The Music of My Youth

My music tastes continue to develop and change.  If I had started this blog about music back during Freshman year of college, I would have only been writing about metal and hardcore music.  That is what I enjoyed.  I would attend show after show of different up and coming metal acts.  We sometimes drove hours just to see a band play.  This continued throughout much of college; however, entering into true adulthood, I kind of got tired of people at screaming at me.  I wasn’t surrounded by other people continually seeking out this music either, and I therefore didn’t feel the need to keep looking the bands up continuously.  Even today I throw on these bands, but I don’t really care about a whole lot of the new music that is coming out.  I stopped reading Lambgoat.com and started reading Pitchfork.com.  Sure, I still throw on a good old hardcore cd on my way home from school, and I love listening to it while I exercise, but I would much rather have a little more melody.

My most memorable time of music, however, is the music I found on my own in high school.  I had a lot less influence at that time.  I was looking for a type of music to listen to that was my own, and I went and found it.  I previously did a post about the album that changed music for me forever; however, this post is more about those bands that I continued to listen to after the transition.  Before I stumbled upon hardcore there was punk and ska.  I would buy samplers from Fat Wreck Chords, Epitaph Records, Asian Man Records, and Fearless Records.  I loved to pick these up because I could figure out what bands I liked, and then I would only purchase those particular bands.  Before the days of internet, it was a perfect way to make sure I purchased bands I would actually truly enjoy.

Once a year I start heading back to these bands of my youth.  I’m not exactly sure why it happens like clockwork.  I might just exhaust the music I currently have, or I might just need to remember a time when discovering new music seemed like the most important thing in life.  For whatever reason, I always manage to find my way back to the music of my youth.  Here are some of the bands I’m currently reliving.

Strung Out – Twisted by Design – I really can’t remember how I found this album, but it was either through friends or my searching through compilations.  I really enjoyed this particular album because it has a really metal twist to it.  Is it punk?  Yeah I think so.  I know a lot of people will tell you it’s something more like pop punk, but I’m honestly okay with that too.  I loved the edginess in his voice and the super fast guitars that came along with the album.  This is one of those albums I have almost completely memorized.  I can sing about every word from start to finish.  Even today the music still gets me going for sure.  This also may have been very influential in getting me into my metal phase later on as well.

Saves the Day – Through Being Cool – I actually remember exactly where I first heard a song from this band.  I had gone to see my friends’ band play, Giving Way, and they decided to cover one of the songs off this album.  It was a great song, and I knew I needed to hear where this particular song came from.  These guys eventually took it to one of the most emo ends of the spectrum I can remember.  Here they were definitely still pop punk and fun loving.  I love putting this album on, putting the windows down in the car, and driving down the road like I did in high school.  Perhaps I really am doing this for the nostalgia of it all.

The Get Up Kids – Something to Write Home About – This was probably my first delving into emo for sure.  I don’t really remember people calling them emo when I first started listening to them, but popping it in now really brings back all of the bands that I later realized definitely were emo.  If Strung Out was metalish, and Saves the Day was poppy, this band was more clean and EMOtional.  I feel like I can remember driving home from a friend’s house on a summer night with the windows down singing along.  It wasn’t about fighting the system, and it didn’t show a ton of teenage angst.  It just seemed like really good well put together music.

Jimmy Eat World – Clarity – If there were any one album that really affected my youth, it would have to be this one.  I know it was a big album for a lot of people, but I picked this one up randomly through just rumors of it being good, and I was extremely happy I did.  I went to the record store with no real direction.  I did this multiple times. I knew I would go home with something new, but I really didn’t know what I wanted.  It’s how I found a few other bands too.  I wanted something I knew nothing about, and a band name just popped into my head.  I didn’t know what it sounded like, but I thought I had heard it was pretty good.  This album was one of the best mixes of emo and rock I had ever come across.  Even to this day, I still have to pick up any new Jimmy album that comes out.  I’m very loyal to bands I love, and this is an album I couldn’t live without.

The styles of music I listen to, and the bands I now enjoy, continue to change; however, I always seem to find my way back to the albums that I couldn’t live without in high school.  There were other albums too, but these four really stuck with me.   I love music, and these are some of the roots I built this love on.

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1 Comment

  1. Good call on Twisted By Design. I love that album! I actually think that was the first CD I ever converted to mp3. Oh, memories.


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