As NME was so kind to remind me, it’s been five years since The Strokes released their first album. I can get carried away and say most bands are influential and life-changing and I exaggerate, but I can say that other than Nirvana in 1992, The Strokes had the most influence on my love of music. After several years of having commercially produced rock and where everything had a pop influence, they revitalized indie music and produced their album with a lo-fi sound. It’s funny how they seem kind of cliche because so many bands have copied them since. Suddenly every skinny kid in Brooklyn started a band called “The ___s”. For me, it kickstarted the way I love rock music now. They also had a personal style and attitude that was just so fucking cool. It made me realize I had to dig deeper to find what I like instead of listening what was handed to me and to go back and listen to older established bands that were the influence for the current bands. It also marks a certain era of my life and camptures the feeling of that time. I have been fotunate enough to see them live three times and I will never cease to have a semi-religious experience when I see them.
I kind of feel weird when people ask me my interests and I say “I love listening to music”. It seems so vague, but as most of you know, music is a huge chunk of my life and brings me my most enjoyment. And not just listening to it- to me it is like a hobby of collecting and organizing things. Collecting albums and completing collections is huge for me, as well as knowing trivia (who produced what album, what band members left what band at what time, what influenced the album), as well as it being like a soap opera to follow (when is the album coming out, what interviews they do, what they say about other bands, when are they touring, what label they sign to, etc.) Ok, and yea, I do enjoy looking at the members of the bands sometimes. Furthermore, making mixes and collections and finding songs for every occasion, emotion, and event is huge for me.
With that, I love nothing more than to share music and introduce people to music they wouldn’t have heard of if it weren’t for me. I do recognize, however, that my music interests can be overwhelming to some. After all, I acquire about 10 new albums a week. I post a lot of music I like here, and several of you request specific stuff, and I can continue to do that. However, I am going to make sure that I make a regular habit of posting albums that I deem as essential to someone who wants to have a complete appreciation of indie rock music. Sort of a cheat sheet for someone who hasn’t quite built up their collection. Albums to own that will give someone real “cred” when listening, discussing, and buying music in the future. I will say I will not post stuff just because for image’s sake or by dropping the name of the band has some worth on its own. I’ll post it because it’s a great listen. I’m not the greatest in describing albums, as you know, but I’ll try.
I might as well start with The Strokes’ Is This It, their first album released in 2001. They have two other albums since, which I think are equally as good (despite critics not thinking so) but it is worth having their debut because of the influence. Some say it sounds like the Velvet Underground, but I don’t necessarily think that is completely true. To me it sounds like good music recorded on a lo-fi machine in someone’s basement.
The Strokes; Is This It? (2001) [This is missing two tracks which for some reason are not on my hard drive and I cannot find the cd at the moment. No matter, you still have the standout tracks on there.]
I also should add that the inspiration for starting these posts comes from Andrew’s Madonna project. Check it out.