etc. I liked Blink 182 and Smashmouth, but that was as far as my rock repertoire went.

For a while, I was even into pop. *shudders* This is one of the things I am most ashamed about. I had a Britney Spears album, and even the Backstreet Boys.

But let's think about happy thoughts right now.

In 2002, my brother died, and thereafter, I started taking more interest in his genres. I got really into Green Day and Linkin Park, and other pop punk bands (Sum 41, Good Charlotte, etc.). But in 2006, I sustained a serious knee injury, confining me to my basement for pretty much the whole time. I spent my time exploring new music for hours on end. This was when music truly became important to me in my life. I was into everything: oldies (Sonatra, the Beach Boys), jazz (Dave Brubeck Quartet, Glen Miller), indie rock (Death Cab for Cutie, Elliot Smith), broadway musicals (the Music Man, Phantom of the Opera), and just strange bands (Beck, Ween).

At the time, what caught my attention most was Beck. This was mainly because, like me, Beck was into all different kinds of genres. He's been described as the most eclectic musician of the 90's, and I thought that he was the best musician of the modern day.

But I didn't know anything about his influences (which were myriad). So, I decided to go way back to the beginning, to try to find where all the different genres of pop-punk, heavy metal, indie rock came from. My parents, aside from classical music, also had a wide array of Beatles albums, and so I started there. This led me to other British invasion bands like the Hollies, the Kinks, the Who, etc. But this wasn't good enough. Where did all those bands come from? So then I found two musicians in particular that helped my task greatly: Elvis Pressley, and Chuck Berry. It became clear to me through the literature available (in other words, i-tunes), that these two were the first rock and roll musicians.

Having indeed found the beginnings of rock, I thought that that would satisfy me, but it didn't. I now had the very start, but I still didn't know what was in between. There was a 20 year gap between the 60s and the 90s, and I knew nothing about it.

Well, I had a friend who, at the same time, was in the middle of a Pink Floyd daze, and he helped me open a window into the 70s and 80s. From Pink Floyd I discovered many of their contemporaries of the 60s and 70s: the Doors, Rush, Queen, etc. Queen were very interesting to me: they had good, intelligent music, but something about their approach seemed so half-way to me. So I went in search of something that Queen had hit on, but hadn't gone all the way with.

In search of this quality, I rummaged through my brother's old CDs, and there I found AC/DC's Stiff Upper Lip. This, being one of their worse albums, didn't satisfy, but now I knew what I was looking for: that hard rock sound.

From here I tore through i-tunes' supply of 70s hard rock: Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin was, as I soon found out, the biggest musical revelation I had come across. There was something about their music that I couldn't find, but I couldn't stop looking for. And my thirst for their music wasn't helped at all by the fact that neither i-tunes or napster carry any of their music.

To this day, Led Zeppelin remains my favorite band. I listen to their music night and day, and it still sounds as fresh every time. I accept that one day, it will cease to consume me, but I also know that there will never be another band like Led Zeppelin for me.

Although Led Zeppelin was my primary interest, I still looked into other bands a little. I just kind of skipped over the 80s because there wasn't anything that interesting during that time (I think the 80s just spoiled rock music, and there were few quality bands in that decade). So in the 90s, I focused on what, to me, was what hard rock had mutated into: grunge. I loved Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins, and I still consider Nirvana to be one of the best bands of all time.

But recently, a band called Wolfmother (you've probably heard of them) caught my attention. I liked their style (mostly because they're a Led Zeppelin revivalist band), but more importantly, they introduced me to a genre that emerged in the late 80s and early 90s: stoner metal. From here I found a band called Queens of the Stone Age, and I fell in love. I still think that they're the best band around today.

And so that's where I stand now: consumed by Led Zeppelin, but I still enjoy moments of QOTSA.

Damn, that was the longest post yet.
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