I remember being asked in St. Norbert's School (third grade?) what my favorite band was. I said The Monkees and was ridiculed by my classmates. I liked the TV show and didn't even know who Led Zeppelin were. I remember buying my first music out in Lancaster, grocery shopping with my mommy. At least, I think it was my first tape. My family was very religious, and very strict about almost everything. (They burned all of my D&D stuff in a wheelbarrow in the back yard when I was in 8th grade.) Anyways, my first tape was a Christian band called Servant. I had seen them in concert (at a church), so I guess my parents thought they were acceptable. Lyrics like "Jungle music, can God really use it" spring to mind. Eventually, I did start buying secular music like the Who, but I was still rather clueless.
In high school, I listened to ZZ Top, Foreigner, Yes, etc. I even bought a tie pin with the ZZ Top logo. Unfortunately, someone demanded that I name three songs by them. I knew two, and guessed a third. More ridicule. I saw a music video by a group called the Cure (Just Like Heaven) and said "Who are these fags?" I didn't like them strictly on their appearance. (Flash forward 15 years and I would be looking like them and wearing a skirt to one of their concerts!) I got into Peter Gabriel when So came out and bought Plays Live soon after. My first Walkman changed my life. I usually ignored everyone and read books voraciously. Now, I could not even hear everyone else and could retreat even further from them.
My siblings played the Cure enough that I listened to the lyrics to Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and started to like them. Then Nine Inch Nails came out. Four kids, four CDs of Pretty Hate Machine. Heh. Trent understood what life was like, and his music was very angry. On a side note, it took me a while to like the fragile when it came out. Every album of his goes farther along a path that I didn't totally understand. He has certainly matured over the years, and I suppose I have too.
That was it for me. I couldn't go back to songs without meaning, unless they amused me. I still enjoy over the top songs like For My Fallen Angel (My Dying Bride) and Love You to Death (Type O Negative). I also enjoy songs that drive others to insanity (Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden, Calculus by 2Gether). I fell in love with Operation: Mindcrime while I was going to Drexel. I felt a little uncomfortable with the anti-religious bent though.
Sometime around 1992, I went uber-Christian and destroyed all of my CDs. I listened to only Christian music and read the Bible every day. I think I was happy then, but the belief gradually eroded. I ended up buying even more "evil" CDs later.
I went to a lot of concerts, although colitis and public bathrooms didn't mix very well. My first was with my father around '84. It was the Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. I liked it quite a lot, even though we were in the nosebleed section. It was the first time I smelled pot. Other bands I have seen include Depeche Mode, nin (and a shitty band named Marilyn Manson - unknown in '94), Curve, David Bowie, Mazzy Star, King's X (fell asleep), Metallica, Dead Can Dance, the Cure, the Replacements, Elvis Costello, Sinead O' Connor, Morrissey (fell asleep), U2, Peter Murphy, Sarah McLachlan, Veruca Salt, Fiona Apple, Weezer, etc.
There are so many concerts I wish I could have seen, though. Joy Division before Ian Curtis killed himself. Peter Gabriel on his Plays Live tour. Concrete Blonde on their Bloodletting tour. October Project while they were still together.
It's nice to have the music on the computer. Just a pain in the ass to put it all there. And downloading from KaZaA while others are uploading from me makes surfing the web as slow as dialup. But it's worth it. I downloaded Jeff Buckley doing a Cocteau Twins cover today. I have His Infernal Majesty singing Wicked Game. I have Peter Murphy singing Christmas Sucks with Tom Waits.
Top six at the moment:
1 the fragile - nin
2 Fumbling Towards Ecstacy - Sarah McLachlan
3 Laid - James
4 Falling Farther In - October Project
5 Disintegration - the Cure
6 1982-1998 - Dead Can Dance
"Do you know how far this has gone? Just how damaged have I become? When I think I can overcome, it runs even deeper..."