Those seminal sounds


Ok-this is going to be a flashback post.

Every music fan has a time period, era, or genre of music that they identify with-music from your formative years, your youth, music that got you through a rough patch, whatever.

I certainly had music that I discovered as a kid that changed my perspective about what music could sound like. I remember hearing “The Tide is High” by Blondie on the radio in the car when I was like 5 or 6 and thinking it was sounded so different and fascinating. On a trip to visit relatives on the East Coast in the early 80’s, I remember a cousin who I thought was very cool at the time, was listening to early albums by U2, B-52’s, Talking Heads and R.E.M. I had never heard any of those bands or that kind of music. During high school, I finally started to expand my musical palette a little bit beyond whatever was on the generic radio station. But it wasn’t until I was out of high school and in community college that my true time of musical discovery happened, 1991-1993 to be exact. Right when the whole “alternative” scene was bursting. Not only was I discovering the music that would set the course for the kind of sounds I’d continue to enjoy in the future, but it also coincided with me coming out of my shell, and discovering who I was myself.

Looking back now, these albums seem like pretty basic alternative fare-Alternative Rock 101, you could say.  But for me, these are the albums that I played and played and played-the music that defined (and continues to define) and provided the soundtrack to my life.

What songs, albums, genres shaped you? Leave a comment below, or discuss on my Facebook page.

Smashing Pumpkins – Gish

Pavement – Slanted & Enchanted

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

Ride – Nowhere

Sonic Youth – Dirty

R.E.M. – Automatic for the People

the Breeders – Pod

Mudhoney – Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

Beat Happening – Jamboree

Some Velvet Sidewalk – Avalanche

Pixies – Surfer Rosa and Doolittle


Hump Day Hummables #3: Celebrating Sub Pop!


This Saturday, our beloved, trend-setting, and groundbreaking local record label, Sub Pop will be celebrating 25 years of operations with the Sub Pop Jubilee down in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. This will be a truly fantastic event-loads of classic Sub Pop bands from the roster (Mudhoney! TAD reunion! Greg Dulli!), new indie stalwarts (Father John Misty! Shearwater! METZ!); the Sub Pop Mega Mart is being rolled back out; lots of food trucks; and plenty more to make it a memorable day. I definitely will be there enjoying the festivities.

To pay tribute, here are a couple of favorite, somewhat lesser-known Sub Pop acts-locals Kinski and D.C.-based Velocity Girl.

One of my favorite Kinski songs is Rhode Island Freakout, from their 2003 album, Airs Above Your Station. If you’ve never seen them live, this band is ferociously loud. If you enjoy the more rocking side of Sonic Youth, you are sure to love this.

And here is a noise-pop gem from Velocity Girl, Sorry Again. It is from the single of the same name in 1994. They have that great Lush meets Juliana Hatfield, swooning, noisy, soaring pop sound down pat.