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SOUND OF CHUCK

chuck_soldierI've been avoiding the blogging lately, choosing instead a place called Editing Hell. But how could I not be inspired by Jonathan's "My Life in Music"? Here's a stab:

CHILDHOOD ("The 70's")
My earliest music memory: My mom and future stepdad rolling me back and forth between them on rollerskates, to the tune of Minnie Ripperton's Loving You.

My favorite song: John Denver's Thank God I'm A Country Boy

My mom ironing, letting me have a sip of her Pabst. The Carpenters on the radio. Neil Diamond, Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John, all that wistful soft rock stuff. Hot Butter Popcorn. Plenty of soon-to-be-classic rock and disco, like my brother's KISS and Bee Gees albums.

At the grocery store with my grandma, I wandered off and starting singing Nazareth's Hair of the Dog - "Now you're messin' with a... a son of a bi-iitch!" I felt super badass, but I sang quietly because I didn't want to get caught swearing. My grandma used to let me stay home from school sick and let me drink cans of pop in the store without paying for it. She used to let me look at grandpa's Playboys, too. Come to think of it, she swore a lot and probably wouldn't have cared if I was swearing. Was my grandma fucking cool or what?

Sitting in my brother's Nova listening to Van Halen I with his stoner friend. Bored out of my mind shopping with my mom, until The Knack's My Sharona came on and I totally rocked out. In 4th grade at lunch, some 6th graders suddenly cranked Pink Floyd: "We don't need no education / We don't need no thought control." That was so in-your-face I couldn't believe it.

COMING INTO MY OWN: 1980
I was totally badass in my later grade school years. I saved up money to buy 8-tracks at Target: Lipps, Inc. Mouth to Mouth - Billy Joel Glass Houses - Queen The Game - The Who Who Are You - The Cars The Cars. I also really really loved Upside Down by Diana Ross.

THE 80's
Okay, do we even need to go here? "Whatever was on the radio" sums it up.

The first album I owned was K-Tel's Blast Off. I'm slightly ashamed to say the main reason I wanted this album was You Should Hear How She Talks About You by Melissa Manchester.

God, I can't even fathom 1983-1984. All these strange feelings and hormones fueled by Michael Jackson, Flashdance, Culture Club, The Police, Duran Duran, Prince and budding preteen breasts everywhere - how did I survive? I remember sleeping over at my friend Chad's house in the basement, where his little sister's room was. We used to hangout in her room and endlessly obsess over Thriller. After I went to bed, his sister and her friend were giggling in her room, then they snuck out and got into bed with me. They were on each side, asking me questions and lightly stroking my arms. I swear my heart was going to explode it was beating so fast. What the fuck is going on????? Their flirt experiment was over in a few short minutes, and they disappeared behind the Michael Jackson poster door. My pajamas felt "funny."

I was saturated with Prince and MTV. And yet, I couldn't get enough. This hesher guy Shane used to play Darling Nikki in the back of the bus. He smoked and had lots of "girlfriends." Somehow he made that song even naughtier.

1984 - Driving around in L.A. in my bodybuilder brother's Trans Am. He pops in Eurythmics Sweet Dreams. I saw Frankie (Goes to Hollywood) coming out of a tank in a Hollywood record store parking lot. I will never be cooler than this moment.

I was insanely, insanely into Dire Strait's Money for Nothing. By this time I had a stereo that could do some serious damage, some big-ass cheap speakers, and when that guitar part kicks in? Crank it up and air guitar the living shit out of that bad boy! Today, those levels of testosterone and adrenaline would make me a terrorist.

Madonna? Check. Chaka Khan, Rockit, breakdancing? Yep. Miami Vice, Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters? They defined me. Friday night videos! Safety Dance! Men At Work!

First CD's: Genesis Invisible Touch, Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy and IV, Huey Lewis Sports. I wang chunged, I walked like an Egyptian, I was livin' on a prayer. I veered dangerously close to drama geek territory with U2. Until...

LATE 80's: BRING THE METAL
It started innocently enough, with Def Leppard and Motley Crue. Gateway metal. Whitesnake. Scorpions. The descent can't be stopped. Guns-n-Roses. They....they swore! We started wearing jean jackets and playing guitar in the basement. Geeks with mullets. I was afraid of Metallica. Ride the Lightning? Master of Puppets? It was too heavy, too dark. They didn't play it on the radio. It was possibly evil. ...And Justice for All. My eyes rolled back in my head. One. My skull filled with worms. The descent was complete. I was a Full Metalhead.

EARLY 90's: AM I ALTERNATIVE YET?
Red Hot Chili Peppers + Ministry + Faith No More = gateway alt-metal.
My first First Avenue show: Voivod with Soundgarden and Faith No More. BRING THE GRUNGE... Subpop all the way. Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Nirvana, L7. All my t-shirts and flannel smelled like sweat, beer and cigs. Eww.

I'm in college now! I'm, I'm... changing. Thanks to the Columbia House Alternative CD club, I got The Cure Disintegratiom and B-52s Love Shack. KJJO 104 in the Twin Cities played this "Modern Rock", as did Cities 97. Am I becoming, like, more arty or sensitive?

No, I'm becoming more BLACK! Public Enemy and N.W.A. booiiieeeee. I remember walking to softball practice (softball practice?) cranking the P.E. from my ghetto blaster. I think I also bought a 4-track and recorded some rap songs.

DEFINING MOMENT
1991 - The Persian Gulf War looms large. The Minnesota Daily finals issue has a mock draft letter on the front page and is chock-full of scathing lefty diatribe. I listened to Fugazi's 13 songs over and over. I painted a red, white and blue peace symbol on the back of my shitty black vinyl jacket. I listened to the lyrics of "Waiting Room." I grew angrier and angrier. Something snapped in me that day. I was fed up with all the shit. I decided to protest. (Followed by an interest in anarchy, punk rock, and switching my major to Political Science.)

I've written previously about my love affair with the local rock scene.

RECENT ERA
Of course all roads lead to indie-rock. Superchunk, GBV, Built to Spill. Somewhere along the way, with Cosmic Slop and my homies Mitch and Carl and Jonathan, I got way into pop and 60's stuff. Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Move... up tp XTC, Jellyfish, Papas Fritas - oh how I love the pop musics!

Somewhere along the way I got more into electronic music. I recreationally dabbled in techno in the 90's, but probably got more into it since meeting Lori and going to Burning Man and experiencing all this crazy trance. I dig the fusion of electronic gadgetry with the indie rock - like Askeleton.

I've had lovely bursts into jazz and classical. I do enjoy the latin jazz stylings.

But mostly, I just like to rock.

May 28, 2004 at 01:53 AM in Music, Personal Crap | Permalink

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Comments

Dammit, I'm going to have that Nazareth song stuck in my head all day. Thanks :-)

And hey, I was at that Voivod + Soundgarden show at First Ave. And saw Public Enemy at Glam Slam in '91, but Flavor Flav was sick and absent, so how lame is that?

As for Askeleton...I like it, but it's a little weird for me. I have this idea of Knol set in stone from a different era...when my first husband was briefly in a hardcore punk band with him, and we all used to go to a lot of basement shows and hang out at Cosmic Charlie's way too much. That seems like a lifetime ago.

Gonna have to make one of these music posts myself. Maybe after coffee.

Posted by: Sharyn at May 28, 2004 7:18:40 AM

Whew, that went down nice. I had a similar Hair of the Dog moment, only I got caught and got in trouble. And the Pink Floyd experience came right out of my brain.

Nice work, metalboy.

Posted by: Barrett at May 28, 2004 9:45:18 AM

Sharyn--which hardcore punk band? My husband, Brian was one of the first original members of Kill Sadie (1990?), he was a guitarist. He and Knol go back many years.

As for my first music/radio memories. I have two that stick out. Both involved me turning on the radio to find:
Your Love is Lifting Me Higher---the Rita Coolidge version.
and
Your Mama Told Me, You Better Shop Around--Captain and Tennille.

But I have this weird memory of being in the back seat of my dad's 1979 ford granada and almost crying to All By Myself by Eric Carmen.

My mom had a TON of records that spoon-fed my odd foundation:
ELO, Bruce Springsteen, Abba, Fleetwood Mac and Alan Parson's Project.She had an AC/DC record that scared me. One of my favorite things was stare at the inside jacket sleeve to Rumours. It was a b/w photo collage of the band and their friends posing and doing weird faces.

Posted by: Rena at May 28, 2004 9:47:21 AM

Damn! Now I'm gonna have to do one o' these life in music postey things. I was inspired by Jonathan's post, but now I really gotta do it. It's cool to read people writing about how music formed their consciousness, and the way you get into different styles as you grow. Also, how other people influence your musical life too.
I hope there are no typos in this, I can't see what I'm typing when it gets way over tp the right. Arrrg!

Posted by: Lorika at May 28, 2004 10:13:37 AM

Rena - for weird. But this sucks, I can't even remember what they were calling themselves. It was in between Shampoop and Kill Sadie, and Jason Aronen was doing vocals (my first husband played bass). And I go pretty far back with the Tates as well, but I was always better friends with Erin (who I have sadly lost track of, since the move to Seattle).

Posted by: Sharyn at May 28, 2004 11:13:52 AM

Do you remember the Ugly Waifs? Our mutual friend, Carolyn was bassist for that band.

Brian and I saw 2 of Shampoops shows in some SE basement. WEIRD! I bet you were there....

There was another version of Kill Sadie that came out much later than the initial Kill Sadie. Somewhere around 96-98.

Brian remembers Erin, very well. My only memory is of him being cute-pudgy-short kid in a skater haircut always wearing overall shorts. I now hear he's very tall and thin, like his brother.

Posted by: Rena at May 28, 2004 12:26:03 PM

Rena, your Eric Carmen moment is heartbreaking. Don't cry little baby Rena, you're not alone!

I was terrifyied of Elton John's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album... it was full of freaky-ass surreal art, I remember his piano fingers as creepy snakes.

Somewhere I have an unused ticket for Public Enemy and Queen Latifah at First Ave. I think I had to work and couldn't go... yargh.

Posted by: Chuck at May 28, 2004 12:52:59 PM

Is this a small town or what?
Shampoop is one of my all-time favorite band names.

So all you Friends of Tate have to help me convince Knoll to use "The Future" (video) in Blogumentary...

Posted by: Chuck at May 28, 2004 12:57:22 PM

OH MY GOD. That Capt Fantastic album creeped me WAY out. I too remember the snake fingers, and the naughty bare-breasted half-human---not quite remembering WHAT exactly it was.-But I remember the boobs.

I also had a HUGE ass thing for that Dire Straits album. It was that "I want my mtv" coupled with my insane obsession with mtv. My favorite at that time being, "West End Girls" by PSBs. Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles was also in heavy rotation in my auto-reverse tape player. The year was 1985-early 1986.

Posted by: Rena at May 28, 2004 1:00:25 PM

Rena - that is too funny. Erin did indeed grow up to be as tall and lanky as Knol (maybe taller) but still clung to the backpack with baggy pants for quite a while. He's an uber-hipster these days, from what I hear.

And I'm pretty sure those Shampoop shows were in this kid Ned's basement. Sad thing, I was at a lot of the shows there...but I don't remember seeing any of the Shampoop shows.

As for the Ugly Waifs, I remember hearing of them. And I think I have a vague notion of who Carolyn was. But dammit if my memory doesn't suck in my old age.

Oh, and my Dad, brother and I were all HUGE Dire Straits and MTV fans. I remember regularly watching Yo MTV Raps on weekdays, and 120 minutes into the future on Sunday nights. Those were the days.

Posted by: Sharyn at May 28, 2004 8:34:29 PM

Damn Chuck, how do I give back to the "my life in Music" posts.

As a toddler I had an obsession with the "In-da-gadda-da-vida"(sp?) drum solo. I would run in circles air drumming with oversized headphones on. Our crazy neighbor gave me a King Krimson album and I was intranced with "21st Centry Schizoid Man" I think my parents disapproved of the it, but once i heard it they figured, the harm is already done, let him have his devil record. My parents had a small collection of albums. mainly johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Birds, Dylan.

Grade School
The girl across the street had every inch of her room plastered with Duran Duran. Because she was the coolest person I knew, I too loved Duran Duran and soon I was a WLOL top 9 at 9 junkie, phoning in my votes with the speed dial. (first record - "the reflex 45")
Then around the fourth grade I heard Ratts "Round and Round" in a Perkins outdoor speaker system near the exit door and froze solid in amazement. My parents were in the car waiting, but I couldn't move. Things shifted. I became good friends with Knol who lived 3 doors down (askeleton dude) and we dove into Kiss, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, etc. We had a Kiss air guitar band. Me-Ace, Knol-Paul Stanely, Erin-Peter Chriss, We all took turns being Gene Simmons. fake blood, burning leaves for pyrotechnics. I started hanging with the dirt bike kids at school. we listened to ZZ Top on the playground while the others played kick ball and jump rope.
Then sixth grade my parents signed me up for BreakDance class at the YMCA. Two big black dudes and me. I was the only student.
I got into Whodini, UTFO, RUN DMC, Grandmaster Flash.

I maintained aliances on all fronts. Duran Duran with the girls, Black Sabbath with the dirt bikers, electro-hip hop with the b-boys at school.

Junior High
Beastie Boys, Metallica (first CD ...and Justice), Public Enemy, Van Halen. Also did the Columbia house tape deal and found pink floyd, led zepplin, tesla ??
Then at a Church Youth Group retreat I heard Ministry for the first time. "Land of Rape and Honey". I also found the Macalaster Radio Punk Hour and things quickly changed.

Into High School
I latched onto "thrash metal" in the ninth grade with Nuclear Assualt, Overkill, Suicidal Tendencies, etc. The video art geeks taught me about Skinny Puppy, Bauhaus, Alien Sex Fiend, but the St. Paul Cental "gangsta's" seemed more interesting and I found myself also buying Public Enemy, Paris, NWA,

somewhere around the 10th grade in 1989 the teenage angst began and for me, one of the greatest moments of music from 89-92. I developed a strong relationship with my skateboard.
I was also in a handfull of bands playing bad Minor Threat and No Mean No rip-offs and listening to Misfits, Dead Kennedy's, Circle Jerks, Fugazi, Firehose, Alice Donut, Butthole Surfers, Janes Addiction, Nirvana, Black Flag, Dinosaur Jr. and the list goes on. My sensitive side that came out around the girls was Siouxsie and the Banshees and Sinead O'Conner. I meet Rena around that time. She was a dark side kinda girl. I was stoned out of my head at Motor Oil, fell backwards out of my chair onto the floor and looked up to say, "nice NIN button - it matches your shirt" She introduced me properly into the 4AD label and the dark side of indie rock.

Into College I hung on to the Punk Rock throughout dorm life and played in a couple bands sounding like Peg Boy and Descendents but with bad singers. For a short while I became a little burnt out on the grunge sludge and power-pop rock that was sweeping the campus. I found a taste for electronic music. They said raves were dead by then, but in Madison WI is was just starting. I thirsted for music that challenged me in a new way. Techno worked for a short while, but then i turned to Jazz, Frank Zappa, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, . For years to come I reflected on just the sound. moving, emotional, thought provoking sounds. a lot of sample based music, electronic, trip-hop, avant-garde. Inspired but bored I turned back to the music of singers and songwriters that had stories to tell. I also got back to making my own 4-track music. I moved home and learned about radio k and the local indie scene.

Currently, I guess I listen to the "Beat Box" as much as I do "Out of Step" and "music lovers club" so I guess my taste hasn't changed much since grade school. I also dig sample-based music made from video cameras instead of turntables, but nobody makes it.


Posted by: Brian at May 30, 2004 10:08:37 AM

Those Ugly Waifs played in my parents dining room at our mac-groveland high school graduation party. Grandma making tuna salad, cousins playing bean bag toss in the front yard, and Knol and the gang with their amps turned to 10. the china buffet rattled and the light fixtures shook. It freaked everyone out and was great.

Sharyn. 120 minutes and Yo MTV raps kicked ass!

the Dave Kendall years introduced me to the Manchester sound and do you remember the Post-Modern show? full of Depeche Mode and Stone Roses. I think I have a VHS tape somewhere.

Yo MTV raps with the Ed Lover dance drove me to buy a Digital Under Ground cassette and sad to say, the DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince debut cassette. and what was with the name of that one-hit wonder, Special ED.

Posted by: Brian at May 30, 2004 10:34:16 AM

Wow. This is so outta control cool.
I should mention a couple more things:

1) I found out about KFAI from a BBS I used to frequent (The Proving Grounds). The older kids said they played f-ed up weird shit on Friday nites, so I tuned in. In my room, in the dark. They played The The and it scared the hell out of me. But I liked Concrete Blonde. And there was this show called "So What" that I loved, they played all kindsa punk stuff.

2) My first show, perhaps mentioned before, was Limited Warranty and The Jets at the state fair. First RAWK show was Def Leppard and Tesla at the Met Center.

3) My stepdad was upset with how crazy I'd get with music in my room. (INXS 'What You Need' Extended Remix, Dire Straits, etc) and I said, "But I NEED it!!!" In typical stepdad fashion, he said "You better not need it, or I'll take it away." So I pretended not to need it. But secretly I desparately did.

4) Of course Radio K has been a huge ginormous influence. Particularly the Great Swedish Craze of the mid-90's (Komeda, Cardigans, etc) and the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group. I still get lotsa new music from them, but also more from the online and my homies.

Posted by: Chuck at May 30, 2004 7:01:49 PM

It's interesting how, in the eighties--most everyone listened to the radio and you usually liked what you heard. That was me. Very into tears for fears, naked eyes, men at work, limited warranty, aha, sting, etc.

But everytime I went into Great American Music, a certain record album kept calling my name. I think I passed it up one hundred times. It was the brilliant orange cover of The Smith's Louder Than Bombs. The year was 1986, and I completely took a chance and bought it. I basically "took the left fork in the road." Wow. I remember when I heard it (with my radio shack headphones hooked up to my JC Penney stereo) I felt alive and every auditory sense in my body clapped and said, "Yay! FINALLY!".

Although I haven't purchased any music in that way in a very long time, it's how I found Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary and XTC's Oranges and Lemons.

Posted by: Rena at May 30, 2004 9:12:50 PM

top shows ever:

Ace Frehley at 1st Ave. with Knol, Erin, and Noah.
13, 12, and 8 years old. We were dropped off to sit at a table and shake our fists.

Dinosaur Jr. with Firehose opening - 1990?

Fugazi - august 12, 1991 Primus, Fugazi, Firehose, Bad Brains. one night after another. That was the year I was on the evening news talking about tenitus (sp?) permanant ringing of the ears. my dad's friend was a hearing doctor. it passed after a year and a half.

JawBox and No Means No at SpeedBoat Gallery among all the other Dischord and Look out! artists.

Lollapalooza. 1991 - all my favorite artists with all my favorite friends. senior year of high school.

WEEN - 1999 - 2 hours of Dean and Gene. On the way out I found a xl ween t-shirt outside half a block away along with a small ween tank top for Rena.

Public Enemy - 2001? Action packed and the most energy ever felt at First Ave.

Elliott Smith - 400 Bar quiet, acoustic, and solo

anything in the past few years won't be realized for a while yet, but will probably include
Granddaddy - 1st ave.
Badly Drawn Boy - Fine Line
Competetor - Madison Film Theatre

Posted by: Brian at May 30, 2004 11:45:13 PM